How are Landlord and Homeowners Insurance Different?

How are Landlord and Homeowners Insurance Different?

While landlord insurance and homeowners insurance provide similar insurance coverages, there are several key differences between the two. 

Landlord insurance is for people who plan to rent out their property on a long-term basis, usually for a year. Homeowners insurance is for those who use a property as a primary or secondary residence.  

Keep reading to learn more about the two types of insurance, including what the policies cover, how much they cost, and who they’re for. 

Key takeaways

  • Homeowners insurance is coverage for a home occupied by the owner, while landlord insurance is for the owner of a property occupied by tenants.

  • The types of coverage offered in both landlord insurance and homeowners insurance are similar, but the actual coverage may vary.

  • Landlord insurance costs more than homeowners insurance because it poses a different level of exposure.

  • If you’re renting a particular room of your property but not the entire property, reach out to your insurance company to see which type of insurance is best for you. 

What are the key differences between landlord insurance and homeowners insurance?

Homeowners insurance is designed to cover an owner-occupied residence. It includes coverage for the dwelling’s structure, other detached structures, your personal property, and liability if you are sued by someone else.

Landlord insurance, on the other hand, provides coverage for a property you rent to others, often on a long-term basis, such as on an annual lease. It offers similar coverages for the dwelling and other structures. However, there are some key differences as well. 

A homeowners policy  likely provides coverage for additional costs incurred when you cannot live in your home due to covered damage. A landlord policy, on the other hand, usually provides coverage for the loss of rent when your rental home is damaged by a covered peril, and you are unable to rent it to others. 

Also, you may have more personal belongings in the home that you occupy. You may have less personal property, such as clothes and furniture, at a rented location. Therefore, you require a higher liability limit for your personal property on your homeowners policy as compared to your landlord policy. 

Lastly, liability coverage on a homeowners policy can protect you from lawsuits filed against you for actions you take across the world. The liability coverage on a landlord policy can only provide protection against lawsuits that are related to your ownership of the particular rental property.

What are the coverage differences between homeowners insurance and landlord insurance?

Let’s review the various types of coverage for each type of insurance:


Dwelling coverage

Also known as Coverage A, dwelling coverage provides protection if there is damage to the structure of the home. This may involve damage to the roof or siding caused by a covered peril such as vandalism or fire. 

This coverage is a part of both insurance policies.


Other structures coverage

Also known as Coverage B, other structures coverage provides protection for structures that are detached from the home itself, such as sheds or fences.

This coverage is a part of both policies.


Personal property coverage

Also known as Coverage C, personal property coverage is similar in homeowners and landlord policies. However, because the amount of personal property kept in your own home relative to a rented location may differ, you may choose different coverage limits. 


Loss of use coverage

Loss of use coverage is also known as Coverage D; in the case of homeowners insurance, a loss-of-use cover pays for extra costs when you cannot live in the house due to covered damages. For example, if an accident causes your home to become uninhabitable, the insurance may reimburse you for your hotel stay while your home is repaired.  

With a landlord insurance policy, you may be able to get reimbursed if you lose rental income as a result of the home being uninhabitable due to a covered event.


Liability coverage

Also known as Coverage E, liability coverage offers protection if you are sued by someone else for property damage or bodily injury you are deemed responsible for anywhere in the world. 

When it comes to landlord insurance, this coverage only applies to property damage or bodily injury you’re responsible for and is related to the rented property. 


Medical payments coverage

Also known as Coverage F and medical expenses in a homeowners insurance policy, this coverage can help pay for medical payments related to injuries happening on your property, whether you’re liable or not. 

This policy may also be available in a landlord insurance policy as Premises Medical Protection.

Renting a room in your home: landlord policy or homeowners policy?

If you’re renting out a separate room in your home, the type of insurance you need depends on your homeowners insurance provider. To ensure you’re properly covered, reach out to your insurance agent to see which policy offers you the most protection and peace of mind. 

Still have questions?

We’ve got answers. Learn more about how are Landlord and Homeowners Insurance Different below.

What should I consider when establishing a personal property limit on my Landlord and Homeowners insurance policies?

Homeowners insurance provides coverage for the residence in which you live. Presumably, you maintain more personal belongings in the home you reside in - clothes, TVs, furniture, electronics, etc. You likely maintain fewer personal belongings in the home you rent to others. 

However, you still may keep some personal belongings at the rented location, such as yard tools to maintain the landscaping, and hardscape tools used to make minor repairs and furnishings. Typically the limit needed to properly protect your personal property may be higher for a Homeowners policy as compared to a Landlord policy. 

Why have landlord insurance?

Landlord insurance is the insurance policy you need if you rent out a property you own. It protects landlords from damage to their structures, personal property, and liability.

Do I need to change my homeowners insurance if I rent out my house?

Yes. If you no longer live in your home and decide to rent it out instead, your homeowners insurance will likely not provide proper coverage for that property. You’d need to contact your insurance provider and apply for landlord insurance.

Can a renter get homeowners insurance?

You can’t apply for homeowners insurance if you don’t own the home, but you can apply for a renters insurance policy.


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