Car Insurance for Roommates

You share a roof — but should you share car insurance with your roommates?

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Can roommates share car insurance?

Living with a roommate is common. Car insurance for roommates is fairly straightforward, although rules and considerations may vary by car insurance provider. Some insurance companies require all driving-age individuals sharing an address be added to the policy as a rated driver or an excluded driver. If your roommate is not listed as a rated driver, e.g., covered by the policy, the insurance company hasn’t had a chance to evaluate them as a risk — or rate them for that risk.

 

Auto insurance for roommates
  1. Car insurance for roommates: an overview
  2. Can I add my roommate to my car insurance?
  3. When not to add a roommate to auto insurance
  4. Sharing renters insurance with roommates
  5. Takeaways

 

Do I need to add my roommate to my car insurance?

If your roommate won’t be using your vehicle, you don't need to add them to your car insurance policy. Some insurance companies might take issue with a household member, i.e., someone living at your listed address, not being listed on your policy. Car insurance companies want any driving-aged individual living in a given household to be either clearly covered or not. If your roommate won't drive your vehicle, your insurance company may require you to explicitly list them as an excluded driver.

While adding an excluded driver to your policy should not impact your premium, it does mean your roommate won't be covered if they are involved in an accident while driving your vehicle. If your roommate is listed as an excluded driver on your car insurance policy, do not let them use your car.

 

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How can I add my roommate to my car insurance?

Most policies will allow you to add any driver who lives in the same location as you to your policy. Below are key reasons to add your roommate your car insurance policy.

 

Discounts for roommate car insurance

When you add your roommate and their vehicle to your policy, you may become eligible for multi-car and multi-driver discounts. While the policy premium may increase, it will be proportionally cheaper than everyone covering their vehicle on separate policies.

 

Additional flexibility

If you add your roommate to your policy, you can share your vehicles. If your car breaks down and you need to borrow your roommate's vehicle for a week, you will be covered in the event of an accident. If you are listed as an excluded driver, you wouldn’t have coverage and couldn't drive their car.

 

When to keep roommates' car insurance policies separate

Alternatively, it could make sense to keep your car insurance policy separate from your roommate's.

 

If you don't share cars

If your roommate isn't going to use your vehicle, there's no reason to add them to your auto insurance policy. Adding another driver — even your roommate — will increase your premium. 

 

If your roommate has a bad driving record

If your roommate has a bad driving record, i.e., lots of at-fault accidents or citations, your bill will be higher if they're on your policy. Keeping your policy separate would avoid your being penalized for their driving mistakes.

 

If your roommate has poor credit

Most insurance companies — in most states — use credit score as a factor to set premiums. A low credit score can negatively impact car insurance premiums.

credittier (1).png

All other metrics constant, a driver with "excellent" credit (800-850) pays $744 less than a driver in the "very poor" credit tier (300-579).

 

If your roommate drives an expensive car

If you drive a Toyota Corolla but your roommate drives a Lamborghini, you should expect a significant difference in your premiums. Your insurance company has to account for the financial risk of insuring such a high-value car by charging an expensive premium. If you’re worried about footing the bill for their fancy car, consider sticking to your own policy.

 

Renters insurance and roommates

There are a few reasons not to share renters, homeowners, or condo insurance with a roommate, but it’s generally a good idea. Not only can you earn a discount on your car insurance policy (if you bundle policies within the same company), you can lower your overall bill by splitting it with your roommate. See below typical discounts from bundling your policies.

Bundle Status
6-month premium
Renters
$735
Condo
$718
Homeowners
$718
Renters w/ multi-policy
$697
Condo w/ multi-policy
$658
Homeowner w/ multi-policy
$649

 

Why not to share renters insurance with your roommate

If you’re worried about your own liability, sharing a renter’s insurance policy might not be a good idea. Any claim your roommate makes on your shared policy will impact your premium.

Furthermore, you'll share limits on your coverage. If your and your roommate’s belongings are destroyed, you might exhaust the personal property policy limits on your coverage prior to having all your belongings replaced.

Read more about renters insurance with roommates.

If you're like more information on condo, home, and renters insurance, see our guides below:

 

Takeaways

The primary consideration for car insurance when you have a roommate is the common requirement to either add your roommate or exclude them from your policy.

If you’re worried about your roommate's driving profile increasing your premium, explicitly exclude them from your policy. If, however, you and your roommate want the ability to share vehicles or be eligible for a discount, you should add them to your policy. At the end of the day, the best way to save on auto insurance is to shop around for car insurance — with or without your roommate — every six months.

 

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Recent Questions:

Car Insurance for Roommates

Should my roommate and I get separate renters insurance policies?

Renters insurance is generally inexpensive, but splitting the bill may save a few dollars. Consider, however, that you will also be splitting the amount of coverage on the policy, so your personal items will both be covered at half the listed amount.

Ava Lynch LinkedIn

Based in Austin, TX, Ava has been in the insurance industry as a licensed agent for 4-plus years. Ava is currently one of The Zebra’s resident property insurance experts and has been featured in publications such as US News Report, GasBuddy, and Yahoo! Finance.