Can I Insure A Home I Don’t Own? A Guide for Renters, Caretakers and Guests

If you are living in or taking care of a home that you don’t own, you might wonder if you can insure it against damage or loss.

The answer is not so simple, as different situations may require different types of insurance policies.

Here are some common scenarios and the possible insurance solutions for each one.

image of a home.

Renting a Home from a Landlord

If you are renting a home from a landlord, you cannot insure the home itself, as you do not have an insurable interest in the property.

However, you can and should insure your personal belongings inside the home with a renters insurance policy.

This will cover your furniture, clothing, electronics and other valuables in case of theft, fire, water damage or other perils.

Renters insurance also provides liability coverage if someone gets injured on the property and sues you for damages.

Some landlords may require you to have renters insurance as a condition of your lease agreement.

Even if they don’t, it is a good idea to have it for your own protection and peace of mind.

Renters insurance is usually affordable, costing around $15 to $20 per month on average.

Living in a Home Owned by a Relative or Friend

If you are living in a home owned by a relative or friend, you may be able to insure the home under their homeowners insurance policy.

Some homeowners policies may cover relatives who live in the same household as the policyholder, such as spouses, children, parents or siblings.

However, this may not apply to non-relatives or relatives who live in a separate unit within the property.

If you are not covered by the homeowners policy of the owner, you will need to get your own renters insurance policy.

Alternatively, you may ask the owner to add you as an additional insured on their policy, which may increase their premium but also provide more coverage for both of you.

RELATED: Does Home Insurance cover Structural Problems? Protect Your Home From Structural Problems

Can you buy Insurance on something you don’t own

The answer to your question depends on the type of property and the situation you are in.

Generally, you can only buy insurance on something that you have an insurable interest in, which means that you would suffer a financial loss if the property is damaged or destroyed.

An image of home insurance
However, there are some exceptions and special cases where you can insure something that you don’t own, such as

1.If you are renting a car or a home from someone else, you can buy insurance to cover your personal belongings and liability while using the property .

2.Whenever you are living in or taking care of a home owned by a relative or friend, you may be able to get added to their homeowners insurance policy as an additional insured, or ask them to add you to the title or registration of the property.

3.If you are taking care of a vacant or unoccupied home that belongs to someone else, you may need to advise them to get a special type of insurance called vacant or unoccupied home insurance, which is more expensive and provides less coverage than a standard homeowners policy.

On the other hand, buying insurance on something that you don’t own and have no insurable interest in is considered insurance fraud, which is illegal and punishable by law.

For example, if you buy insurance on a car or a home that does not exist or belongs to someone else, and then make a false claim to collect money from the insurance company, you are committing insurance fraud.

How can I avoid insurance fraud

Insurance fraud is a serious and costly problem that affects both insurance companies and consumers.

It can take many forms, such as lying on an application, faking a death, staging an accident, or inflating a claim.

image of insurance fraud poster notice
Insurance fraud awareness image [PHOTO COURTESY OF KEYIMAGES]
To avoid insurance fraud, you can take the following steps:

1.Never pay an insurance premium in cash. Always use a check, money order, or credit card and make sure it is made out to the insurance company, not the individual agent or their business¹².

2.Do not sign any blank or incomplete documents. Read and understand everything before you sign and keep copies of all your paperwork.

3.Get a receipt for any premium paid and demand a copy of the insurance policy. Check the policy details and make sure they match what you agreed to.

4.Demand itemized bills and check for accuracy for medical and repair services. Report any suspicious charges or services to your insurance company and the authorities.

5.Track all claims against your insurance and review your statements regularly. Report any errors or discrepancies to your insurance company as soon as possible.


This article explains how to insure a home that you don’t own, depending on whether you are renting, living with a relative or friend, or taking care of a vacant or unoccupied home.

It also provides some tips on how to find the best insurance policy for your situation.

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