My stuff is their stuff, and their stuff is my stuff: sharing renters insurance
January 5, 2010 3:31 PM   Subscribe

What insurance companies are ok with me putting my roommates on my renters insurance?

I've been shopping around for renters insurance, but it seems that a lot of insurance companies won't let me put my roommates on my policy.

If you were able to get insurance in your and your roomates' names, what company did you get it from and are you happy with it? I've had some representatives tell me that their companies "frown on" people sharing policies.

None of us owns a car, so we can't really piggy back renters insurance off of car insurance.
posted by wet-raspberry to Work & Money (12 answers total)
I have my renter's insurance through Traveler's (piggy-backed off of my geico car insurance policy) and both me and my then-boyfriend were on the same policy. I don't recall there being any problem or question as to our romantic status, but perhaps there would be questions with more than 2 people?
posted by muddgirl at 3:39 PM on January 5, 2010

Yes, my girlfriend and I are both on my renter's policy (both of our cars are also titled and insured in my name -- since we're not married, this is the only way to get the multi-car discount).
posted by kindall at 3:55 PM on January 5, 2010

My car and renter's insurance are through State Farm. When I called to purchase the renter's insurance I was able to add my live-in boyfriend, no questions asked. They needed his social security number and that was pretty much it. I don't know if this was easier for me because I already had car insurance, but it didn't sound like it was something they "frowned upon" at all.
posted by a.steele at 4:01 PM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

If you find a company, be sure to tell them that you're putting non-family roommates on your policy and get them to agree. In fact, I'd get it in writing that they understand you're just roommates. I was told by my insurance company that they routinely investigate claims before paying out to make sure that the damage claimed is to possessions of the policy-holder or a relative, and that they'd deny claims for my roommate's stuff. Definitely do not try to sneak them on, because you'll end up with no real coverage at all.
posted by decathecting at 4:03 PM on January 5, 2010

My fiancé/cohabitant has Travelers through Geico and they put me on his renter's insurance even though we are not married yet, and thus are considered roommates.
posted by matildaben at 4:12 PM on January 5, 2010

Why would you want to share renter's insurance? It's mostly about protecting your stuff, and a little liability coverage. Unless you have shared property, it seems like you're asking for apportionment issues if you ever do need the coverage.

The parts that you would want to pool costs on, the liability, make up a tiny portion of the overall cost of the policy, like $5 out of a $100/year policy (in my experience). Are you going to pay a lawyer $500 to write up a contract between the roommates, on how to divide the proceeds of the policy in the event of a catastrophic loss where every individual's loss exceeds their share of the coverage pool? Sure, everyone is all happy friendly share and share alike now; how will those same people react when there's a pool of $30,000 (and you're sitting on the street in your undies), and no clear rules on who gets how much of it? How will the liability coverage work if your losses were caused by one of the roommates, such that you think they don't deserve their share of the policy proceeds, and want to sue them?

Experiences with a car seem less likely to be applicable, given that for a car, whom to pay what is clear; it's the person with the title (or lien on said title), or the person you've injured in an accident.
posted by nomisxid at 4:13 PM on January 5, 2010

Renter's insurance is cheap, like I've never paid more than $50- a year for a standard HO-4 policy with at least $15k of replacement value coverage. Y'alls should get your own policies.
posted by Geckwoistmeinauto at 4:57 PM on January 5, 2010 [2 favorites]

Safeco let me get a policy for myself and my then-girlfriend. Don't know about larger groups of people, though.
posted by equalpants at 5:08 PM on January 5, 2010

Seconding State Farm. When my boyfriend and I moved in together over the summer, they let him add me to the policy, no problem at all. Like a.steele's experience, all they needed was my social security number.
posted by SisterHavana at 7:54 PM on January 5, 2010

My roommate and I had Traveler's for 11 years in two states and six apartments. Upon initially signing up, they did give me a cursory 30-second "are you sure you want/need a joint policy" talk, I gave them a 30-second assurance them that this was not a policy that would be canceled on a whim because she left dishes in the sink that one time, and thereafter nothing more was ever said or questioned.
posted by desuetude at 9:43 PM on January 5, 2010

I have renter's insurance through Liberty Mutual. I live with my fiance so it's a little different since all of our possessions are shared, but when I set it up the agent said the policy would cover everything in the house. My fiance's name isn't actually on the policy though and I never asked if it could be. I generally got the impression that they didn't care who the stuff actually belonged to but that may have been different if I lived with more people or wanted to put more names on the policy.
posted by horses, of courses at 8:09 AM on January 6, 2010

State Farm had no problem putting me on my roommate's policy. She was actually surprised that it was that easy. She also has her car insurance with them though.
posted by natabat at 8:31 AM on January 6, 2010

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