Does Roommate's Renters Policy Cover Me?

By Insurance.com Posted : 01/19/2007

This is an increasingly common question among young singles and other unmarried individuals who choose to share a house or apartment. Unfortunately, renter's insurance and other homeowners insurance policies are designed for single individuals and traditional families. So when unrelated individuals share a residence, insurance coverage can become complicated.

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Insurance laws on this topic vary from state to state, and homeowners and renters insurance policies vary from one company to the next. However, most insurance companies recommend that each tenant maintain a separate renters insurance policy to cover his or her personal property. You should each create an inventory of your possessions, so there are no questions about which policy covers which items if you ever have to file a claim.

Some insurance companies allow multiple roommates to be listed on a single renters insurance policy. If your insurance company structures policies in this way, you and your roommates can purchase one renters insurance policy to cover all of your collective possessions. Each person's name should be listed on the policy, and you should make sure you purchase enough insurance to cover everyone's property. You'll have to remember to change your policy, however, if a roommate moves out or if a new roommate moves in.

Things become even more complicated in the case of unmarried couples living together. Some renters insurance policies automatically extend coverage to any resident of the policyholder's household who fits the definition of "domestic partner." But these policies are the exception, not the rule. In most cases, each partner will need to have a separate renters insurance policy to cover their personal property. But this is not a perfect solution, because even unmarried couples often have joint property. The best option in this case may be to keep detailed records of who actually purchased what, allowing you to make an accurate claim if the need arises.


Please note that this description/explanation is intended only as a guideline.

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