Renter’s Insurance vs Landlord Insurance: What’s the Difference?

While renter’s insurance and landlord insurance can be applied to the same property, they often work to protect against different damages. And because they protect the same property, there can be a lot of confusion over exactly how they work, what they protect, and when they should be taken out.

To help clear up some of this confusion, let’s take a look at what renter’s insurance is, its coverages, and what’s not covered by the policy as well as what landlord insurance is, its unique coverages, and what it typically doesn’t cover.

What is Renter’s Insurance?

Renter’s insurance policies help renters protect themselves against losses while living in a residence they do not own. These individuals, or tenants, use the policy to protect the things they own, so the policy often doesn’t protect against damages to the building.

What Does Renter’s Insurance Cover?

Renter’s insurance can cover a wide range of damages and liabilities. These typically include things such as theft of personal property, certain types of water damage, specified natural disasters, and some bodily injuries.

Most basic renters insurance policies provide protection for the following:

  • Your rental home’s contents, including furniture, clothing, electronics, and other items
  • Personal liability on your part if anyone is damaged or harmed as a result of an accident in your home
  • Medical payments if someone is injured at your rental property
  • Funeral expenses if someone is fatally hurt at your rental
  • Damage to additions, alterations, fixtures, improvements, or installations made to your home
  • Unauthorized transactions on your credit cards, debit cards, or other ATM cards
  • Forged checks and counterfeit money relating to your accounts
  • Loss of use if your rental becomes uninhabitable–this includes reimbursement for additional living expenses

Additionally, you can get optional insurance coverage for other items, including:

  • Valuable items like art, jewelry, watches, and antiques
  • Loss of items due to water, drain, or sewage line backups
  • Extended theft protection for your personal belongings that are stored like vehicles, trailers, boats, and more
  • Earthquake or volcano protection up to specified limits

What is Not Covered by Renter’s Insurance?

While there are differences between renters’ policies and their coverage from provider to provider, a few damages and liabilities are typically excluded from protection. These can include:

  • Sinkholes
  • Bed bugs and other household pests
  • Damage to your vehicle
  • Theft of your vehicle
  • Any possessions owned by a roommate
  • Pet-related damage caused by certain dog breeds

What is Landlord Insurance?

Landlord insurance is a kind of insurance policy that can be taken out by a landlord to cover their property. This policy works to protect the building against specific damages, but in some cases, it may also protect some of its contents.

Typically, the buildings covered include condos, apartments, or homes that are being rented out. However, it’s important to note that these structures will not be covered by a landlord’s policy if the owner lives in residence. Instead, you would need a homeowners policy.

What Does Landlord Insurance Cover?

Landlord coverage works to protect items that a renter’s policy typically doesn’t cover. Namely, the dwelling itself, other structures on the property, and the landlord’s personal property that is used to service the rental.


The main thing landlord coverage works to protect is the rental building itself. Whether this is an apartment, condo, duplex, or house, landlord insurance can help protect it against general damages, including fire, lightning, wind, hail, and other specified losses.

Other Structures

If you own detached structures on your property, like a shed, garage, or fence, a landlord insurance policy can help provide financial protection if disaster strikes. You just need to ensure your agent is aware of the additional buildings so that their coverage can be written into your policy.

Landlord’s Personal Property

If a landlord leaves their personal property at the rental site for the renter to use in the upkeep of the property and it is damaged, a landlord policy can cover the loss. This property typically includes lawnmowers, weedeaters, snowblowers, and other equipment.

Only equipment, tools, and property related to the repair and maintenance of a rental will be covered. If a personal bicycle or entertainment system is left at the rental and damaged, it will likely not be covered.

What is Not Covered by Landlord Insurance?

Landlord policies can provide landlords with many necessary protections. But as with all insurance policies, there are certain limitations for which most landlord policies just won’t provide coverage. These can include, but are not limited to:

Equipment Maintenance and Breakdowns

While you may think that a landlord insurance policy would protect all assets the landlord owns, that isn’t always the case. If you own a dishwasher, washer/dryer, furnace, or other pieces of equipment at the property, your insurance will often not cover damages to it. Instead, you’ll have to pay for repairs or replacements out of pocket.

Shared Property

Landowner insurance usually won’t protect you if you live in the same residence as your renter. This relates to instances where a landlord rents out a room or floor of their home or where the landlord lives at the same property.

Tenant Belongings

While renter’s insurance can protect the personal possessions of renters on the property, landlord insurance offers no such protections in most cases.

Key Takeaways

Renter’s insurance and landlord insurance protect the same property. Still, while renter’s insurance protects a renter’s personal belongings, landlord insurance protects the physical structure of the rented dwelling along with other specified structures on the same property.

If you want to learn more about the differences between renter’s insurance and landlord insurance, reach out to the superstar team at Anderson Insurance Agency today!