I’m renting an apartment with 3 other guys. Do we each need our own renters insurance or can we buy one together?
UPDATED: Apr 28, 2015
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Asked April 28, 2015
Renters insurance is written to cover a single person or family unit in a rental property, but it is not designed to allow roommates to share the coverage. The difference is that a family unit can be considered one unit, while separate roomies may decide to break up and go their separate ways, creating a nightmare for insurance companies.
Suppose that one renter’s policy covered all 3 of you and something inside the home goes missing. For the insurance company, the most likely suspects are the other roommates, but since everyone has an equal share of the policy, then even the culprit would stand to profit from having the policy.
Another reason why renters insurance is not useful for roommates is because someone has to be the bill payer. With three of you on the policy, the insurance company would only be concerned with having the premiums paid, while one of the roommates may decide they cannot afford to pay their share. In that situation, either the other roommates have to pay the share of the non-participant, or the whole policy could be forfeit. But if a claim has to be filed afterward, all 3 people would be equally covered, which would not be fair to those who paid the majority share.
A better pan of action is for each roommate to have their own renters insurance. If you purchase the policies through the same company or agent, you may be able to get a net discount based on having three insured persons in the home, but at the very least no one will have to worry whether their possessions are in danger because of the actions or inactions of the other parties.
Answered April 28, 2015 by Anonymous