Say you’ve found a roommate you’d like to move out with and a possible apartment, but the landlord requires you to have renters insurance. While renters insurance is relatively cheap, your roommate doesn’t want to buy two policies and asks if they can be listed on yours.
In general, a roommate can be covered under your renters insurance policy as long as they are specifically listed on the policy. If you have an insurance policy and don’t list them, your roommate—along with their belongings—won’t be covered. Also keep in mind that there is limited coverage with renters insurance. If you or your roommate have certain valuables (art, jewelry, electronics, etc.) you may need to purchase additional coverage.
Can I Get Renters Insurance Without a Lease?
Perhaps your friend isn’t on the lease but lives with you. They can still purchase renters insurance even if they aren’t on the lease. They can also be covered on your renters insurance policy if they’re not on the lease as long as they’re on your policy.
Deciding whether or not to purchase separate policies depends on the circumstance. While it may be cheaper to split the cost of the insurance, the premiums will generally be higher with two people on the policy rather than one. There are also limits per insurance agency about how many insureds you can add to your policy.
What Does Renters Insurance Cover?
For both you and your roommate, renters insurance can cover:
- Liability: Liability insurance steps in if you cause bodily injury or property damage to someone else. It can help pay for medical expenses as well as possible legal fees. This coverage can also extend to damage or injury caused by pets.
- Personal Property: Renters insurance provides compensation for your personal property if lost or damaged due to fire, smoke, lightning, theft and more. This insurance typically doesn’t cover flood or earthquake damage.
- Additional Living Expenses: If the building is too damaged, renters insurance will provide additional living expenses for you and your roommate to live somewhere else while repairs are being made to the rented property.
It’s also important to know that you can’t transfer a policy. For example, if you’re the policy holder and you move from the apartment, you can’t transfer your renters insurance policy to the remaining roommate. If you leave, they will have to purchase a policy.