5 things all roommates need to know about renter’s insurance

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Good news for those New Yorkers living with roommates: There's a pretty good chance you can share an insurance policy.

What insurance policy, you ask? For around 50 cents a day, a basic renter’s insurance policy can be a financial lifesaver in case of fire or theft, as well as at least a dozen other situations that may befall you and/or your roommate…ranging from power surges that zap your appliances, to accidental overflows, entertainment mishaps and even lost luggage.

Now, keep in mind that unlike immediate family members who live together, a roommate isn’t automatically covered unless they’re actually listed on the policy, cautions apartment insurance broker Jeff Schneider of Gotham Brokerage.

Here’s the lowdown on renters' insurance for roommates:

1.  A roommate does not have to be on the lease to be added to the policy.

2.  A maximum of two unrelated people can be on a single policy, so additional roommates will need to buy a separate policy.

3.  There’s no extra charge to add a roommate, and it won’t change your premium either. You may want to increase your coverage if you have a lot of valuables, but you’ll still probably pay less than you would alone since you get to split the cost.

4.   Theft by a roommate—or intentional damage—is not covered by insurance, whether they’re on the policy or not.

5.     If you ever file a claim, the check will be made out to both roommates—meaning even if the money covers damage to your belongings only, not your roommate’s, your roommate will still need to co-sign it.   Moral of the story: Make sure you’re on good terms with the person capable of holding your claim check hostage.

Gotham Brokerage Co., Inc., an insurance brokerage, has been serving NYC renters, co-op and condo owners for over 45 years. For a free quote, click on over to Gotham Brokerage or give them a call at 212-406-7300. 

More from Gotham:

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The top 3 apartment insurance claims in NYC

5 reasons to get apartment insurance if you have outdoor space

How to file a claim on your apartment insurance--the right way

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