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Roommates and insuranceHomeowners insurance typically covers the homeowner and other household members. However, as a general rule, a roommate is not considered a member of your household, as they are not family, and is therefore not covered.

If you have a roommate, it’s important to consider how insurance will work, whether you have homeowners or renters insurance.

You and your roommate will each need to have insurance, but the type of coverage depends on whether the home is owned by one of you or whether you rent a shared home. Having the right coverage will prevent issues if there’s a claim.

Does homeowners insurance cover my roommate?

Generally, no. Roommates are considered separate from the homeowner’s immediate family. If you own the home and have a roommate who is essentially renting space from you, they may need to purchase a renters insurance policy to cover their belongings and provide liability coverage.

Homeowners insurance covers the homeowner and household members, which are defined as members of the insured’s family in most cases. Everything owned by the named insured and their family is automatically covered by the policy, and those same people are covered by the liability portion of the policy.

Can I add my roommates to my homeowners insurance policy?

You might be able to add a roommate to your insurance, but it’s not guaranteed. Talk to your insurance agent before you take on a roommate so that you are fully aware of all the implications on your policy.

“Depending on the company’s underwriting guidelines, listing a roommate on the policy can increase the premium or require a different type of policy,” says Wendy Blitstein, director of underwriting at Security First Insurance.

If your roommate causes a loss and you haven’t told your insurance company about them, your coverage could be in jeopardy. Not all policies include liability or personal property coverage for roommates.

“Many insurance companies will require that you purchase an additional policy for each roommate,” Blitstein says. “Numbers matter. If you own a home and add one or two roommates, there is usually no problem. However, if you add three, your carrier may refuse to insure you”, says Frank Darras, founding partner at DarrasLaw.

A renters insurance policy is the best bet for covering a roommate.

Should your roommates get their own renters insurance policy?

Each roommate should have his or her own separate renters insurance policy. “Their stuff isn’t covered under your homeowners policy,” says Kevin Lynch,  assistant professor of insurance at The American College.

More roommates mean more exposure for the owner. For example, if your roommate has a dog, you may be impacted. 

“Be aware [that] even if it’s not your pet, you may be sued if a guest is bitten because you knew or should have known of the pet’s propensity to bite,” says Darras.

Remember that if you don’t own the home and are sharing a rented home, you will also need your own renters policy.

Do I need renters insurance if I move in with someone who owns their home?

If you are moving in with someone who has a homeowners policy and you are not married, you must get your own renters insurance policy. This is because the homeowners policy will only cover their home and belongings in the event of a disaster or theft, not your belongings. Your renters insurance policy will provide insurance coverage for your property and belongings in the event of a disaster, theft, fire, or other unfortunate incidents.

Your homeowners insurance will cover your liability, your belongings, and your home, but it will not cover your roommate’s belongings. They need to have a renters insurance policy in case there’s a storm, fire, or other disaster.

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Shivani Gite
Contributing Writer


Shivani Gite is a personal finance and insurance writer with a degree in journalism and mass communication. She is passionate about making insurance topics easy to understand for people and helping them make better financial decisions.