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Edited by John Leach
Updated September 13, 2022
Reading time: 5 minutes
Do I need insurance for my tiny home?
Yes! Any property asset you have you should be insured, and if you're tiny home doubles as a vehicle, you absolutely must get it insured.
A tiny house doesn’t always mean a tiny insurance premium.
Over the last decade, the rise of alternative housing has been undeniable. And the tiny house is leading the way. Hundreds of YouTube channels are devoted to the subject. HGTV has no fewer than two tiny house television shows. According to the folks at Go Downsize, there are approximately 10,000 tiny homes in the U.S. alone, with 700 professionally built homes sold every year.
But a tiny house has at least one big problem: insurance. Insurance carriers are befuddled as to how to calculate risk and offer meaningful policies. Tiny homes usually don’t fit the criteria of a traditional home. But they aren’t exactly R.V.s either. Insurance hasn’t quite caught up to the trend.
Whether you’re full time or use your tiny as a vacation home, it’s important to protect your investment. And if your tiny home is financed, your lender will require a you to carry a policy.
Fear not, tiny home dwellers! We know how to insure that tiny home whether you built it yourself or bought it from a builder.
Tiny Home Insurance Requirements
The short answer: yes. You should protect your home, no matter how tiny, with an insurance product or products. Custom-built tiny houses run anywhere from $25,000 for a 160 square feet modest build to $150,000 400 square feet of absolute luxury. Either way, it’s a big chunk of change to replace or rebuild your home.
When something goes wrong, your insurance is a safety net. So long as you’ve purchased insurance to cover the peril, you’ll be able to get things back to normal for a low cost.
Tiny Home Insurance Coverage
Hazards abound for any structure, and a tiny house is no different. The coverage you need will depend upon how you built and use your home. Here are the essential components for full-coverage tiny house insurance:
Dwelling Coverage: Aka home coverage, covers the structure of your home if it’s damaged or destroyed by a named peril, also known as a covered risk.
Personal Property Coverage: Covers your personal belongings like electronics and jewelry.
Personal Liability Coverage: This covers you if someone hurts themselves in your tiny home. You can purchase additional liability insurance with an umbrella policy if you can’t get enough coverage with your home policy.
Transportation: Covers your home when you change location.
Riders: Cover anything that other categories cannot.
Additionally, your policy should come with a deductible you can afford.
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Types of Insurance Products that (May) Cover Your Tiny Home
When you’re dreaming big about going tiny, insurance probably isn’t the first thing to come to mind. But you should think about how you’ll set up your insurance program before you build. It’s just as important as looking up your local zoning laws.
That’s because the way you build and use your tiny house affects which insurance products are available to you. Below are the best insurance options for tiny home dwellers.
RV insurance is a good fit for tiny homeowners who plan to move locations often. It’s designed for life on the road and includes provisions that no other option offers. To qualify for an RV policy, your tiny home will need to meet the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) standards.
Insurance coverage includes:
Collision: Covers you if your tiny home runs into something or another vehicle runs into your tiny home.
Comprehensive: Covers fire, flood, and hail. May require special riders.
Uninsured Motorist: Covers you if your tiny home is hit by someone without car insurance.
Personal Property: Covers your personal belongings if they are damaged, stolen, or destroyed.
Notice that personal liability—coverage if someone is injured in your home—is absent. To ensure you’re fully covered, add a renters insurance policy to your insurance plan.
Renters insurance is a great way to cover your personal property and personal liability. It’s cheap: the average policy covers about $20,000 of your belongings and $100,000 of personal liability for less than $200 a year.
But there is one important note: be sure your policy covers replacement costs, not actual cash value. Actual cash value policies are cheaper, but if you lose your belongings, you will spend a lot more money replacing them than what your company will reimburse you for.
Manufactured/Mobile Home Insurance
Mobile or manufactured home insurance is an excellent option for people who plan to park their tiny home for the long haul. The rise of tiny home communities has made this option more popular in the last few years. Several states, including California, Texas, Colorado, and Florida, have tiny home communities. Most have around 30 homes. The largest boasts 200 units for rent.
Mobile home insurance standard coverage includes:
You can also add optional coverage like a trip collision rider to the policy.
Top insurance providers offering mobile home insurance include:
For a minority of tiny home dwellers, a traditional homeowners policy is the answer. The tiny home must be built on a foundation and meet certain requirements. Those requirements will be dependent upon the insurance carrier.
Home insurance policies cover:
It won’t cover transportation. This is only important during the transportation of the materials of your home. You can purchase Inland Marine Insurance to cover the contents in transit. Once the home is built to code, you can apply for homeowners policy.
Looking for the best cheap home insurance? Use Insurify. Compare coverage options, discover discounts, and unlock the tiniest home insurance rate around!
Tiny Home Insurance Specialists
There are a few companies out there offering tiny home-specific insurance products. Tiny home insurance can be used to cover most, if not all, perils you face as a tiny homeowner. What’s great about these policies is that they can be tailored to exactly what you need. You will likely have to submit inspections for your home, including electric wiring.
You can also look for insurance agencies that specialize in tiny homes. If you are getting a home custom built, your builder may recommend an agency.
Inland Marine Insurance
The name might be a little confusing. Inland marine insurance isn’t for boats. It’s meant to cover property and equipment while it’s transported over land. It’s a great way to protect your property, but it does not include personal property. If you decide inland marine insurance is right for you, be sure to supplement your policy with a product like renters insurance.
Common Problems Getting Tiny Home Insurance
There are a few situations that will make your home more challenging to insure. It doesn’t mean that you’ll have no options, but you will have fewer. And you may be asked to make some changes to your home, like adding fire extinguishers or replacing your electric system.
Things insurance companies will see as a red flag include:
DIY builds by unlicensed/non-professionals
Primary or sole source of heating from a wood or pellet-burning stove
Several claims in your home’s history
Existing damage to your home
Poor credit history of the homeowner
Best Tiny Home Insurance By Type of Tiny Home
|Type of Home||How It’s Used||Best Insurance Product|
|Tiny House with a Permanent Foundation||Tiny house is built using a permanent foundation and adheres to building codes.|
|Tiny House on Wheels Semi-Permanent Location||Tiny house that is transportable, but won’t be moved to a new location more than once every few years.|
|Tiny House on Wheels without a Semi-Permanent Location||Tiny house that is moved seasonally or annually.|
If you’re struggling to figure our which option is right for you, we have insurance agents standing by to help you. They can walk you through the pros and cons of each insurer. Plus, they’ll show you how to lower your insurance costs.
Frequently Asked Questions About Tiny Home Insurance
A DIY tiny house can cause some problems. But there is an important distinction to make between the way a DIY tiny house can be built:
Built by an owner/contractor
Built by owner with contractor supervision
Build by owner without contractor supervision
You may have already guessed that the first two options are more appealing to an insurance company. But if you are going to build without supervision, be sure to carefully document your process and get it inspected. This is especially important when it comes to electricity.
If your insurance policy does not cover your home in transit, you’ll need to purchase additional coverage. This could be in the form of a rider attached to your current policy. You can also buy specialty insurance known as a trip endorsement.
Be sure that it covers your personal belongings and the structure of your home. And don’t forget to speak with your car insurance agent about how towing your home can affect your insurance. You may also find a competitive rate by bundling your with your auto insurance.
If your tiny home is a vacation home, you may have to find creative ways to meet your needs. However, if your home is on wheels and meets RVIA standards, your best option is to us RV insurance.
There are several insurance companies that provide mobile home insurance. The best include:
American Modern (AMIG)
Please note that some may use affiliates to offer these policies. And don’t forget to look at multiple quotes for mobile home insurance. Comparison shopping is the best way to get the lowest rate.
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Data scientists at Insurify analyzed over 40 million auto insurance rates across the United States to compile the car insurance quotes, statistics, and data visualizations displayed on this page. The car insurance data includes coverage analysis and details on drivers' vehicles, driving records, and demographic information. With these insights, Insurify is able to offer drivers insight into how their car insurance premiums are priced by companies.