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How To Get The Most Out Of a New Roommate Situation

Nov 21, 2016

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Sharing a dorm, apartment or house? So are best friends Remy and Victoria. Soon, they will be sharing chores and utility bills, but should roommates also share a renters insurance policy?

To help you decide, we’ve made a list of the pros and cons for sharing renters insurance with a roommate:

PROS:

Splitting the bill and deductible of a future claim could save you money.

You may be able to apply for an available discount.

It will cover a landlord’s requirement (if applicable) with one policy.

If you and your roommate travel together, it ensures both of your belongings are covered.

CONS:

Your roommate’s insurance claims go on your record, too. As a result, you might look like a “risky” customer for something you had nothing to do with.

What if one roommate has far more expensive personal belongings than the other? This can drive up the cost of the policy for both roommates, making a 50-50 split on the cost seem unfair.

Roommates can move in and out of your life as career or other opportunities arise. If your roommate leaves before the policy ends, you might get saddled with the entire monthly premium for the duration of the policy period.

It can be tough to settle claims between people who are unrelated yet share a legal responsibility.

Cashing a claim check will require both of your signatures, even if the proceeds are only supposed to go to one of you.

You can both be sued if a liability claim arises. For example, if your roommate is sued because her dog bit a guest, your insurance could be negatively impacted as a result of the litigation.

Taking these pros and cons into consideration, it appears the least complicated and most beneficial way to insure your rental unit is for each roommate to have their own policy. This route puts you in the driver’s seat and allows you to establish your own insurance record.

Regardless of whether you get a renters insurance policy together or each get your own, the important thing is to make sure you’re both adequately covered.

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