Living with roommates comes with upsides and downsides, and it’s important for you to take certain steps to protect yourself and your possessions.
One of those steps you should consider is getting renters insurance. Unfortunately, many people don’t understand what renters insurance is, much less whether they should split it with their roommates.
Keep reading to discover whether renters insurance is right for you!
What Is Renters Insurance?
As the name implies, renters insurance is designed primarily for those who rent their homes. A typical policy is split into three types of coverage: personal property, liability, and additional living expenses.
Personal property coverage helps repair or replace property up to your coverage limits. Liability coverage protects you if you are responsible for damaging a guest’s body or property within your home. Additional living expenses coverage helps pay for a hotel if the place you are renting becomes uninhabitable.
Ultimately, renters insurance can save you from unexpected situations such as theft, fire, and even lightning!
Renters Insurance and Personal Liability
Of the three types of renters insurance coverage, personal property and additional living expenses are easy to understand. However, most renters don’t understand what personal liability coverage is and why it is so important.
Basically, if a guest is injured on your property, you may be legally liable for this. For example, if they hurt themselves due to your negligence in not fixing something within your home, it may be your fault.
Depending on the nature of the injury, you might be on the hook for some serious medical bills. But the liability coverage of renters insurance will help protect you from these costs. It can even protect against unexpected scenarios such as your child throwing a toy or a ball into a neighbor’s window and causing them an injury!
Understanding Coverage Limits
You may not understand renters insurance just yet, but one thing you should know is that it has coverage limits, just like your car insurance.
The coverage limit defines the maximum amount that the insurance company will pay out if there is a qualifying event. Should any costs remain beyond that coverage limit, you’ll need to pay out of pocket.
The coverage limit, among other things, gets a little more confusing if you try to add roommates to your insurance policy.
Can You Share Renters Insurance With Roommates?
If you’re interested in renters insurance and you have roommates to split the rising cost of renting, then you probably have a simple question: is it possible to share renters insurance with your roommates?
The short answer is that yes, you can add roommates to your renters insurance policy. The longer answer is this: yes, you can add them, but we don’t recommend it!
The truth is that adding roommates makes everything a bit more complex. For example, instead of automatically increasing your insurance coverage, adding a roommate means you are now sharing it. So if you already had a policy and then add a single roommate, you now have half the coverage you had before.
Sharing Renters Insurance: Pros and Cons
There are a few situations where you may want to add roommates to your coverage. To figure out whether you should or not, consider the pros and cons.
- Splitting the policy lowers the price, so you may consider getting it even more.
- It can help roommates bond as you discuss the value of your possessions, the right coverage limits, correct billing dates, and so on.
- Unless you increase the coverage before adding a roommate, you are cutting the coverage limit in half
- Any claims your roommate makes on your shared policy will stay on your own insurance and may eventually drive some of your costs up
The Art of Splitting Utilities With Roommates
Whether or not you share renters insurance with your roommate(s), there is one thing you must still struggle with: how to split utilities properly. It sounds simple enough, but this basic topic has driven a wedge between many roommates and ended many friendships.
One of the easiest things you can do is split the bills, so each roommate pays their equal share. But when you do this, it’s easier to assign entire bills to individuals instead of figuring out how multiple people will split a single one.
To keep everyone organized, we recommend creating an online spreadsheet such as a shared online document. This helps everyone remember what they need to pay and, just as importantly, when they need to pay it!
If one roommate ever needs to help cover a bill for another roommate, you can keep track of it with the spreadsheet. Likewise, you can use apps like Venmo to send money back and forth, all while making notes about what, exactly, you are paying for. Such a digital “paper trail” helps keep everyone in your home accountable.
Get the Best Renters Insurance Today
Now you know a bit more about whether you should split renters insurance with your roommates or not. But do you know where to find the best renters insurance coverage? To get an easy quote from Baja Insurance, you can request a quote online, come into one of our local offices, or give us a call at 800-401-6870.