Insurance Line

Many people live in mobile homes all year round, others use them as a vacation home. Based on data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau, 17.7 million people live in mobile homes (2016). Given this, you would imagine they are covered under homeowners’ insurance. However, due to the fact that mobile homes are built off-site, they need slightly different insurance than site-built homes.  Mobile home insurance takes into account their unique build and characteristics.

To clarify any confusions surrounding mobile homes and their insurance, and learn tips for saving money, continue reading this article. 

What Is a Mobile Home?

It can be a fantastic affordable home for people with low income or those seeking to lower their environmental footprint. Plus, if situated in a beautiful location, they can be used as convenient vacation homes. 

Mobile homes are sometimes also called trailers, but in most cases, they should actually be referred to as manufactured homes. While the terms are often used interchangeably, strictly speaking, a mobile home refers to a factory-built home constructed before June 15, 1976, and homes built after that date are considered manufactured homes. The name change originates from the 1976 Mobile Home Construction and Safety Act that was passed to regulate the production safety and quality of homes built off site, which means that manufactured homes are built under a higher set of standards.

A mobile or manufactured home has two defining characteristics:

  1. Built in a factory as opposed to on-site.
  2. Resides on a movable chassis, rather than a slab, basement or crawlspace, although these days they can also be placed on a permanent foundation.

They can be built faster and cheaper than site-built homes,yet still offer a comfortable and spacious living environment.

Manufactured homes typically come in three sizes: single wide, double wide and triple wide. After having been built in a factory, manufactured homes are easily customized. Such customizable features include vaulted ceilings and various floor plans. 

The Difference Between Mobile and Modular Homes

Modular and mobile homes can look similar, but there are a few distinctions to be made. Although modular homes are also built in factories, have spacious floor plans, and offer a lot of customization options, unlike mobile homes, they are built in multiple pieces and assembled on a solid foundation, resembling site built homes in that regard. They also follow the building codes of their final location. In addition, modular homes can have multiple stories. The distinction is essential, as it determines the kind of insurance you need. Modular homes are generally covered under homeowners’ insurance.

 

 

What Does Mobile Home Insurance Cover?

Aside from the name, mobile home insurance and homeowners’ insurance are similar in many ways. Both are customizable to fit the needs of the owner. Most policies typically offer the following coverage:

  • Physical damage coverage If events like fire, wind, theft, or vandalism bring damage to your mobile home, its structure, or the belongings inside, you will be covered up to the policy limits. The coverage can also extend to any attached structures, such as patios, decking, garages, and sheds. Flooding is not covered and will require specific flood insurance.
  • Personal liability coverage If someone is injured or their belongings are damaged while on your property and they file a lawsuit against you, you will be covered. This covers claims that include repairs, replacements, medical bills, and lost wages. It also covers your legal fees related to the claim. Liability coverage does not cover losses from injuries to either you or other residents of the property.
  • Named peril policies – These are a cost-effective way of covering yourself for specific perils. However, if damage happens by means not listed in the policy, you have to pay for fixing the damages yourself. It will save you money on premiums, but can cost you more in the event damage is caused by an unlisted peril.

Insurance can be bought for mobile homes that are rented, commercial, only used seasonally, or located on private property. 

Be aware that general policies do not cover the home while it is in transit. Some insurance providers do offer temporary coverage for the moving process, covering any damage to the home or personal property within. Speak to your insurance provider to specify the provisions.

Additionally, although water leakage is covered in certain situations, most policies will not cover water damage if the cause is determined to be lack of maintenance. Poor maintenance is seen as the owner’s responsibility. 


Factors Affecting the Cost of Mobile Home Insurance 

When purchasing mobile home insurance, various factors are used to determine the price. Knowing what they are can help you save money. These factors include:

  • The value of the mobile home – More expensive mobile homes demand costlier insurance.
  • The size and age of the mobile home – The bigger or older the mobile home, the more expensive the insurance will be.
  • The location – Where your mobile home is situated will play a big role in determining the cost of insurance. Weather patterns, risk of floods, crime rates, etc. all are factored into the insurance premiums.
  • Repair and renovation history – A history of good maintenance and upkeep and a house with newly renovated features could lead to lower premiums.
  • Value of your belongings – Similar to the first point, higher value of things usually calls for more expensive insurance.

How to Save Money on Mobile Home Insurance 

Taking account of the factors influencing the cost of insurance, you can do several things to reduce the cost. These include:

  • Improve fire safety Installing fire alarms, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and even sprinklers reduces fire risk and thereby the cost of insurance.
  • Boost security – Adding safety features, such as deadbolts, burglar arms and fireproof safes for valuables, will all reduce the cost of insurance.
  • Bundle policies When you combine your other insurance policies, such as auto insurance, with your mobile home insurance, you can lower your costs.
  • Increase deductibles – By increasing your deductibles, you naturally decrease your premiums. However, you need to have more cash on hand when damages occur.
  • Shop around Getting quotes from multiple insurance companies will let you compare different policies and pick out the one with the most value for your money.

Want to discuss your options with an insurance specialist? Just send us an email and we will help you find the policy that best protects you.

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