Renters Insurance for Unmarried Couples

37% of renters have renters insurance, according to the Insurance Information Institute. While that may not seem like an issue, consider that 95% of homeowners have a homeowners insurance policy.
By Jessica Storm
Updated Sep 1, 2020
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37% of renters have renters insurance, according to the Insurance Information Institute. While that may not seem like an issue, consider that 95% of homeowners have a homeowners insurance policy.

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Homeowners--for the most part--have a financial safety net in place. However, the vast majority of renters lack protection if the unexpected happens. That puts them at risk.

Don't let this happen. Make sure every tenant has proper coverage. This way, when disaster strikes, you won't find yourself in financial ruin.

For unmarried couples living together, renters insurance should be a no-brainer (especially when average premiums don't even reach $190 per year).

In this guide, you'll learn why unmarried couples should get tenants insurance, and how you should go about getting covered.

Benefits of Renters Insurance for Unmarried Couples

You've been in a relationship for quite some time. And you've moved in together. While you and your significant other may have lots to do, getting insurance shouldn't get lost in the mix.

Renters insurance, also called tenants insurance, can cover you, your loved one, and your belongings in the event of an incident, such as fire, theft, water damage, and natural disaster.

Renters insurance offers you and your significant other many benefits, including:

  • Peace of mind: As an article in Real Simple details, renters insurance can soften the financial blow for many unfortunate events. If catastrophe strikes, you and your partner don't have to freak out or argue.

  • Full protection: Married couples are automatically covered together when you get renter's insurance. Unmarried couples have to specify they want coverage under one policy. If you don't, only you or your significant other may be covered (depending on who signed up for the policy).

  • Savings: Getting one renters insurance policy should cost you less than getting two separate ones. Some insurance companies may try to charge you more, or require that you get two separate policies. So, shop around to get the most reasonable deal. Most estimates show you should save about $95 per year by getting one policy instead of two.

  • Simplification: You can unify coverage for all your stuff under one policy. This will make managing bills easier.

Clearly, it can make sense both financially and personally to ensure you and your partner have renters insurance.

Types of Renters Insurance for Unmarried Couples

As the Insurance Information Institute describes, there are three types of renters insurance.

  • Personal property coverage

  • Personal liability insurance

  • Additional living expenses

Before you shop for insurance with your partner, understand what these cover.

Personal Property Coverage

Also known as standard renters insurance, this protects your personal belongings against damage caused by everything from fire and smoke to vandalism and theft. To figure out how much insurance you need, calculate the total value of all your belongings. The value of your property affects your premium total.

Personal Liability Insurance

This covers you against lawsuits for property damage or bodily harm. For instance, if your child breaks a neighbor's window, you'll have coverage. Or, if someone gets hurt at your home and blames you, you have coverage for court costs and court awards.

Additional Living Expenses

If your home requires serious repairs, you may have to move. This insurance will cover living costs for that (hotel, storage, meals, transportation, etc). This ensures you're not stranded if a catastrophe makes your home uninhabitable.

How Do We Get Renters Insurance as an Unmarried Couple?

First, do the following with your significant other:

  • Accurately calculate the value of all your belongings. How much would it cost to replace them all? Make a home inventory list so you have evidence if you need to file a claim.

  • Agree on what sort of coverage you'll get (coverage options above).

  • Have a clear conversation about how to handle things if you break up or someone moves out. You don't want an insurance claim from your ex showing up on your insurance record (that would make your future insurance premiums higher). If you file a claim after splitting, you may need the signature of your ex to cash the insurance check. Ideally, the person who moves out agrees to drop their name from the policy.

  • Find out what your landlord's insurance covers. Landlord insurance typically includes tenant damage.

  • Make sure you reside in a state that allows unmarried couples to get renters insurance. For example, Florida doesn't allow you to buy renters insurance with another individual unless they're your spouse.

  • Ensure both names are on the lease. You won't get coverage for both of you otherwise.

Know the Rules - And How to Bend Them for Unmarried Couples

Next, consider how you want to get coverage for both of you. You essentially have three options:

1. Get covered as equal partners on the policy

As long as your state allows unmarried couples to get renters insurance together, you can sign up for a policy as equal stakeholders. You or your partner can't remove the other's name from the policy.

For filing claims, payouts are distributed to both and signatures of both policyholders are required. This may cause problems if you have disagreements about how you'll split the payout.

2. Add your partner as a roommate on the policy

Your boyfriend, girlfriend, or partner can hop on your policy as a roommate. You just have to endorse them on the policy. Check with your insurance provider to ensure this is allowed (it's not available in all states).

As the policyholder, you can remove them at any time without notice. Make sure your loved one knows that.

3. Get two separate policies

If you live in a state where unmarried couples can't get covered under one renters insurance policy, your best option is two separate policies. This may cost you a bit more, but still offers peace of mind and similar coverage overall for you and your boyfriend, girlfriend, or partner.

Additionally, two separate policies remove any potential issues, especially if you break up or don't want a certain claim on your insurance record. With separate policies, payouts are made separately.

Renters Insurance is Worth the Headache

As an article in Forbes notes, renters insurance could save you $5,000, $10,000, or even more if disaster arises. So, definitely get a policy!

When it comes to renters insurance, you and your boyfriend, girlfriend, or partner have lots of options. The key to getting the right policy is educating yourselves about renters insurance, communicating about expectations, and shopping around to find the most suitable policy.

If you do that, you won't run into any issues. And you'll have a renters insurance policy that gives you great protection and peace of mind.