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Can I share renters insurance with my roommate?

Is it even possible to list my roommate and me on one policy?

Some carriers DO NOT allow a roommate to be listed on the same policy unless it is a spouse or significant other. Now before you and your friend arrange a facebook marriage, you probably don't want to risk misrepresenting who you are on your application as it could get your policy canceled or claims denied down the road. If you are married or on the path to marriage, it's probably best to share one plan and list both people.

My roommate is not the man/woman of my dreams.

If your roommate is not your significant other, you will find a subset of insurance companies that allow you to list both you and your roommate on the same policy. Before you get all excited about saving that extra $5 - $12/mo, keep in mind the below Pros and Cons of sharing a plan with your roommate:

Pros Saving $$ One Application
Cons Your roommate's insurance claims go on your personal claim record and vice versa. So if your roommate files a claim for theft, you will have that claim listed when you go to apply for home insurance down the road. The claim history can increase the cost of your home or auto policy by $100s/year. What happens when a roommate moves out? Who is responsible for managing the policy? You may have to go through the annoyance of canceling and reapplying. When if you go to file a claim and realized you no longer have insurance because your roommate forgot to renew. Frustrating.

So Young Alfred, what do you recommend?

As I process a lot of home applications, I see how difficult it can be for customers with a claim history to get affordable insurance. I recommend not sharing the renters insurance policy in case your roommate does file a claim, as you have to pay for that down the road.

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At $5-12 a month, renters insurance is cheap when compared to buying auto and home insurance -- which can be over $100/mo. It's better to go into that shopping experience with a clean claims history so you can ensure you get the best price at a higher price point. To me, sharing an insurance policy is kind of like sharing a credit card or credit history. While I love my roommate, I would never share a credit card with them. Awkward.

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At your service,
Young Alfred