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Ross Martin

Manager, Content Quality

  • Licensed Insurance Agent — Property and Casualty

Ross joined The Zebra as a writer and researcher in 2019. As a licensed insurance agent, he specializes in writing insurance content to help shoppers…

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Renata Balasco

Content Strategist

  • Licensed Insurance Agent — Property and Casualty

Renata joined The Zebra in 2020 as a Customer Experience Agent. Since 2021, she has worked as licensed insurance professional and content strategist.…

Roommates and renters insurance: pros, cons, and considerations

Renters insurance is a cost-effective way to protect your personal belongings and your liability. But if you’re sharing an apartment or rental house with someone, it might not always make sense to share a renters insurance policy. Let’s explore the dos and don’ts of renters insurance with roommates.

  1. Can you share renters insurance with roommates?
  2. Does renters insurance cover roommates?
  3. Renters insurance with multiple roommates
  4. Who is covered by renters insurance?


Should you share renters insurance with your roommate?

It depends. If your landlord requires you to carry renters coverage, sharing a policy makes sense as a cost-saving measure. On average, a renters insurance policy costs between $7 and $12 a month. It’s considerably more affordable than car insurance, which can more than one-hundred dollars per month. The cons of sharing renters insurance are policy-specific. We've analyzed these negatives in further detail below.

Coverage limitations

The lowest available personal property coverage level on a renters policy is usually $10,000. If your apartment were to burn down, you and your roommate would split that $10,000 of coverage. After a claim, there is nothing you can do to increase your coverage. A workaround is to increase your personal property and liability coverage levels.

Your roommate's claims can impact you

This is a two-parter. If your roommate has filed claims on a previous renters insurance policy, your new rate could be impacted. In the eyes of your insurance company, you’re a riskier customer because of this previous claim. Second, if your roommate files a claim on your current policy, your rate — and your future rates — will be higher. Even if the claim had nothing to do with you, you can be financially punished for their claim. 

Giving up discounts

You can save on your auto insurance policy by bundling it with your renters policy. If your roommate has an existing car insurance policy with GEICO but you have Progressive, getting a GEICO renters policy would give your roommate the discount, not you.


Whether or not you should share a renters insurance policy with your roommate is ultimately your choice to make. Consider the likelihood of you or your roommate filing a claim, how much coverage you both need, and any potential discounts you might lose. If these things don’t bother you, share your renters policy to save some money.


Does renters insurance cover roommates by default?

If your roommate is a listed resident on your renter’s insurance policy, your coverage will extend to her or him. However, if they’re not specifically listed on your policy, they won't have coverage in the event of a covered claim. 

The easiest way to add your roommate to your policy is simply to contact your renters provider or an insurance agent. The insurance company will need your roommate's date of birth and relevant claims information, at least. Adding another resident to your policy may increase your premium — especially if they come with a history of claims. Splitting the cost may help mitigate this additional expense.


Renters insurance with multiple roommates

If you’re renting an apartment with multiple roommates, such as an off-campus college apartment or a house with a few residents, the situation is a little different. In this case, we recommend getting your own renters insurance policy. Unless your coverage limits are particularly high, splitting coverage between multiple people dilutes your personal coverage allotment. 

Who is covered by renters insurance?

While roommates — with no family relation to you — need to either have their own renters policy or be added to your own, this isn't always the case when it comes to living with family. If you're sharing a rental with your spouse, relatives, parents, children, and the family dog, your renters insurance covers them as long as they're part of your household. Requirements vary slightly from insurer to insurer, and some might explicitly want each family member named on your policy while others don't require it.


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About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
  • The Zebra’s insurance content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.