Can You Share Renters Insurance With a Roommate? Pros and Cons

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Many insurance companies allow policyholders to share their renters policies with a spouse or child. Unrelated roommates and even adult siblings, on the other hand, will usually need to buy their own policies but some insurers will make an exception. Even so, there are some drawbacks of sharing a renters policy with your roommate and you should carefully consider them before doing so.

Key Takeaways

  • Roommates are typically not covered under your renters insurance policy, as they are meant for individuals or families.
  • Insurers will usually allow policyholders to add a spouse or child to their renters policy.
  • Some renters insurance policies may allow you to add your roommate as a covered party, but it depends on the insurance company and your state's laws.
  • Each non-related person living in a rental space will typically need their own renters policy.

Why Isn’t My Roommate Covered by Renters Insurance?

Roommates typically are not covered by your renters policy because insurers usually underwrite policies for individuals, spouses and parents. Think of it this way: there is a possibility your roommate could leave. When this happens, your policy would need to be adjusted and then again for each time one roommate leaves and another fills the void.

Can I Add My Roommate to My Current Renters Insurance Policy?

Some renters policies allow you to add your roommate as an additional insured but this will depend on the provider.

It’s generally only recommended you add your roommate to your policy if they’re your spouse or child or you’re their legal guardian. Otherwise, your roommate should buy their own policy.

Before making any changes to your renters insurance policy, speak with your insurance agent or provider directly to ensure that you have a clear understanding of your policy's terms and conditions. You will want to be aware of any potential impact that adding a roommate may have on your coverage and premium.

Can I Save Money on Renters Insurance if My Roommate Is on the Same Policy?

It's possible you could save a few dollars by having a shared renters insurance policy. However, renters insurance is relatively cheap, averaging only $14 per month.[1] Splitting the cost down the middle with one other roommate, you’re looking at around $84 per year. Obviously, actual rates will vary based on multiple factors such as your provider, claims history and location.

Are There Downsides to Sharing Renters Insurance With My Roommate?

The main downside of adding your roommate to your renters policy is it can affect your claims history. When your roommate files an insurance claim for their losses — even with none suffered by you — that claim would still go on your record.

That means if you move out and buy a new renters policy, the claims filed by your roommate could result in higher premiums for you.

Consider this example: Your roommate throws a party while you’re out of town and one of their guests gets injured. They file a liability claim to get reimbursement for their guest’s medical bills. One year later, you move out because you got a new job in a different city. Unfortunately, your new provider sees your roommate’s liability claim in your history and charges you a higher rate as a result.

Other potential drawbacks you should consider before adding your roommate to your renters policy include:

  • Splitting the premium: You and your roommate are responsible for paying the premium and ensuring that the policy remains active. If your roommate is short on cash, it will be up to you to pay their share or you risk losing coverage. Not only will a lapse in coverage mean you have no financial safety net when something goes wrong, you will also likely face higher rates when you buy a new policy in the future.
  • Coverage limits: You may need to increase your liability coverage limits if your roommate has guests over often and hosts parties at the community pool. As a result, your premium will increase.
  • Roommate changes: Adding or removing a roommate from a policy can be a hassle and could result in changes to your premium.

Does Each Roommate Need Renters Insurance?

Each roommate will usually need their own renters insurance policy unless they’re living with their spouse or child. It is even recommended for adult siblings to buy their own renters policy to ensure their respective belongings are covered. In most cases, unrelated roommates will separate policies, as well.

What Type of Coverage Do My Roommates and I Need?

A standard policy that meets most landlord’s renters insurance requirements will include coverage for personal property, liability and additional living expenses.




Personal Property

Covers your personal belongings like electronics, furniture and clothes

A thief breaks into your unit and steals a valuable painting.


Provides protection if you’re held legally responsible for another person’s injury or property damage

A guest slips on the rug of your rental and fractures their tailbone

Additional Living Expenses

Pays for temporary living expenses, like hotel costs or meals, if your home is temporarily unlivable

The thieves that stole your painting also demolished the inside of your unit plus broke your front door and windows

Note that coverage for floods and earthquakes is not included in a standard renters policy and you will need to buy separate coverage.

Keep in mind that damages to the physical structure of your rented property are not covered, either. Rather, your landlord's insurance would be responsible for repairs to your walls, roof, etc.

How Do I Find Cheap Renters Insurance for My Roommates and Me?

To help you find renters insurance at the cheapest price, follow these step-by-step instructions.

  1. Assess how much coverage you need before shopping around. You can get an idea of how much coverage you need based on the value of your personal property. Be sure to calculate how much your furniture, electronics, clothing, jewelry and other valuables are worth.
  2. Contact several insurance providers to obtain quotes and compare pricing. Keep in mind that, while price is important, selecting a reputable insurance company with excellent customer service and a strong financial rating is also critical.
  3. Inquire about available discounts, such as those for installing a security camera in your unit or bundling your renters and auto policies. Also, ask if there are savings available for certain professions or professional organizations such as being a nurse, teacher or military member.
  4. Buy coverage and regularly shop around. Before your current policy expires, you should start comparing quotes from multiple insurers again. Rates change regularly, so you should reassess coverage and look at pricing from other providers to make sure you’re getting the best deal at that time.
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Is renters insurance required for all tenants?

Renters insurance is not required by state law but landlords can require tenants to buy renters insurance as a condition of their lease.

Do I need renters insurance if I’m living in a college dorm?

Chances are college students are going to be covered by their parent's homeowners insurance policy if they're living in a dorm but they should double-check with their provider. If they’re renting a room off school property, they will likely need their own renters policy.

Can two roommates be on the same renters insurance policy?

It's possible for two roommates can be on the same renters policy, especially if they are spouses but it isn't a guarantee. Unrelated roommates will usually need to buy their own policy.

Does renters insurance cover theft by a roommate?

Renters insurance policies may cover theft by a roommate but not always. Generally, if your roommate is a relative or your significant other and committed the theft, you will not be covered.

Can I bundle renters insurance with my car insurance policy?

Many insurance companies offer bundling options for renters and auto insurance policies. Bundling can also simplify the insurance process by having both policies with the same insurance carrier.


  1. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. “Dwelling Fire, Homeowners Owner-Occupied and Homeowners Tenant and Condominium/Cooperative Unit Owner’s Insurance Report: Data for 2020,” Pages 134-184. Accessed March 15, 2023.

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