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

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Perhaps you and your roommate haven't quite figured out the easiest way to share your food (or your bills). The good news is you can rather easily 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.

Unlike immediate family members who live together, roommates aren't automatically covered unless they’re actually listed on the policy, warns apartment insurance broker Jeff Schneider of Gotham Brokerage, so make sure you make it known that you're living with another person.

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.  You are sharing the coverage with your roommate. All claim checks will be payable to both of you, and either person can change or cancel the policy. So sharing coverage is something to do with someone you know and trust.


Gotham Brokerage Co., Inc., an insurance brokerage, has been serving NYC renters and 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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8 questions you MUST ask before buying renter's insurance

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