Home Contents Insurance vs Renter's Insurance
Even though home contents insurance and renters insurance may seem to have a lot in common, the truth is that a standard renters insurance policy provides more complete coverage. In some ways, home contents could be compared to renters insurance in the same way that renters insurance compares to a homeowner's policy: It provides part of the coverage of the broader renter's policy, but is not designed to provide things that every renter should have.
Home Contents and Personal Property
Home contents is a broader package than renters insurance. Instead of protecting the personal property of a single person or family, home contents insures all property at the insured location. Where renters insurance covers only the property of the person being insured, home contents insures the complete contents of the home, even if those contents belong to more than one person or family.
Liability for Damages or Injuries
Home contents covers property, but it does not include any sort of liability insurance. If someone other than you or your family is injured on the property, liability insurance will be needed to pay for the costs. Similarly, personal injury liability is not part of home contents insurance. For the renter, liability insurance is an important financial asset, but it is not necessary with home contents coverage, because only property is being insured, not liability related to the property.
Cost of Coverage
Home contents insurance is less expensive than renters insurance, but it does not provide the same degree of coverage either. It may seem as though you can save money by purchasing home contents insurance, but you are sacrificing coverage for other sectors of the home to do so. In fact, the only time a renter may want to consider home contents insurance would be a situation where multiple renters are sharing the same dwelling, in which case home contents would protect everyone's property but there would not be any allowances for liability, meaning that each roommate would have to secure liability insurance independently. There are also ways you can get cheaper renter's insurance.
The Simple Difference
Home contents and renters insurance only seem to be similar on the surface. The two types of insurance carry different premiums scales, involve a different set of deductibles, and home insurance excludes liability coverage. The only thing the two actually have in common is that they protect the personal property at the insured location, and even then the two have limitations that preclude certain people or property from the plan.