Having a mobile home to call your own comes with very unique considerations. One of these would be qualifying for an insurance policy, which would involve a rather different process compared to owning a traditionally built home.
Because of how manufactured homes are built, relocated, and maintained, it requires a special form of insurance to efficiently cover the significant structural distinctions.
Below, we discuss all you need to know about purchasing an insurance policy for your mobile home and what are the best types of coverage you should look out for.
What is mobile home insurance?
Mobile home insurance is a legally binding document that provides you with financial protection in the event that your manufactured home is devastated by disasters and/ or accidents. It shares a similar concept with the standard insurance policy that most traditional homeowners possess. However, mobile home insurance is structured specifically to the needs and parameters of a manufactured home.
What do mobile home insurance policies typically cover?
There are 4 main coverage features that are crucial to the foundation of a sound mobile home insurance policy. When considering different options, ensure that each and every one of the following are included.
Dwelling coverage, also known as Physical Property Damage Coverage, you are entitled to a reimbursement for any damage to your mobile home that has been caused by varied events. The specific list of covered events should be clarified and stated under your policy limit. This could include fire, wind damage, explosions, falling objects, lightning, landslides, ice, snow, vandalism, stray animals, or even flood damage.
Flood damage is not traditionally covered by the average homeowner’s insurance policy. However, most mobile homes usually qualify for this due to the nature of their structure and vulnerability to harsh environments.
Personal Property Coverage
Personal property coverage compensates for any personal belongings inside the property that may have been damaged. More often than not, these are controlled at a certain percentage by your dwelling coverage limit.
Liability coverage is what keeps you protected against charges associated with the legal liability of damaging a 3rd party’s property or even injuries that your guests may have sustained within your own property.
Loss of Use Coverage
Loss of use coverage compensates for the living expenses incurred beyond your regular spending habits if your manufactured home suddenly becomes inhabitable. Factors that could fall under this are hotel stays and fuel used for relocating.
Other types of coverage
Apart from the 4 essential types above, there could be a variety of additional features that you may find useful for your manufactured home insurance policy. Depending on whom you choose as insurer, these features could either come standard to their packages or incur additional cost. We explore more of these options in the next section.
What are the notable optional coverage features to consider?
While they may not usually fall under the standard policy package, these optional coverage features are well worth considering despite that additional cost.
Trip Collision Coverage
Trip collision coverage compensates for the damage incurred while your mobile home is being transported from one location to the other. This could also include the initial transport of the manufactured home once it has just been constructed, any subsequent transport, and more.
Additional structure coverage compensates for any damage incurred on the adjacent or separate structures of your mobile home, such as your garage.
A Hobby Farm or Ranch Liability
Because a hobby farm or ranch has potential legal exposure to your mobile home, it would be wise to have coverage for it. This would be useful in situations wherein someone falls ill eating your homegrown food, and similar events.
Replacement Cost Coverage
Replacement cost covers any damage incurred on your mobile home, personal property, and/ or other structures. The main difference between this and the physical property damage feature is that with Replacement Cost Coverage, your property will be repaired at its full value – regardless of the depreciation or wear and tear it has accumulated prior to the event.
Water Backup Coverage
When drains or sewers get backed up, these could result in water damage within your mobile home. This feature ensures that you get compensated for any damage incurred from this event.
You would be surprised just how many identity theft cases arise on a regular basis. This coverage feature compensates for the costs incurred while correcting any concerns caused by identity fraud or theft.
Do you need mobile home insurance?
Legally speaking, you are not required by law to purchase mobile home insurance. However, it does not mean that it is not necessary. More often than not, home lenders will necessitate you to posses a certain amount of coverage before you can get approved for a mortgage. Moreover, a number of mobile home parks require some type of mobile home insurance before you can camp out there.
Lastly, mobile home insurance is one of the best ways you can protect yourself, your property, and your belongings – especially if the cost of repairing or replacing your home is out of budget.
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What is the average cost of mobile home insurance?
The cost of your mobile home insurance will vary on multiple factors relating to your property, location, and the coverage policies you acquire. It is a given, however, that most mobile home insurance policies are priced much lower than the standard homeowner policy.
According to multiple sources, the average cost of mobile home insurance in the United States is around $1,000 to $1,400 per year. In the next section, we discuss what factors affect how high or low your insurance rates go so you can better understand if what you are paying for is fair enough.
What affects mobile home insurance rates?
How much your insurance costs can vary significantly based on multiple factors. These factors are what all insurers look into in order to determine just how big of a risk your mobile home holds, and to better estimate what your premium is.
Factor #1: Location
Where your mobile home is primarily located can impact your policy’s premium because this can inform the insurer just how common environmental disasters and other hazards are in your area. It also helps them determine how much the average set of materials and labor would potentially cost locally.
Factor #2: Model Year
Manufactured homes that have been constructed before 1976 did not have any building standards whatsoever, which make them riskier for companies to insure. If your mobile home happens to be one of those classics, your insurer would most likely charge extra due to looser regulations during its fabrication.
Factor #3: Claims History
In the event that you have filed a homeowner’s insurance claim in the past five years, your insurance policy may come out more expensive compared to that of someone who has a clear record.
Factor #4: Credit Score
Credit score definitely affects many facets of our lives, and purchasing an insurance policy is one of them. A lot of home insurers may request for your Social Security Number in order to check your credit. How positive or negative your status may be will ultimately affect your final insurance rate
Factor #5: Discounts
There are usually savings opportunities from insurers when you want to invest in home security systems, fire alarms, paperless billing, and other efforts that minimize the amount of damage a certain event could potentially cause.
Factor #6: Policy customization
Insurers typically have a standard policy ready. However, if you feel that it is lacking in some coverage features, you have the freedom to customize your own policy in order to tailor fit it to your needs, preferences, and budget.
Factor #7: Homes That Are Tied Down
Mobile homes are built without traditional foundations, which make them all the more vulnerable to natural disasters. By having your mobile home tied down or anchored to the ground, you may be able to get a cheaper rate.
Factor #8: Skirting
Skirting is made out of either vinyl or brick and is used to cover the bottommost part of your mobile home. This is in order to efficiently insulate pipes and also keep stray animals out. Because this heightens security and lowers some form of risk, you may be able to get lower insurance rates.
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Why are manufactured homes harder to insure?
Manufactured homes are typically harder to insure simply because they are at greater risk of incurring damage.
Fire and Wind Damage
While a mobile home is not necessarily more susceptible to fire than traditional houses, they do end up spreading much faster and cause more damage – both due to the types of materials used and the size of the entire property.
Furthermore, materials used to construct mobile homes are lighter than that of traditional houses. This puts them at more risk of needing repairs after harsh wind, especially if the home is not anchored to the ground.
Mobile homes are built with lesser insulation, which could potentially freeze the pipes in the winter and eventually damage them in the long run.
Since mobile homes are brought to various locations, sometimes parked in campsites or trailer parks, there is a higher risk of theft.
Who is the top mobile home insurer?
Based on many sources, reviews, and assessments from various groups, the top 3 mobile home insurers are:
Top 1: Allstate
Allstate has a rich and long history in many insurance markets. They have a lot of experience under their belt and surely know their way around the industry. With more than 113 million policies set across the country, Allstate is known to be one of he best mobile home insurance providers across the US.
Pros of Allstate:
- They offer a 5% discount in the event that you are the original owner of the mobile home
- They also provide 10% off if you are over the age of 55 years old and are already retired – making it great for seniors and retirees
- Customers can save up to 15% on their policy if they have systems in place that add more protection to their homes such as fire alarms and security cameras.
- They offer the Claim RateGuard add-on, which is a feature that ensures your premium does not increase after a claim
- Available in all 50 states
- Provides add-ons for more valuable items such as sports equipment, musical instruments, and the like
- They are also top car insurers. If you choose to bundle your mobile home and auto insurance policies, you can save up to 25% on your premium.
- Save up to 5% on your policy when you opt in for automatic payments
- Mobile app available
Cons of Allstate:
- Customer service is quite limited, depending on your location
- Standard policies do not usually include Loss Of Use Coverage
- The Liability Coverage cap is lower than other providers at only $500,00
- Bit of a hassle to get a quote online
Top 2: American Family Insurance
American Family Insurance has been around longer than Allstate and is also regarded as one of the best mobile home insurers in the country.
Pros of American Family:
- Provides easy and accessible online quotes
- Has a Diminishing Deductible benefit, which lowers your deductible by $100 every year you opt to renew your policy
- Offers discounts when you bundle your mobile home and auto insurance policies
Cons of American Family:
- While they provide great policies, they only cover mobile homes in only 19 states
- Claims processing may be slower than competitors
Top 3: Progressive
Progressive is one of the biggest insurers in the country and is exceptionally beneficial for new homeowners.
Pros of Progressive:
- Has a mobile app and provides easy online quote
- Multiple payment plan options
- Offers Replacement Cost coverage option
Cons of Progressive:
- Not available in some states
- Utilizes underwritten policies from Assurant