Roommates - Separate Renters Insurance?

By Compuquotes Team on March 27th, 2008

Renters Insurance

Many people who rent a home or apartment have roommates that live with them to help share the costs of the rental and all the bills. While having a roommate is not uncommon, most don`t realize that they can not share one bill - their renters insurance.

Renters insurance covers the possessions inside the home that are owned by the renter. This coverage does not include any of the fixtures, the building itself or the appliances, unless the renters owns that appliance themselves. The landlord has dwelling insurance that covers the building and everything that he or she owns inside the building, including furniture if it came as a furnished apartment.

Your possessions and your roommate's possessions are two totally different things in the eyes of an insurance company. Because you both own things inside the home, you should each have coverage for your own things. If you have a roommate, you should have your own policy to cover your belongings and he or she should have their own to cover their belongings.

There are many reasons for this - only you can be responsible for the things you own. Likewise, only you know what you own in the house and its value. For example, if your roommate owns an heirloom ring from her great grandmother, the renters insurance (if it's covered with that) would be higher because of the value of your roommate's belongings - should you have to pay for the expensive renters insurance on your roommates pricey belongings? No - you shouldn`t.

If you are the primary renter, it is also important that you make sure your roommate has renters insurance for their belongings - make sure they know that your insurance will not cover their belongings if something should happen and they were lost, damaged, ruined or stolen. Vice versa, your roommate`s insurance will not cover your property either.

There are some insurance companies that will allow roommates to have one policy together, but you should be cautious of this. If there are any changes in your belongings or your roommates, such as a large purchase of a new computer or camera, you need to inform your insurance company and be prepared for the rates to change. It is much simpler if you own your own insurance policy for your belongings so that you don`t have to keep track of your roommates possessions and what he or she purchases.

If you are the moving in roommate to a primary renter, be sure to broach the subject of renters insurance. You will need your own and you should tell your roommate that up front, you will get your own renters insurance to cover your belongings.

When you talk to your insurance agent about renters insurance, be sure to tell him or her if you have a roommate or not. They may ask, but they may not. A roommate is considered to be someone that you live with whom is not related to you or you are unmarried to or uninvolved with. Your husband doesn't need separate renters insurance - only if you two don`t co-own most of what is in your home.

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