Can me and my roomate purchase renters insurance together?
UPDATED: Jun 6, 2013
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Asked June 6, 2013
Renters insurance is issued to individuals and their immediate families. In a situation where roommates are involved, it makes more sense to purchase separate renters insurance policies. The cost of a policy is not high, and you would be better served to have your own property protected than to share the protection for property belonging to multiple people.
One reason insurance companies will not write a joint renter's insurance policy for roommates is because of the risk of a disagreement between the roommates. For example, if your roommate became angry with you and took your stereo, then you would have no recourse under a joint policy because you would both be listed as the owners of the stereo and your roommate would be within her rights to do with it as she pleased. For insurers, unrelated roommates introduce far too many risk variables, so they will not write the policy.
Liability concerns aside, you should protect your own property. In many situations, the default limits on personal property protection will be much lower than the actual amount of property you own, and that becomes more of a problem when the property of more than one person are involved. For example, if you each have a television, that doubles the risk to the insurance company. Similarly, since your personal property includes jewelry, electronics, and everything else that belongs to you, often resulting in a need for increased coverage for just one person, let alone the cost of covering everything for two.
Another point to consider would if one of you moved out. Suddenly, having a joint policy means one person is paying for everything and the other person is out any money they contributed to the policy. There are so many ways that having a joint renter's insurance policy can get tangled that even considering one should be considered no more than an idle thought and then left at that. You cannot be responsible for your roommate, and he cannot be responsible for you. It is good idea for you both to have policies, but a very bad idea to combine those policies into one.
Answered June 6, 2013 by Anonymous