Apportioning the cost of a Lancaster rental house with a roommate can be an excellent approach to save money on rent, utilities, and more. But what about renter’s insurance? Can roommates partake in a single renter’s insurance policy? To answer that question, we need to understand what a renter’s insurance policy does, who it covers, and what the pros and cons are of sharing a policy.
Many landlords require tenants to buy renter’s insurance. The property owner likely has insurance covering the rental property, but that policy does not protect a tenant’s personal property. In the event of a fire or burglary, a renter’s insurance policy will help a renter replace personal items that were damaged or stolen, and also protects a tenant against liability claims should someone harm themselves while visiting the property.
Most of the time, individual tenants carry their own renter’s insurance policy. Renter’s insurance typically only covers you and your personal property; it does not include other people living in the house. But it is sometimes possible to share renter’s insurance with a roommate. Although state laws vary, in some states, you can add a roommate to a renter’s insurance policy. In most cases, to share a renter’s insurance policy, each person covered by the policy would need to be listed on the lease as well as listed on the insurance policy itself.
There are conditions when sharing a renter’s insurance policy makes sense. If you are sharing a Lancaster rental home with a relative or with a partner in a stable, longstanding relationship, it may be worth it to help reduce the cost.
But just because you can share renter’s insurance doesn’t fundamentally mean that you have to do so. If you share a renter’s insurance policy with a roommate, you most likely will share their insurance history as well. If your roommate files a claim, that claim will manifest on your insurance record too. That may mean increased insurance rates in the future, even though you were not the one who filed the claim.
There are a few other important things to consider before sharing a renter’s insurance policy. The cost of renter’s insurance is often based on how expensive your possessions are. If one roommate has far more valuable things than the other, then the roommate with the budget furniture will end up paying more than they should in a 50/50 split.
It’s also important to remember that roommate arrangements can change quite suddenly. If one roommate needs to move because of a new career opportunity or other reasons, the cost of the renter’s insurance policy may fall entirely on the remaining roommate. This can lead to paying far more than you should for that policy.
If you are thinking about sharing a renter’s insurance policy with a roommate, it’s important first to consider your situation first. Then, talk to both an insurance agent and your roommate. Having a straightforward discussion with everyone affected can help you make the right choice.
If you’d like to talk to an expert on the matter, contact Real Property Management Traditions and ask one of our Lancaster property managers. From owners to tenants, we can help. Contact us online or call us at 661-266-1400 today.
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