So you’ve found an apartment and decided to split the rent between yourself and two other friends. Now, you’re wondering if you need renters’ insurance—or maybe your landlord requires it. The good news is that renters insurance is relatively cheap no matter if you live alone or with others. The bad news is that you can’t technically share a renters insurance policy. You can, however, add someone to your insurance policy.
A roommate must be specifically listed on your policy in order to be covered by your personal renters insurance. Be careful about doing this, however. The cost of insurance and your personal credit could be affected by whoever is on the policy. Factors that influence the cost of your insurance include:
· Amount of Coverage
· Claims history
If you must file an insurance claim, that claim will reflect on your claims history—even if it was the roommate who needed the claim filed.
What if My Roommate Causes Damage to the Apartment?
In general, renters insurance won’t cover accidental damage caused by your roommate or any pets they have. You or your roommate will be responsible for paying for the damages at the discretion of your landlord. If a covered incident causes damage to your roommate’s belongings and they are on your policy, those items should be covered.
What Does Renters Insurance Cover?
Renters insurance covers three main areas:
· Personal possessions: This coverage provides compensation if your personal items are lost or damaged due to fire, smoke, lightning, theft, limited water damage or vandalism.
· Liability: Liability coverage helps if you accidentally cause bodily injury or property damage to someone else.
· Additional living expenses (ALE): ALE provides compensation if you must live somewhere else while the rented property is being repaired after a disaster.
Renters insurance does not cover the apartment structure or its amenities. Those are covered by your landlord’s insurance, which is why a landlord may ask you to repay them for damages you or your roommates cause. You can also extend your renters insurance to include pet insurance, which provides compensation for bodily injury or property damage your pet causes to someone else. Some landlords require this insurance for tenants living with their pets.
What if Your Roommate Moves Out?
If the policyholder moves out, they cannot pass the policy on to the remaining tenant. A new policy must be made.