3 Roommates requiring renters insurance

We are 3 roommates renting a condo in New York City. The owner/landlord of the condo is an LLC. The landlord has requested we get renters insurance. We got renters insurance from Allstate, with 2 roommates on 1 policy and the other roommate on another policy. The landlord’s lawyer is saying that the three of us would not be covered under personal renters insurance because we are in effect a partnership, and therefore should get business insurance. All the insurance brokers I spoke to say we should be covered under the policy we bought. Are we covered under personal renters insurance?

Asked on June 26, 2009 under Real Estate Law, New York


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Are you using the apartment for a business or as a home?  If you are using it as a home then "business insurance" seems to be a ridiculous request.   A business is insured based upon what type of business it is.  Roommates don't constitute a business relationship.

Does your lease state any specifics as to what the renters insurance is to cover?  I'm guessing that the lawyer is worried about damage to the apartment and not just coverage for your contents.  Ask your Allstate agent to point out the provision in the policy that states what your insurance covers.  Read this along with the requirements under the lease.  The LLC should also have insurance coverage for the apartment over and above your insurance.   If the landlord's lawyer insists ask for the reasons in writing.  Then seek your own legal consultation on the issue.  One well places letter from attorney to attorney may be all you need.  Look here at attorneypages.com for help.  

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