Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: May 16, 2022

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The Lowdown

  • Both renters insurance and condo insurance cover personal property damages and injuries 
  • Renters insurance doesn’t cover a building’s structural problems 
  • Condo insurance covers structural issues and is for condo owners, not renters

It is important to purchase the right insurance to protect your property in case of damages or theft, but it can be confusing when trying to pick the right coverage. If you are searching for a condo to rent, you are probably wondering if you need a renters or an HO-6 policy, which is also known as condo insurance. While both of these coverages share similarities, they are different. 

Which one you purchase depends on whether you are renting or buying and if there is coverage on the condo building. Read on to see what the main differences are between condo vs. renters insurance and which one you should choose.

To browse affordable condo or renters insurance options near you today, enter your ZIP code into our free quote tool.

Differences Between Renters Insurance vs. Condo Insurance

Essentially, the difference between renters and condo insurance is that renters insurance covers renters, and condo insurance covers condo owners. Renters insurance is a more basic kind of coverage in that it doesn’t cover as much as condo insurance typically does. 

In the case of a house rental, the owner has homeowner’s insurance on the structure of the house, so renters insurance simply covers the renter’s personal belongings that are inside the home. Condo insurance is more similar to home insurance and covers a wider range of mishaps to structural parts of the building. Below, we’ve outlined what each of the two insurances covers. 

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What Renters Insurance Covers 

Renters insurance is important coverage to have, as it will pay for your property that is stored inside the building from clothes to furniture that is stolen or damaged in a covered incident. Whether you are renting a house or renting a condo, you are usually legally responsible for purchasing renters insurance. Some landlords will require proof of renters insurance shortly after you sign the lease. 

It’s important to note that renters insurance is not insurance on the building. The landlord is responsible for maintaining home insurance, not the renter. So if a tree fell and smashed through a window, the owner’s insurance is responsible for building repairs, but your renters insurance will cover your property damages. 

Renters insurance will typically offer the following coverages to customers in a basic policy: 

  • Personal property coverage. Renters insurance will cover the value of your personal belongings if they are destroyed by an incident covered by insurance, such as a fire. Insurance will also cover your belongings in case of theft or vandalism. 
  • Personal liability coverage. Renters insurance will cover any damages or injuries that may happen on your property. For example, if a person falls down your stairs and breaks the banister, renters insurance will cover medical bills and repairs. If someone dies on your property, renters insurance may also pay for funeral costs. 
  • Loss-of-use coverage. Renters insurance will cover the cost of living arrangements if you are displaced from your home and your damage claim is approved. For example, if your rented home flooded and you have to rent a new apartment, the costs should be covered. 
  • Credit card coverage. Renters insurance may cover any unauthorized charges on your credit or debit card or forged checks. So if someone steals your credit card from your home, you should be protected. 

Renters insurance is vital to have if you are renting a home, apartment, or condo. The cost of damaged or stolen items can quickly add up, and having renters insurance will help you get back on your feet. 

Bear in mind, however, that both renters and condo insurance don’t typically include earthquake coverage unless you add it to your policy. Both policies also often exclude flooding, which would need to be added to your renters insurance as well. 

Make sure to read the fine print of your policy to see what sort of incidents are and aren’t covered by your insurance company. The last thing you want to find out is that your policy doesn’t cover something when you are faced with thousands of dollars of property damage. 

What HO-6 Condo Insurance Covers 

So what does condo insurance cover? It covers a few of the same things as renters insurance. Just like renters insurance, condo insurance includes personal property coverage, personal liability coverage, loss-of-use coverage, and credit card coverage. However, it is different from renters insurance in a few ways.  

It’s important to note before we dive into coverage differences that we are talking about personal condo insurance policies, not the master condo plan. While condo owners own their units, the condo building is owned by someone else. Therefore, condo owners are often required to put money towards a master condo plan, sometimes in addition to their personal condo insurance. Both condo insurance and the master condo plan are similar to homeowners insurance.

Condo owners don’t just own the property inside of the building but also part of the building itself, which makes structural coverage necessary. Therefore, unlike renters insurance, condo insurance will cover structural issues with your condo. If there are damages, it will pay for necessary structural and dwelling improvements, such as new plumbing or wiring. 

Another way that condo insurance is different from renters insurance is that the insurance company usually offers assessment fee coverage. Suppose damages happen to a condo building or a person is injured in a common area. In that case, the master condo plan may not cover all the costs, and the remaining costs will fall upon individual condo policies. Your condo insurance will help pay off the remaining fees. 

As we stated earlier, however, if you wish, you will need to add flood and earthquake damage protection to your condo insurance, as these damages often aren’t covered on a basic policy. If you live in an area with frequent flooding or earthquakes, it is essential to add these coverages to your condo policy. 

Choosing Between Renters Insurance and HO-6 Insurance

Often, people get confused when they are renting a condo about whether they need renters insurance or condo insurance. If you rent a condo, you generally just need renters insurance, not condo insurance. Renters insurance doesn’t cover major improvements to the structural part of a building, as the owner and their insurance are responsible for any structural repairs and damages. Since the condo is owned by someone else, they should be the holders of the condo insurance policy, not the renter. 

 Because condo insurance covers more than renters insurance, as you are covering the building too, not just the things inside it, condo insurance is usually more expensive. The last thing you want is to accidentally purchase a more expensive policy that you don’t need. Since the owner of the condo is responsible for condo insurance and the master policy, all you should be purchasing is renters insurance to protect your belongings. 

If you own your condo, you may need to buy into the condo association’s master condo insurance plan. Check the plan to see what is covered and if you need to purchase an additional personal condo insurance policy. 

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The Bottom Line: Condo or renters insurance? 

While the two coverages are similar, the main difference between renters insurance and condo insurance is that renters insurance doesn’t cover the structural part of a home. Because of this, renters insurance is also generally cheaper to purchase than condo insurance or home insurance. 

The bottom line is that renters should purchase renters insurance, even if they are renting a condo. Condo owners should purchase condo insurance. 

If you aren’t sure what you need, you can always ask for help from an insurance agent, as the agent can direct you to the right coverage to purchase. Shopping around for condo insurance or renters insurance will also help you find the best rates in your area for your home.

Enter your ZIP code into our free online quote tool to start your comparison shopping for renters or condo insurance today.