Renters insurance protects you financially in the event of unforeseen circumstances, such as theft or a fire, that damage your property. While you may be tempted to split the cost of a policy with your roommate, this isn’t always the best decision. As you begin to work out your rental agreement with your roommate, you need to decide if it’s better to share a policy or get individual renters insurance. San Diego residents should follow these steps to figure out which option works best for their situations.
Determine the Value of Your Property
There can sometimes be a major difference between the value of what you own and what your roommate brings to the property. For instance, you may have a large amount of electronic equipment, while your roommate just brings mostly clothes. When this happens, one person could end up driving up the rates, and splitting the cost down the middle would be unfair to the person whose belongings are less valuable. Take an honest look at what you own compared to your roommate’s possessions to figure out if you could end up paying more than you should for renters insurance.
Consider the Risk Involved if Your Roommate Files a Claim
Renters insurance works similarly to auto policies in that you build up a personal history over time. Having a history of not needing to file too many claims demonstrates responsibility, and it can help you lock in low rates when it’s time to renew your policy. If you share a policy with your roommate, you may be forced to file a claim for things that aren’t your fault. For example, your roommate may need to file a claim for theft of his or her laptop. When this happens, you could end up with incidents on your record simply because your name is also on the policy.
Talk About What Happens if Someone Moves Out
In most cases, you’ll purchase a renters insurance policy for a specific period, such as six months to a year. In some cases, you can cancel or change your policy, but doing so might incur penalties, such as losing a discount. Make sure to consider what could happen if your roommate moves out. You could be on the hook for paying the full price of the policy. Alternatively, the rates could change due to your roommate holding a discount or having items with a certain amount of value on the premises. Sticking with an individual plan means you’ll know exactly what to expect regarding your budget for insurance over the term of your policy.
Get a Quote on a Policy
For most people, renters insurance is fairly inexpensive. Get a quote that shows you what your insurance will cost as individual plans versus a shared policy. You may be surprised to find there isn’t much of a difference in price, and maintaining individual policies works best for minimizing potential issues that could arise with a shared one.
If you’re renting a space with a roommate, don’t assume a shared renters insurance policy is the best option. Make sure to consider the factors listed above before you make a final decision. For affordable, reliable renters insurance as well as other types of coverage such as motorcycle and car insurance, San Diego residents trust the experienced agents at Altra Insurance Services. Call us today at 619-474-6666 to get a free quote for any of your insurance needs.