With soaring home prices and a growing desire to live a simpler life, more people are turning to tiny homes instead of larger, site-built homes. While tiny homes are generally more affordable than regular homes, they are still a big investment that can cost tens of thousands of dollars or more. Insurance will help protect your investment if disaster strikes.
Tiny home insurance works a little differently than traditional homeowners’ insurance. Here’s what you need to know about insuring mobile tiny houses.
To protect your tiny home, you’ll likely need RV tiny house insurance. The type of insurance you need will depend on whether your tiny home is attached to its home site. If your house is on wheels, RV insurance will be your best bet. Otherwise, you may be able to purchase a manufactured/mobile home policy (more on that shortly).
Before you start shopping for coverage, first make sure that local laws allow you to have a tiny home as your primary residence. If your local laws permit you to live in a tiny home, you can start the process of finding and comparing your insurance options.
Insuring a tiny home is not unlike insuring a traditional home. The process typically involves:
- Finding and comparing quotes
- Choosing the coverage you need
- Making monthly payments
It’s important to consider how much insurance you will need and the type of insurance you want to purchase.
How Much Insurance Do You Need for a Tiny Home?
Insurance isn’t typically required for a tiny home, but it’s in your best interest to have coverage. If you’re financing your home, your lender will likely require insurance coverage. But how much coverage do you need?
The answer depends on several factors, including the cost of replacing your tiny home in the event of a total loss. That said, most standard policy coverage options should meet your needs. For example, Strategic Insurance’s tiny home policy includes:
- $250,000 in dwelling coverage
- $25,000 in personal property coverage
- $3,000 in theft
- $1 million in liability
- $1,000 in medical payments
These coverage limits should suffice for most tiny homeowners, but you may find that you need more or less coverage.
If you’re unsure of your coverage needs, it may be worth consulting with an insurance agent to determine how much insurance you will need to protect your investment.
Types of Tiny House Insurance
Depending on the type of tiny house that you have, you may need different insurance. Thankfully, there are only two types of insurance:
- On Wheels: If your tiny house will remain on its wheels so that you can easily transport it, you’ll need RV insurance.
- Stationary: If your tiny home is stationary, meaning that it’s on a foundation, you’ll need mobile home insurance.
So, you’ll have to obtain one of the following:
- RV Insurance, OR
- Mobile home insurance
However, what these insurances offer and how they protect your tiny home are going to be slightly different.
RV Insurance Basics
Keeping the wheels on your tiny house offers you the most freedom to move your home. You can bring your home to a different lot, move across the country and treat the home as an “RV.” Travelers will benefit from RV insurance the most because it includes multiple forms of protection for your home, including:
- Collision: If you get in an accident while transporting the home, collision will cover the cost of the damages.
- Comprehensive: Accidents aren’t the only incidents that can occur to your home. Comprehensive coverage will protect your home from weather-related issues, theft, falling objects, fire and other incidents.
- Liability: Accidents can cause injuries and property damage to others besides you. Liability will cover these damages so that you’re not liable for these costs.
- Medical Payment: If you or any of the passengers in the vehicle were injured in an accident, medical payments coverage would help pay their medical bills.
- Personal Property: Any property of yours that is damaged, lost or destroyed will be covered up to the personal property limit of your policy.
- Uninsured or Underinsured: If you’re in an accident with someone who doesn’t have insurance or has too little insurance, it will be covered by uninsured or underinsured coverage.
You’ll want to review the tiny home insurance policy with your potential provider to ensure it includes the coverage you need to protect your home.
Mobile Home Insurance Basics
If you have or had traditional homeowner’s insurance, mobile home insurance is similar. The policy will cover:
- Liability claims
- Personal property claims
- Home in general
If a tree falls on your home or it’s damaged due to weather, it will be covered under your policy. However, there is one area of risk that must be considered: transport. Your mobile home insurance will not protect the home when it’s in transport.
Instead, you may need to seek out short-term RV insurance if you plan to relocate your tiny home at any point.
You may also be able to take out peril insurance, but you need to be very cautious of this type of insurance policy. The main issue with taking out peril insurance is that it’s very specific. For example, if you don’t mention the potential peril of a tree limb falling on the home and damaging it, the insurer will deny the claim.
Tiny home insurance should be comprehensive, and while peril insurance may save you some money, it will leave you open to significant risks.
When getting estimates for insurance for your tiny home, be sure to review the policy thoroughly. For example, if the tiny home is going to be in a flood zone and it’s not in your insurance policy, your home won’t be covered in the event of a flood.
If you already have tiny house insurance, you can always:
- Review your policy online
- Call your insurer to ask what coverage you have
Coverage options and limits will dictate how much your insurance costs.
How Much Does Tiny Home Insurance Cost?
The cost of tiny home insurance can vary greatly, depending on several factors, including your coverage and deductible.
However, the average cost of insurance for a tiny home is $850 if it’s a mobile home policy. RV insurance till typically runs around $400 per year.
Factors that will affect the cost of your policy include:
- The insurance provider
- Your credit history
- Whether you have a mobile or stationary tiny home
- The size, value and location of the home
- Whether or not your home is certified
- How often you transport the home
Larger homes that are primarily mobile (transported often) will likely have a more expensive insurance policy than one that is smaller and stationary.
Are Off-grid Homes Covered By A Specific Type Of Insurance Policy?
No. Off-grid means different things for different people, and for many, this means that the tiny house will handle its own:
If the off-grid unit is on the same property as your main home, it may be covered under your homeowner’s insurance, but you’ll need to contact your insurer for clarification. Many people will also take out peril policies and include a wide array of common concerns, such as a falling tree or other peril that is likely if the person is truly remote.
Tiny House Insurance Companies
Tiny home insurance is being offered by more insurance companies, and you’ll need to verify with your own state’s requirements. Most insurers will require the home to be 100 – 400 square feet to qualify as a tiny home.
Multiple insurers are available, and some of the largest insurance companies in the country have policies available for mobile homes.
Progressive won’t insure your tiny home under a home insurance policy, but they may under a mobile home insurance policy in some states. The standard mobile home insurance policy from Progressive will cover:
- Dwelling coverage
- Personal property/belongings
- Liability insurance
- Loss of use
You can also add additional coverage options to provide even more coverage for your tiny home. Some of the additional coverage options include:
- Replacement cost coverage
- Trip collision coverage
- Single deductible benefit
Progressive will require you to fill out a quote online or by calling the company and speaking to one of their agents. If you have insurance through Progressive already, they may be a good option for you.
Geico is one of the most popular insurance companies in the world, and they have tiny home insurance options, too. As a reputable insurance company, they offer both RV and mobile home insurance.
The company states that their tiny house insurance covers common issues, such as:
- Falling objects
- Medical payment coverage
You can also take out an RV insurance policy, which will provide:
- Total loss replacement
- Replacement cost
- Emergency expenses
- Vacation liability coverage
Geico will require you to provide information on your intended tiny home use to better provide you with an insurance quote.
Liberty Mutual is another major insurer and one that offers a lot of great online tools, amazing customer service and also exceptional discounts on insurance. The insurer does offer mobile home insurance, which will cover:
- Property damage
- Any attached structure
RV insurance may be available, but it’s not available in all states and you will need a Liberty Mutual Auto Insurance policy to obtain RV insurance.
If you have a tiny home on wheels and plan to transport it often, you will need a reliable travel trailer and adequate travel trailer insurance. That’s where Foremost comes in.
Foremost can provide travel trailer insurance during transport. You can also upgrade your coverage to protect your tiny home while it’s parked.
Policies can be customized with endorsements, and it’s easy to file a claim online. They offer coverage for most perils, including
You’ll need to contact the company to obtain a quote, but Foremost is still considered one of the best insurers for tiny homes that are always on the move.
Strategic Insurance Agency
Strategic Insurance Agency is a popular choice for tiny home insurance because they specialize in this type of coverage. Their coverage is customizable to meet your needs and is available in 48 states.
Strategic Insurance Agency’s coverages include:
- Dwelling up to $250,000
- Contents and personal property up to $25,000
- Theft of content up to $3,000
- Liability up to $1 million
- Medical coverage of $1,000
- Deductibles of $500, $1,000 or $2,500
Additional coverages include
- Other structures
- Replacement cost for contents
- Theft of tiny home
- Trip endorsement
Strategic Insurance does not require any special certifications to obtain their insurance.
If you’re seeking mobile home insurance for your tiny home, American Family Insurance may have the solution for you. The insurer offers a variety of coverages and the ability to build a customized policy with endorsements.
American Family is known for having excellent customer service and generous discounts. However, they do not offer coverage in every state, and you will need to contact the company to learn about their coverage limits and deductible options.
If you plan to place your tiny home on a permanent foundation, American Family’s mobile home insurance may be a good fit for you. They offer the same level of coverage that you’ll find with a conventional homeowner’s insurance policy. Their policy includes:
- Dwelling coverage
- Personal property
You can also add endorsements to extend and fill gaps in your coverage, such as hidden water damage coverage or other structures coverage.
American Family makes it easy to get a quote online, and they offer many discounts, including smart home devices and paying your premium in full.
If you’re building your own tiny home, you will need a special type of insurance to protect your build: builder’s risk insurance.
The Hartford offers builder’s risk insurance. This type of policy will protect your:
If something happens to any of these components during the building process, your policy can help cover the cost of repair or replacement. It covers a variety of perils, including:
- Natural disasters
In addition to standard coverage, you can also purchase endorsements, like property replacement coverage or debris removal.
Builder’s risk insurance is only valid for a certain period of time. The Hartford does not provide any information on policy periods or coverage limits. You will need to contact the company to learn more about their policy and to get started with your insurance quote.