So you’ve got a new apartment–congratulations! Like many first-time (and non-rookie!) renters, you’ve decided to save some money and signed a lease with a roommate. It turns out the landlord for the building you’ve chosen to live in requires renters insurance. Can you share renters insurance with roommates? Should you? After all, you already signed the same lease, right? As it turns out, sharing renters insurance with roommates can cause more of a hassle than it’s worth and even if your provider allows it, it is often not recommended!
First of all, it’s important to understand exactly what renters insurance is. We’ve got a whole page on Texas Renters Insurance information for you to explore but here is a quick summary: A renters insurance policy provides coverage for you and your belongings should a catastrophic event occur while you are renting; in addition to coverage of physical items, it provides you with personal liability protection which is critical if someone were to get injured on your property. Even though you can adjust the coverage amount, it’s not generally wise to share a policy with your roommate. Let’s take a closer look at why.
#1 If They Get Sued, You Could Be On The Hook
That’s right, if your roommate messes up and causes your policy to kick in, that’s going to affect you as well. Say your roommate’s dog bites someone, a shared policy would mean that you could legally be named in a lawsuit. Not only would that be a huge hassle and leave you liable financially, but it could also lead to higher premiums for you in the future.
#2 Unequal Coverage Needs
While you and your roommate do have the same apartment, odds are you don’t share all of the same stuff! If your roommate ends up having a lot of high-value belongings, you could find yourself paying into a way larger policy than you actually need. That’s not fair for you and basically just means that you’re throwing a bit of money away every month.
#3 It’s More Complicated Than Sharing Utilities
Sharing a renters agreement as not as simple as just splitting the bill every month, as you do for the cable bill. If your roommate is late on a payment that’s going to raise your premiums, and hurt your credit. Not only that but if one of you does have to file a claim for some reason, things can get complicated quickly. The check will always be made out to both of you, requiring both of you to sign it but only one person can cash it. That’s always a pain. Not only that but if your roommate decides to steal your stuff, that won’t be covered!
#4 Breaking Up Can Be Hard to Do
If your roommate moves out, you’ll have to remove them from the policy. This can be a hassle because you’ll have to negotiate new rates and coverage with your insurance company- you also risk being stuck in your current terms until this is done and you might end up having to cover their part if you are no longer in contact.
The bottom line is this: yes, you need renter’s insurance; no, sharing renters insurance with roommates is not a good plan. Not only is a renter’s insurance policy cheaper than most people expect, but peace of mind that comes from having your own policy is well worth the couple dollars you could save if you split a policy.
As with all insurance decisions, you should never sign anything until you’ve consulted with an insurance professional. The staff at TGS Insurance are experts in renter’s insurance and are always happy to speak with you about your needs. When you work with TGS you’ll find the right policy, at the right price.