Insuring a House Hack

3 Replies

Hello Everyone!

I am in the process of buying a side by side duplex where I will rent out half and live in the other.  I have talked to USAA and State Farm so far but they gave me very different information.


    Homeowners Insurance

Dwelling: 310,000

Personal Belongings: $155,000

Personal Liability: 1,000,000

Monthly Payment of $173

State Farm: 100% Replacement Cost

     Rental Dwelling

Dwelling: 162,000

Personal Property: 8,100

Business Liability coverage: 1,000,000

Monthly: $43

    Homeowners Rate

Dwelling: 158,000

Personal Property: 118,500

Personal Liability: 1,000,000

Monthly: $43

Total Monthly = $86

I have read different places that house hacking situations should be insured under landlord insurance (to cover the structure) and renters insurance (to cover personal property).  I asked about this when doing both quotes and neither seemed to fully understand what I was talking about.  Any guidance on this would be appreciated!  Thank you! 


with a Side by Side Duplex it is necessary to see how the ownership is. There are some side by sides where each can have a separate owner. Yours sounds more like a traditional two family where you own the whole structure. From what you posted, the lower quote may be based on the assumption that you only own the half you are living in. that could account for the difference in limits.

Based on what you have said, most Insurance companies would want to insured you on a Homeowners form. For a 2 family Homeowner it covers the building, your contents (not those owned by the renter), your detached structures, your loss of use (if you have to live elsewhere after a covered loss) and your loss of rents.

The building coverage should reflect the Replacement Cost of the building (the cost to rebuild it with like kind and quality). If the house is 1500 sq ft and the average rebuilding cost is $200 per sq ft, the Replacement cost should be in the area of $300,000. The agent will plug in the details of your home into an estimating program from the company to come up with the limit that you need to insure it for with that company (it can vary by company). Hope this has helped.

Sorry, when I went back and reread your post I saw that the State Farm quote appears to be based on an non-owner occupied dwelling. I would go back to them and ask to have it requoted as a owned two family.

The two quotes you presented are both from companies with only one option. I would recommend you check with one or more independent agents who represent multiple companies and see what they come up with.

that state farm office must not have understood what you were doing. If you are living in one of the units it should be a homeowners policy. The quote should look much more similar to the one you got from USAA. when we quote homes, it gives us an option to select it as a duplex. 

i agree with the 1,000,000 of liability coverage. and always have your tenants have their own renter's insurance to cover THEIR belongings.