Before we address the roommate, it's important you know why you should have insurance when you're renting. We have heard all too often from clients that they don't think they need renters insurance because their landlord has insurance. To that, we challenge them to consider that their landlord probably has no insurable interest in the things they don't own. Sure, your landlord will probably (hopefully) have insurance to cover their building but your personal property isn't their responsibility.
Renters Insurance covers:
Replacement value for damaged/stolen items in the event of
- water damage
Though often forgotten, liability insurance is very important. If an incident occurs that you can be held liable for, you will definitely want coverage for damage incurred and protection against lawsuits. For example, if you have a leak from your bathroom tub that causes damage to a condo neighbor's ceiling below you, you could easily be held responsible for the damage. Or worse, what if an apartment resident fell asleep while smoking a cigarette, resulting in 3 floors of fire damage to the complex? You can bet the residents on the other 2 floors would be looking into having their property value replaced. The liability in your renters policy can take care of that.
Now for the question we set out to answer: Does my roommate need renters insurance, too?
We now know that renters insurance is necessary, but is it necessary for everyone in one house/apartment to have it?
The answer is yes. All roommates need to be listed on a policy for your rental unit. There are a couple of ways you can go about this. Some companies will permit one policy to cover all roommates. The risk with this is that you might not have optimal coverage for your own belongings, or your liability. If your roommate has less property than you, you would have to make sure that your coverage includes enough protection for both of you, and you would have to figure out how to split the cost of the renters in such a way that is fair for both of you.
This is why we recommend separate policies for every roommate in the unit. It's less confusing because you only have to worry about protecting your own property. It is also an easier way to guarantee that every roommate has proper liability coverage. There is less hassle in not having to split payments or make changes every time a roommate moved out or a new roommate moved in.
If you have any questions about renters insurance, any other type of coverage, or need to file a claim, we're available to you 24/7 at 636.391.0700. You can also reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit clhins.com from your phone or tablet for more information.