Homeowner’s insurance vs. renter’s insurance

A sign displaying "owner vs. renter" against a cloudy sky.

We know that whether you buy your own house or you are renting at the moment, you want to protect your home. The only way to achieve that is by buying an insurance policy, which will ensure that in case of an unexpected situation, everything you have will be cover. There are several insurances you could purchase, but depending on your status, there is a specific one you should have. To help you choose the ideal one, we will explain the difference between homeowner’s insurance vs renters insurance and tell you what each one will cover.

If you are wondering why you should purchase insurance, well sometimes this purchase is not even an option. In case you are a homeowner, some lenders will require you to have insurance before approving your mortgage. Depending on the type of property you buy, if you are part of a condominium, you will have to buy insurance to be accepted into the association.

There is also the possibility that you are a renter, and even when some landlords might advise you to purchase insurance, it is not mandatory. We understand that because insurance would be an added cost every month, sometimes you will consider not purchasing it if it’s not required. However, we advise against it because once you have insurance, you won’t have to worry about any unexpected accident such as a fire or earthquake.

Because there are different conditions for homeowners and renters, we will tell you which insurance is the right one for you. Below you will also find out what each of them covers and their cost. But first, we will explain the main difference between homeowners insurance vs renters insurance.

Homeowners insurance vs renters insurance

Even when there are differences, there is one thing that both insurances have in common you will have to make monthly payments for either of them. To this cost, you should also add the cost of deductible claims. Further, if you want your policy to cover your property, you need to make all the payments on time.

Homeowners Insurance

The homeowner’s insurance, as its name explains, is for people who purchased their apartment or house. Once you buy your property, what legally belongs to you is the land, the structure and everything you have inside: your belongings. When you purchase homeowner’s insurance, you will have four types of coverage: property, personal liability, medical bills, the structure and additional living expenses.

Renter’s Insurance

Renter’s insurance is a special kind of policy that is just for tenants. Overall, the renter’s insurance will protect your belongings, but not the structure of your home since you are not the owner. What this insurance will cover is personal property, liability, medical bills and additional expenses. 

You don’t need to worry about the structure of the house or apartment you are living in since it is the responsibility of the landlord to buy an insurance policy that covers this part. If you want to learn more about tenant’s insurance go to Surex.

Homeowners and renters insurance: What they have in common

These two types of insurance have more in common than just regular bills. In its majority, these policies cover the same things. Here we will explain what coverage you will have if you purchase either of them and the meaning of each one.

Personal property

This is one of the most important parts of your insurance since in an unfortunate case, you will be able to replace all your belongings. The personal property coverage usually protects all your clothing, valuable items and even electronics. However, each policy has its limits. That’s why you must read it carefully before signing.

Here you can choose between two types of coverage. Replacement cost is the most expensive option between the two, but the advantage is that the insurance will give you the exact amount you need to replace the items you lost. If you choose the actual cash value policy, the insurance will calculate the value of the elements taking into account their depreciation. The result of that is what they will give you.

Keep in mind that before purchasing the insurance, you will have to do an inventory of all the things you own and write down an approximate amount for the cost of all of it.

Personal Liability

For homeowners, this coverage will protect you from situations when someone gets an injury on your property. There are cases where you might have to pay more for personal liability, for instance, if you have an aggressive pet, in which case there are more chances it could harm somebody.

If you are a renter, you will get the same coverage. Plus, it will also protect you if your landlord suits you for damages to the structure of the home. The good thing about liability coverage is that it is flexible. 

Medical Bills

This coverage is similar to the personal liability one, in the sense that both of them focus in part on injuries. But this one will cover all the expenses for medical bills if someone is harmed on your property. 

Other living expenses

If you need to leave your property like in case of a fire, this coverage will ensure you have enough money to rent another place or even stay in a hotel.

Homeowners and renters insurance: What’s the difference

As you probably gathered by now, the main difference between these types of insurance is what they cover. Even when some things are the same, there are benefits you will only get with homeowners’ insurance.

Overall, the renter’s insurance just includes all the elements explained above. However, in case you live with roommates, the insurance you purchase will only protect you. If anyone else in the house wants coverage, they will have to buy a separate policy. 

For homeowner’s insurance, there is one extra coverage: dwelling coverage.

Dwelling coverage

This part of the policy will protect the structure of your home. The good news is that dwelling coverage works for your whole property, like if you have to repair the fence. Also, this is complete protection meaning it can be as small as a broken door or as big as rebuilding the whole structure.

Read carefully the conditions on your policy since some insurance companies only cover dwelling in the case of peril. 


In the end, buying a homeowner’s insurance vs a renter’s insurance will depend on whether you own the property or if you are a tenant. As you might have guessed, homeowner’s insurance is more expensive. You will have you pay around $1,192 yearly, which means $100 monthly. For renters, the cost will only be $185 every year or $30 per month. 

Scroll to Top