Whether you’re helping out a friend or you need help paying the bills, you’ve decided to get a roommate. As the homeowner, you need to ask yourself how this affects your homeowners insurance.
Here’s what you need to know.
Contact Your Insurance Agent
Contact your insurance agent and let them know you’ll have a roommate. For most homeowners insurance policies, having a roommate likely won’t impact your coverage at all — as long as you still live in your home. This conversation will let you know what, exactly, is covered and how many roommates you can have under your current policy — and when you might need additional coverage.
Some homeowners policies allow up to two roommates before increasing your premiums or requiring additional coverage. You may also qualify for loss of rental income if you have to file a claim while you have roommates and they can’t live in your home during the repairs. But you won’t know any of this if you don’t ask about it.
It’s a good idea to draw up a lease agreement for any roommate simply to protect yourself in case you need to evict later. But having a lease agreement may also help you qualify for loss of rental income if you ever need to file a claim.
Your Roommate Needs Renters Insurance
Because you still live in your home, your homeowners insurance will cover your liability, your belongings, and your home. What it will not cover is your roommates stuff. They need to have a renters insurance policy in case there’s a storm, fire, or other disaster. They’ll be able to get their belongings replaced under their own policy and not tell you they can’t pay the rent because they have to buy a new computer.
Even if your roommate is a partner or love interest, they should get their own renters insurance policy. The only exception to this is if you’re engaged to be married and moved in together just before the wedding. Your homeowners insurance may add your fiancé to your policy as an additional homeowner in this situation. But this is typically reserved for couples who are almost to their wedding day. If you’re simply cohabitating, your partner needs their own renters insurance policy.
The good news for your roommate is that renters insurance is very inexpensive since it only covers personal possessions. They may be able to get coverage for around $20 a month.
If you’re considering a roommate or you already have one, contact Charlotte Insurance to find out exactly what your homeowners policy covers. Let your roommate know they can contact us for a renters insurance policy, too!