Roommates are excluded from all coverage under renters’ insurance policies, including personal property, liability and loss of use in the event the rental becomes uninhabitable. You may be committing insurance fraud, which can result in denial of your claim, revocation of insurance coverage, or worse, legal action against you. Filing an insurance claim for property that does not belong to you is fraud and insurance companies devote resources to detecting and investigating potential fraud. If you share a policy and your flatmate files a claim that does not affect you, that claim would appear on your insurance history and could influence your insurance costs in the future.
Renters insurance is one of the most affordable types of insurance you can take out and also one of the easiest to understand. The amount of your cover is based on that estimated value, so renters insurance is relatively inexpensive. And not just for a little bit, your insurance history could follow you in the future when you apply for home insurance, and past claims could mean premiums that are hundreds of dollars higher. That’s because your parents’ homeowners or renters insurance policy might include coverage for your personal belongings if you live on campus.
Whether you share a policy or not, it is always smart to ask an agent or insurance company about discounts. Typically, when you take out renters insurance, you provide the insurance company with a list of your belongings and the estimated value. Once you have a policy, read your insurance company’s guidelines on how to file a claim, and make a plan for who is responsible for filing a claim if something happens and how the payment of any claim will be distributed. A higher renter’s insurance premium due to a claim on a CLUE report may not amount to much money.
For example, if you share a policy and your roommate files a claim, that claim will also appear on your insurance record and remain there for at least three years, says TJ Roberts, an insurance agent with Farm Bureau Financial Services in Mission, Kansas. One roommate is not covered by another’s renter’s insurance because the policies are not adequately priced for that risk.