Renters and condo insurance are both property policies; however, they cover different aspects of property. The two types of property covered are personal property and building coverage. Renters and condo insurance both cover personal property, but only condo insurance adds coverage for the building. Both renters and condo insurance include personal liability and guest medical coverage as well.
When you rent a property, whether it is an apartment, house, duplex or even a condo you need renters insurance to cover your personal property. The building owner’s insurance does not cover your personal property, and you are not required to insure the building. If you have a fire or are liable for unintentional damage to the building then the liability coverage will pay the landlord for the damages.
Personal Property Coverage
Personal property is anything that you own, not including motorized vehicles like cars or motorcycles which must be covered by separate policies. It helps to keep an itemized inventory of your property, with detailed descriptions and serial numbers of high-value items like big-screen televisions and stereo equipment.
A condo insurance policy is meant for people who purchase a condo. Because you own the condo you are required to have insurance on the building. The reason condo insurance is different than home insurance is that you own the condo, but the association generally covers the outside of the building up to a certain level. The amount of coverage provided by the condo association is specified in the association’s bylaws. The two types of building coverage required are typically listed as studs-in, or fixtures only.
The term studs-in means that the association will cover everything to rebuild the building, and you are responsible for the materials to rebuild from the building studs into the condo. This includes drywall, paint, carpet, cabinets and fixtures. This is the most common requirement for condo insurance.
Fixtures and Add-ons
The other option of coverage you might be responsible for is fixtures and add-ons. This is the minimal amount of coverage that condo owners might be responsible for. This includes light fixtures and possibly countertops and cabinets as well as any additions and add-ons that you built on after purchasing the condo.
Based out of Kansas City, Mo., James McMillian has been writing business- and insurance-related articles since 2004. His articles have appeared in eHow and Answerbag. McMillian holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.