5 Things All Roommates Need to Know About Renter’s Insurance

Adding a roommate to your insurance policy is a no-brainer–and it’s free.

For around 50 cents a day, a basic renter’s insurance policy can be a financial lifesaver in case of fire or theft, as well as at least a dozen other situations that may befall you and/or your roommate…ranging from power surges that zap your appliances, to accidental flooding, entertainment mishaps and even lost luggage.

Unlike immediate family members who live together, however, a roommate isn’t automatically covered unless they’re actually listed on the policy, cautions apartment insurance broker Jeff Schneider of Gotham Brokerage.

Here’s the lowdown on renters’ insurance for roommates:

1. A roommate does not have to be on the lease to be added to the policy.

2. A maximum of two unrelated people can be on a single policy, so additional roommates will need to buy a separate policy.

3. There’s no extra charge to add a roommate, and it won’t change your premium either. You may want to increase your coverage if you have a lot of valuables, but you’ll still probably pay less than you would alone since you get to split the cost.

4. Theft by a roommate—or intentional damage—is not covered by insurance, whether they’re on the policy or not.

5. If you ever file a claim, the check will be made out to both roommates—meaning even if the money covers damage to your belongings only, not your roommate’s, your roommate will still need to co-sign it. Moral of the story: Make sure you’re on good terms with the person capable of holding your claim check hostage.

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