While condo and renters insurance share similar qualities they are very different in terms of whom they are protecting. Condo insurance is for condominium owners; renters insurance is for renters of any type of dwelling from an apartment to a house. Both levels of coverage will offer contents protection and liability insurance but this is where their similarities end.

While learning what condo insurance is and renters insurance is too, and how they both fall under the broad 'homeowners coverage' category, you will essentially be protect against damage or destruction to your items and your home. Both plans usually include compensation from water, rain, hail, wind and other storm damage as well as damage caused by certain named perils and hazards such as landslides and tornadoes. Both coverage options will also protect against theft, vandalism, fire, smoke damage and civil commotion to your property.

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When you become an owner of a condominium or another type of unit in a complex then you will automatically become connected to that homeowners association of the complex. A homeowners association, or HOA, is often referred to a condo association as well. Each condo association will have condominium insurance which you will need to pay as part of a dweller in that complex. Every HOA policy is different but most will only offer protection from liability suits and damage to the complex as a whole. Each individual condo owner will be responsible for purchasing additonal condominium insurance for their own unit and their contents.

Individual condo insurance includes contents protection as well as liability insurance and structural protection to your individual unit. Structural protection may not be necessary depending on what is included on your HOA policy. If your individual unit's roof, floors and walls are covered, then you can do without structural insurance.

Contents protection pays for damage to your moveable objects within your property including your furniture, electronics, jewelry, collectables and toys to name a few. You can choose to insure as much or as little as you want on your policy but a standard coverage plan will include $20,000 to $30,000 of contents protection.

Liability coverage pays for medical or legal expenses in the event that someone is hurt on your property. Check your HOA policy to see what is covered under their liability clause; in most instances the HOA master policy will only cover injuries in common complex grounds such as the swimming pool and parking lot; each individual unit owner will need to buy additional liability coverage for inside their four walls.

Depending on what is included on your HOA master policy, you may want to look into debris (or clean up) coverage as well as flood and earthquake protection if these are not covered by your HOA. If you are a condo owner but using your condominium as a rental property then additional landlord protection may also be a good idea.

Renters Insurance Options

Renters can expect their insurance to be much more affordable than condo owners as you are only renting the property. Renters insurance includes three main types of coverage: loss of use coverage, contents protection; and liability coverage. Contents protection and liability coverage are similar to condo insurance while loss of use coverage pays for any moving expenses if you need to move out of your damaged or destroyed home.

For both condo and renters insurance the policy holder has the ultimate say in how much coverage they want and what they choose to insure. Weigh your options carefully to get the most accurate, adequate and affordable policy out there, regardless of whether you are a condo owner or a renter.

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