Mobile Home Insurance: What to Look For and Where to Get It

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If you own a mobile home, also known as a manufactured home, you’ll need to get insurance on your home just as you would on a traditional home.

However, standard homeowners insurance policies generally won’t cover manufactured homes. Instead, mobile home owners need to get mobile home insurance to protect their homes in case disaster strikes.

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What is mobile home insurance?

Mobile home insurance typically covers the same general types of risks as a traditional homeowners policy, along with a few other types of coverage that only apply to manufactured homes.

Physical damage

If your manufactured home is damaged by a fire, storm, or natural disaster, the physical damage coverage of your mobile home insurance will kick in and help you to cover the costs. It may also help with additional living expenses, such as hotel and food costs if your home is unlivable due to accidental water damage. Note that like traditional homeowners insurance, mobile home insurance typically won’t include additional coverage options like flood insurance or earthquake coverage. You’ll need to buy these as separate policies.

Liability

If someone else gets hurt on your property and then sues you, or if you accidentally damage someone else’s property while in your home, liability coverage may protect you. Mobile home personal liability insurance will typically cover both the legal costs and any damages you’re required to pay by the court, up to your coverage limit.

Personal property

A disaster that damages or destroys your home will likely also damage your personal belongings. Personal property coverage will reimburse you for the cost of repairing or replacing your possessions. It can also help in situations where your home isn’t damaged but your property is (e.g. if someone breaks into your house and steals your things).

Mobile-specific coverage

Your mobile home insurance policy may also include some more idiosyncratic types of coverage. For example, unlike traditional homes, mobile homes may be moved from one location to another. Trip collision coverage protects your home while it’s on the move.

Do modular homes require mobile home insurance?

Modular homes fall somewhere between manufactured and traditional houses in terms of how they’re constructed. The parts for a modular home are assembled in a factory, then shipped to the home’s new location. Builders then assemble the modular home on top of a traditional foundation or crawlspace. Manufactured homes, on the other hand, are built in one piece; the entire building is then shipped to its final location. The home is then either placed on a foundation or simply strapped to the ground.

Because modular homes are neither fish nor fowl, the type of insurance policy you’ll need can vary from one provider to another. You’ll need to ask each insurance carrier whether they consider modular homes to be covered under homeowners or mobile home insurance so that you can get a relevant quote.

Mobile home insurance coverage limits

Before you can start shopping for mobile home insurance, you’ll need to select how much home coverage you need. Like homeowners insurance, mobile home insurance policies typically set different limits for different types of coverage.

  • Physical damage: It’s important to get enough physical damage coverage to pay for replacing your home if it’s completely destroyed. Bear in mind that physical damage coverage extends to other structures on your property, including sheds, fences, garages, and decks.
  • Liability: The more assets you have, the more liability coverage you need. That’s because someone with considerable assets may become a target for lawsuits, and the damages could conceivably cost you everything you own. Substantial liability coverage can help you to hang onto some or even all of your assets in a worst-case scenario.
  • Personal property: Like physical damage coverage, you’ll want enough personal property damage coverage to pay for a full replacement of your possessions. It’s best to keep a list of your valuables and include photos of each item, to help smooth out the claims process. As you buy new big-ticket items, don’t forget to update your personal property coverage limits accordingly.

It’s also crucial to understand just how each of these types of coverage works within a given policy since specific coverage rules can vary quite a bit. For example, physical damage coverage can be either actual cash value, meaning the policy will only reimburse you up to the current value of your home after a disaster, or replacement cost, meaning the policy will reimburse you enough to replace your home with an identical version (up to the limits of your coverage, of course).

Some policies provide replacement cost coverage but only if your mobile home is totally destroyed; if it’s only damaged, such policies will provide reimbursement only up to the value of your home prior to the damage. Don’t be afraid to keep asking questions until you understand exactly how the policy works – before you sign on the dotted line.

The cost of mobile home insurance

Because so many different factors go into mobile home insurance rates, it’s difficult to say exactly how much you’ll end up spending on your own insurance policy. Your location, the age and value of your mobile home, your deductible, and your coverage limits will all have a significant impact on your rates.

For example, if your mobile home was built before June 15, 1976, expect to pay quite a bit more for mobile home insurance. That’s because mobile homes built before that date were not held to any building standard, so insurers consider them riskier.

Mobile home insurance companies

Not all insurance companies offer mobile home insurance policies. Here are a few of the companies that do provide such policies, though some only work through affiliates.

  • Allstate
  • American Family Insurance
  • American Modern Insurance
  • Farmers Insurance
  • Foremost Insurance
  • Geico
  • HomeFirst
  • MetLife
  • Progressive
  • State Farm
  • USAA

It’s important to get mobile home insurance quotes from several different companies so that you can be sure you’re getting the best possible deal. Because different insurance companies use different factors to determine their rates, you can get wildly different quotes from different companies for identical mobile home policies.

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Wendy Connick is the founder and owner of Connick Financial Solutions, a provider of tax and bookkeeping services and a QuickBooks Online Certified ProAdvisor. A long-time freelance writer, she specializes in business and finance articles on subjects including taxes, investing, and retirement. Wendy is an Enrolled Agent (EA), the only federally-licensed tax practitioners who specialize in taxation and have unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS. She is a member of the National Association of Enrolled Agents and a certified volunteer for VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance), an IRS-sponsored program to provide free tax help for low-income individuals and families.