Monday, July 28, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Rise in roommates raises questions about home, auto insurance

By
From page C12 | October 12, 2012 |

Insurance Information Institute

The number of people living in roommate and unmarried partner situations is on the rise in the U.S., raising questions about home and auto insurance, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

One out of every eight homes in the U.S. is now inhabited by two or more people who are not related to each other — an increase of over 5 percent from 2000 to 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In other words, there has been a significant increase in the number of housemates/roommates, roomers or boarders, and unmarried partners living together.

A frequently asked consumer question at the III is: “Can roommates or romantic partners purchase a shared renters insurance policy?”

“Laws vary from state to state regarding unrelated people being allowed to have their name on a renters policy, but, where allowed, many insurance companies do offer renters insurance to roommates or an unmarried couple,” said Jeanne M. Salvatore, the III’s consumer spokesperson and senior vice president of Public Affairs. “However, just because a policy is available does not mean it is the best thing to do in every situation.”

Roommates and romantic partners should have a frank conversation about the financial arrangement of their living situation. In addition to discussing how to share rent payments, utility costs, Internet and cable services, and other expenses they should reach an agreement regarding insurance coverage and how things will be handled financially if someone moves out.

renters insurance policy is written for tenants living at a specific location. If a roommate or partner moves to another house or apartment, it is important to notify the insurance company and get a new policy.

Standard renters insurance policies provide insurance protection for personal belongings such as clothing, furniture and sports equipment in the event of theft or if they are damaged or destroyed by an insured disaster such as fire or a hurricane. Renters insurance policies also provide coverage for liability protection and the cost of additional living expenses in the event the house or apartment is rendered unlivable due to an insured disaster.

Young adults ages 18 to 29 are most likely to live in roommate situations while unmarried partners tend to be older, with the largest percentage 45 to 65 years old.

“Generally speaking, young people have very fluid living situations that can quickly change as career, educational or romantic opportunities develop,” explained Salvatore. “So a college grad, for instance, who moves into a house with a bunch of friends should consider getting his or her own renters insurance policy in order to financially protect themselves.”

On the other hand, long-term friends or romantic partners who look for an apartment together and share the cost of purchasing items for their new home may want to consider purchasing a single, shared renters insurance policy. However, in order to be properly covered, everyone needs to be listed on the policy.

Unrelated people who jointly buy and co-own a home or condo/co-op can also purchase a homeowners insurance policy together.

“Ultimately, each living situation is different and individuals need to make sure that they secure the right amount and type of insurance protection for their specific situation,” said Salvatore. “It is also smart to have an up-to-date home inventory of your personal possessions. This is a detailed list of the things you own and their estimated value. The III has tips on how conduct a home inventory, as well as Know Your Stuff, a free Web-based home inventory software and mobile app.”

If you own a car, you are legally required to purchase auto insurance. If you lend your car to your roommate and he or she gets into an accident, your insurance will provide coverage. However, as the policyholder, that accident will go on your insurance record. So, make sure your roommate is a responsible driver. If anyone is going to use your car on a regular basis (other than simply moving the car to make room for another vehicle or running a quick errand) they should be listed on your policy. If you do not want your roommates to drive your car under any circumstance, be clear about your wishes and keep your keys to yourself.

Contact your insurance professional to discuss the best home and auto insurance options for your particular situation if you plan to live with another person or share a car.

Comments

comments

.

News

Sand Fire burns more than 4,000 acres

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Fatal accident in Camino

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
County’s chief lawyer: No Brown Act violation

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1

General Plan workshop today

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1

 
Two growth control initiatives get green light

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1

Agricultural Crop and Livestock Report released

By Ross Branch | From Page: A3

 
35 people displaced in Tahoe hotel fire

By Tahoe Tribune | From Page: A3 | Gallery

.

Opinion

Bee-ing silly

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
The balancing act: Toxic waste spreads

By Larry Weitzman | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
.

Letters

Want more water?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Refugee crisis

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Letter to Speaker of the House

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
GDPUD misinformation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

At the crossroads

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
.

Sports

Camp experience is ‘priceless’

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Speedway races cancelled

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

El Dorado doubles up on Pro Players

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Under the Scoreboard: July 26, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

Schedule: July 28 – Aug. 2, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

 
Roundup: July 26, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

Sports Scene: July 26, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

 
Local spiker shines

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

.

Prospecting

A beautiful day at Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Colony Farm

By Cathy Barsotti | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Foothill gourmet: Things get corny

By Donna Brown | From Page: B2

Bipolar Insights: From point A to point B

By Marcia Rose | From Page: B2

 
Cool time at Cowboys and Cornbread

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
As we were: Recreation district grows

By Ken Deibert | From Page: B4

Cantare names new director

By Cantare Chorale | From Page: B10

 
After 5 Club to meet

By Senior Day | From Page: B10

.

Essentials

Divorces

By Charlotte Sanchez-Kosa | From Page: A2Comments are off for this post

 
DUI Log: June 25-July 9

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

Crime Log: July 14-16

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

.

Real Estate

.

Comics

Horoscope, Tuesday, July 29, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Horoscope, Monday, July 28, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A8

American Profile Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A8