Roommates in Springfield, MA sometimes purchase renters insurance together so they can split the premiums associated with the policy. Splitting premiums may seem to make sense, as it can save you a few dollars each month. Adding a roommate to your renters policy can expose you to more risk, though. Here’s why you may not want to add your roommate to your renters policy.
If You Rent a Place in Springfield, MA, Think Twice Before Adding a Roommate onto Your Renters Insurance Policy
Most Renters Insurance Policies Provide Liability Coverage
Renters insurance policies provide coverage for many different “what if” scenarios. Policies often have personal property coverage, which may protect your Springfield, Massachusetts apartment or townhome from risks like fire and theft. They typically also include liability coverage.
Liability coverage is generally designed to protect you if you’re found responsible for a covered incident that causes either harm to someone, or damage to a person’s property. Specific terms and conditions vary, but many policies’ liability coverages cover accidents that occur in your home, accusations of slander and libel, and other incidents. If you’re accused of a covered incident, your renters policy’s liability coverage should help pay legal fees settlements associated with the accusation.
The liability coverage that a policy provides is usually extended to anyone named on the policy. Thus, your policy will provide liability coverage for you (according to the policy’s terms and conditions). If you add your roommate onto the policy, it’ll also most likely cover them.
A Liability Claim Against Your Roommate Could Negatively Affect You
By adding your roommate onto your renters policy, you're letting them use the liability coverage that the policy provides. If they’re accused of being responsible for a covered incident and file a liability claim, the claim could negatively affect you.
Whenever a claim is filed on a policy, it can affect the policyholder’s insurance score. An insurance score is similar to a credit score. It’s just used to calculate insurance rates rather than determine credit worthiness, and different factors are used to determine your insurance score.
A claim against an insurance policy may lower the insurance score of everyone on the policy. Thus, your roommate’s liability claim may reduce your insurance score -- even if you have nothing to with the incident or claim. The ultimate result may be higher insurance premiums for you in the future.
The increase in premiums could easily be more than you save by splitting premiums with a roommate, thus defeating the purpose of adding them onto your renters policy.
Separate Policies Protect You and Your Roommate
If you and your roommate maintain separate renters policies, a claim on one policy is very unlikely to affect the other person. If your roommate is sued, it will most likely not have an impact on your insurance score and future premiums, because you and they have separate insurance.
Contact a Springfield, Massachusetts Insurance Agent for Quotes on Different Policies
Purchasing separate policies doesn’t have to be expensive. Renters insurance, after all, is one of the more affordable types of insurance. To determine how much two separate policies would be, contact an independent insurance agent who’s licensed in Massachusetts. They’ll be able to get quotes for you and your roommate on two different policies. You’ll just both need to talk with the agent, so you can each answer a few questions about where in Springfield, MA you live, and determine what coverages each of you want.