Home Contents Insurance vs Renter’s Insurance

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Natasha McLachlan is a writer who currently lives in Southern California. She is an alumna of California College of the Arts, where she obtained her B.A. in Writing and Literature. Her current work revolves around insurance guides and informational articles. She truly enjoys helping others learn more about everyday, practical matters through her work.

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance for 10 years. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Former Licensed Agent

UPDATED: Sep 24, 2020

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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.

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