Should I Share Renters Insurance with Roommates?
It’s a common misconception that your landlord’s insurance will cover the loss of your personal belongings in the case of disaster or theft; most of the time, that’s not the case. Surprisingly, only 37% of renters in the United States have renters insurance, and the rest go unprotected. Renters insurance is relatively inexpensive, and it covers many of your personal belongings within your rental property, including protection for fire, theft, and vandalism up to the limits of the policy.
With this in mind, you may be wondering how to find a renters insurance policy at the best possible rate. One way you may be able to save on your premium is by sharing the policy with your roommates and splitting the bill, and most insurance companies will allow you to do this.
But is sharing renters insurance with your roommates a smart choice? Here are some things to keep in mind:
Sharing renters insurance with roommates could save you money on your premiums, but not always. It depends on the provider and the value of the property you are insuring. We recommend getting quotes as individuals and a quote for a shared policy, then compare the individual premiums to splitting the cost of the shared premium.
You may run into a few problems if you decide to share renters insurance with roommates. Even if you don’t think anyone will be moving out for a long time, people change their minds, take new jobs, and move to new cities all the time. Frequent roommate changes could lead to problems with your insurance policy as you will need to update the names on the policy and have your premiums readjusted. You may end up wishing you purchased an individual policy just to save yourself the extra time and hassle.
Another downside of sharing renters insurance with roommates can come should one of your roommates ever file a claim. Even if nothing of yours was lost or damaged, that claim may still go on your record, and it may affect your insurance premiums in the future as companies may consider you a higher risk customer. It may benefit you to keep your insurance record separate from your roommates and save you money in the long run.
Sharing renters insurance with roommates could lead to arguments around the fairness of your agreement. If one roommate has more valuable belongings than the others, then this could lead to problems when working out how to split the bill. An even split may not seem fair if you think they would get a much larger payout in the event of a claim. Also, a roommate with more valuable property might want to opt for more coverage than the others, and this isn’t always possible with a shared policy. If this sounds like your situation, you may want to purchase individual policies unless you can come to an agreement.
How to share renters insurance with roommates
Take inventory of what you own. This will help you determine how much coverage you need and will help make the reimbursement process a lot easier should you ever have to file a claim.
Talk to an insurance agent and get a quote based on your coverage needs and budget. Compare individual quotes to your shared quote and determine the best option.
Weigh your options and decide if the money you would save outweighs the risk of having someone else’s claim on your record.
Come to an agreement about how you will split up the bill and decide how you would distribute the payout in the event of a total loss, such as a fire. Have a neutral third party mediate your discussion, if necessary, and keep a record of your decision to avoid unnecessary arguments in the future.
Ask about discounts that can help you save even more on your renters insurance. Most companies offer discounts for installing safety devices like smoke detectors. It always pays to ask what your insurance provider will offer.
Infinity Insurance Agency, Inc., provides renters coverage through non-affiliated insurance companies.