Renters Insurance and Roommates
Renters insurance is a type of home insurance, but where home insurance is for the dwelling as well as the occupants, renters insurance only covers the people named in the policy, and only covers the structures for damages caused by those people. In most cases, roommates are not covered by the renters insurance of another tenant, but there are areas where a roommate can file a claim against their roommate's policy.
Renters Liability Insurance
Renters need liability coverage to protect them against claims arising from damages or injuries caused by the tenant or their property. Liability coverage includes paying for the damages and injuries, but it also protects you against possible lawsuits resulting from those injuries or damages. Liability coverage only applies to you and your immediate family.
Renters Personal Property Insurance
The personal property coverage of a renter's insurance policy includes all of your personal property up to the value listed in the policy. This limit is an important item, because typical personal property limits are relatively low compared to the thousands of dollars in property owned by the average person. Personal property insurance is not shared between roommates, and must be purchased separately for each person.
Roommates and Liability Claims
If your roommate is injured or suffers property losses that are directly related to you, they have the option of filing a claim against your renter's insurance policy. For example, if your roommate is gets cut on a sharp edge of your dining table, the necessary medical attention could be billed to your renter's insurance policy because the table belonged to you, making you liable for injuries it may cause.
Insurance Options for Roommates
The best way for all roommates to be covered by renters insurance is for each party to have a renter's insurance policy of their own. Renters insurance typically costs only a few dollars a month, which should fit into most budgets. If, for some reason, renters insurance is not an option, roommates should at least look into picking up a personal property policy for their possessions. Personal property protection would not help you if a liability claim is filed against you, but it will at least pay for the replacement of your property if it becomes lost, broken, or stolen.