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My girlfriend is going to college for the next 4 years and her parents just bought her a condo to stay in while she is at school. I will be staying in it with her, and there is a room for her parents to stay in when they are in town, which they intent to use semi-frequently. My girlfriend and I will be responsible for paying her parents a monthly rent that is roughly equivalent to the cost of the mortgage and HOA fees. The home owners association that the condo belongs to does not allow renters, so we will be staying there without an official rental contract. The HOA requires a list of who will be staying in the condo, and all 4 of our names will be listed. In the past when I was renting apartments, I would get renters insurance to insure my belongs. Now that we are going to be staying in the condo with a sort-of informal arrangement, I am unsure what my options to insure my belongings are.

Am I still able to obtain renters insurance even though I am not technically renting, or do I need to go another route? I only have a few expensive things that I am worried about getting stolen (laptop, guitar, etc.), but I'd rather be safe than sorry when it comes to insuring my things.

  • Could you add a country tag. – Dheer Jun 27 '16 at 15:37
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    Did you call the insurance company? BTW good of you to get renters insurance. – Pete B. Jun 27 '16 at 16:48
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I suppose it's possible that some insurance companies may require to see a lease, but I've purchased renters insurance from various companies in the past and don't recall ever needing to provide one. If they did require one, you could draft one simply for that purpose, and never show it to the HOA.

However, you may not even need renters insurance. Every condo owner should already have a "condo insurance" policy (which is separate from the main HOA policy), and the condo policy should already cover what the renters policy would cover. Usually the numbers are pretty high, perhaps 20-100K in case of fire and/or total loss of all contents, but you can ask your gf/parents what the coverage is just to be sure.

BTW, most HOAs (in my experience) that have no-renting provisions usually have exceptions for blood relatives, so a child of the owner is typically not considered a renter (even if the parents aren't listed as living there too). You living there without a legal relationship could maybe be considered a renter, but the HOA has no way of knowing that you are actually paying money to her parents; they could just be letting you live there for free. If your girlfriend and her parents moved out and you stayed though, that would be more likely to raise eyebrows.

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    Thanks for the answer. I also don't recall needing to provide a rental contract in the past when I was obtaining renters insurance. I luckily have never needed to actually utilize my renters insurance though. Do you know if I would need to provide a rental contract if I were to submit an insurance claim? – thomasdclark Jun 27 '16 at 16:36
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    I've never had a claim either so I can't say for sure. More likely you'd need proof of a police report and possibly some evidence of the value of the items, if they are abnormally high. (Like if your guitar is a collectible.) Sometimes it helps to notify the insurance company of expensive items and have them listed as riders to the policy (expensive jewelry, bonds, gold bars, Steinway grand pianos, etc.) – TTT Jun 27 '16 at 16:39

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