Roommates and Renters Insurance: Things to Consider

By Ashley Paskill on October 11, 2021

This article is brought to you by GradGuard. We protect college students and their families from the financial risks of college life, like providing a refund for tuition or replacing a stolen backpack when your school may not. When the unexpected happens, GradGuard’s tuition insurance and renters insurance can help you get back on track.

It is recommended for those who rent apartments or other properties to obtain renters insurance. As a college student who is renting, it may seem daunting to add another monthly payment to your budget, but it is important to have. If you live with a roommate, having renters insurance is different than if you live alone. Knowing how to navigate this situation is crucial to ensure that you both have the coverage you need.

You may need your own coverage

Your roommate and even your landlord may have renters insurance, but many insurance providers require each individual roommate to have their own insurance to cover their belongings. Check your provider to see what their policies are. Some policies allow you to add your roommates, but your cost will go up but you can split the cost with your roommates.

Even if your landlord has insurance, it is likely that you are not going to be covered by their policy. If they offer a policy, look to see what is covered and see shop around to check prices compared to the coverage you need. Getting your own insurance will allow you to have control over your coverage, even if your roommates or landlord have coverage.

Splitting the cost- is it worth it?

If your policy allows you to add your roommates, you will still want to determine if it is worth it to share the policy. While being able to split the cost is a huge benefit, you will need to set up a plan for. if you or your roommate decide to move out. Having your own insurance allows you freedom from worries. Even if you are both committed to the household, have a conversation about what you are looking for in coverage. You may have different coverage needs, so it is important that you consider what you need and make sure you have the coverage you want and need.

One of the major downfalls of sharing renters insurance is that if your roommates make a claim, that claim goes on your record. Setting up your own insurance policy will allow you to have more control over your policy so that you are not impacted by others’ claims. If the person you are splitting insurance with has more valuable items that need coverage than you have, your cost will go up and you will be responsible for paying for costs that do not benefit you. Consider what items you have in comparison to roommates’ items when deciding whether or not to share renters insurance.

Payments

If you are sharing renters insurance with a roommate and your roommate misses a payment, this will likely leave you uninsured. Evaluate your roommate to see what kind of person they are. You may already know that they struggle with making payments on time or slack off with other important needs. You do not want to be left to suffer because your roommate slipped up. Unless you are positive that your roommate is reliable, consider getting your own insurance, at least until you know each other better. Down the line, once you know how they are with other payments and responsibilities, you may decide that you trust each other enough to split renters insurance.

Image: Sigmund via https://unsplash.com/photos/B2zWzmlyBuk

Policy limits

Even if you have multiple people on the same renters’ insurance policy, there may be limits to how many claims can be made in different categories. For example, your policy may cover up to $2000 in electronics, but if you lose electronics that cost more than what is covered, you would be paid for the max amount that the policy covers and you would have to split this payment with those who you share the policy with. This goes for other categories as well. Having more people on the policy does not necessarily mean that everyone has their own limits or that the limits increase.

Consider the relationship

If you and your roommate are married or officially in a domestic partnership, you may be able to get added to your partner’s policy for free or for a few extra dollars a month. Again, consider that there are limits and they will not go up just because there are multiple people on the policy. However, if you are just in a committed relationship with your roommate, you may trust your partner to make payments and not to avoid making claims that may hurt your claims record down the line. Keep in mind that a partner may break up with you or you may decide to break up with them, and this may add some conflict that you are not anticipating at the moment. In the case that you are living with a partner that you are not married to or are in an official domestic partnership with, it is better to have your own renters insurance to avoid drama down the line.

Sharing renters insurance with a roommate has a lot of nuances and things to consider. Whatever you decide on, be sure to make lists of things you own, even if you decide that you are getting your own insurance. Be sure to consider your own circumstance and your goals for the future so that your roommates help keep you safe and insured moving forward.

It’s no secret that college costs a lot of money. Make sure your investment in higher education is protected with GradGuard. Our affordable tuition insurance and renters insurance plans are specifically designed for college students. Customizable plans make it easy to protect your tuition, room and board, laptop, bike, and so much more.

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