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Who can I get insurance from with bad credit?

Question:
I was recently denied renters insurance by American Family because my credit is poor. I have improved my credit dramatically over the last two years, but there are things that are not going to come off for a few years.

I have a full time job and have not been delinquent on any bills for quite some time. While my fiancee has perfect credit, I was told this wouldn't help me get insurance. If we leave my name off the policy, my stuff will not be covered. Who could I get insurance from with bad credit? I have nice things — a computer, TV, stereo, not to mention the engagement ring — that I would like to have covered.

Michael, Minnesota

Answer:
Dear Michael,

You are correct that your financée's policy won't cover your possessions. If you're living together and you're not married, the insurance company considers you roommates — and roommates each need their own policy.

However, you should be able to buy coverage if you keep shopping around. You can check with the Minnesota Insurance Division to get a list of companies that sell renters insurance (visit Insure.com's Minnesota state page to find the division's address, phone number, and a link to its Web site). Ask family and friends if they have any recommendations.

If you've shopped around extensively and no one is willing to insure you, the Minnesota FAIR Plan is the insurer of last resort (you can call the FAIR Plan at 612-338-7584). Any agent in the state should be able to help you obtain a policy. A warning, however: This option is not cheap, so make sure you thoroughly check with several other insurance companies before you pay the high price tag for insurance through the FAIR Plan.

Further contact information can be found in Which states have a FAIR Plan?

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Disclaimer: We are journalists, not financial planners or insurance brokers. Nothing we say should be interpreted as a recommendation to buy or sell any insurance product, or to provide other financial or legal advice.

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