If you rent your home, having renters insurance is a no-brainer: It protects against loss and damage to your belongings and usually costs less per month than a fast-food order. But what about when you add a roommate to the mix? How does that affect your policy and coverage?

Here are answers to some of the most common insurance questions in a roommate situation.

 

Can I share a policy with a roommate?

California Casualty does not allow roommates to purchase a policy together.  However, we offer a low or no cost endorsement, “Other Members of Household” that the insured can add to cover the roommate. This endorsement extends coverage for unrelated household members who live and maintain contents at the insured location, like a review. The maximum number of unrelated roommates that can be added to a policy is two.

 

How do I add a roommate to my policy?

California Casualty does not require both roommate’s names to appear on the lease.  We only need the roommate’s name and the estimated value of property and increase the coverage amount if it is not adequate enough to cover the roommate’s personal belongings. You’ll want to go through the policy in detail with your insurance agent and roommate to make sure all the coverage, liability, and policy details are clear, understood, and agreeable to all parties.

 

What will the policy cover? 

All policies have coverage limits. Typically, in a shared policy situation, the coverage limit doesn’t increase with the addition of a roommate but gets split between you. You’ll need to decide if the coverage limit is adequate given the value of your and your roommate’s possessions combined. Policies typically also cover personal liability, which helps cover the costs due to accidental property damage and accidental bodily injury.

 

What if my roommate moves out? 

You’ll need to update your policy as soon as there are any changes to your roommate situation. If your roommate moves out, you’ll need to make yourself the sole policyholder asap. If you decide to bring in another roommate (and you both want to share a policy), you’d need to go through the policy update process again.

Further considerations

If you’re considering sharing a policy but are just not sure, think about the following.

    • Take stock of what you own. If your possessions are worth much more than your roommate’s, it may not be worth sharing a policy.
    • Check for potential cost savings. Working with your insurance agent, price out a shared policy versus a single policy. In some cases, a solo policy ends up being more affordable while offering more coverage.
    • Choose your roomie well! The secret to a good shared policy situation is a strong underlying relationship where you and your roommate are on good terms, can have honest conversations, and trust each other.

Deciding whether or not to share a policy is a very personal and individual choice – only you can know if it’s the best choice for you. But in the end, whether you decide for solo or shared, the most important decision is that you get protection as a renter. Check out the top 5 reasons to get renters insurance here.

 

This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

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