So you’ve decided that moderate to large sized houses aren’t for you, and you’ve decided to go tiny. But while you may be eagerly anticipating the sense of tranquility that less required cleaning is sure to bring, unfortunately you still can’t escape many of the common risks that all homeowners face, like fire and natural disasters. No matter the size and shape of your home, you’ll want to get the proper coverage. That’s where tiny house insurance comes in.
What Is Tiny House Insurance and How Does It Differ from Traditional Homeowners Insurance?
Well, defining this type of insurance isn’t as black and white as some other kinds of homeowners policies because a lot of it depends on the kind of tiny house you own. For example, if you’ve built a tiny house in your backyard, the coverage for it will just be added to your existing homeowners policy as a second structure. The trick is when the tiny home is built elsewhere, or is even on wheels.
If you’re building a stationary tiny house on a separate lot you purchased, you’ll likely have to look to the surplus insurance market to find a policy. Traditional homeowners insurance companies are likely not interested in insuring a stationary tiny home, because the annual premiums they’d be able to charge would be too low to be profitable. However, an independent insurance agent can still help point you in the right direction to find coverage.
If your tiny house is mobile or “on wheels,” you’ll want to look into getting either an RV insurance policy and/or a mobile home insurance policy that can be tweaked to meet your needs. Many tiny house owners opt to go with an RV insurance policy because it covers your home both while it’s in motion and stationary. Once tailored into a tiny house insurance policy, it’ll cover liability concerns as well as collision, physical damage, and more.
What Does Tiny House Insurance Cover?
Assuming your tiny house is mobile and not able to be added to your current homeowners policy as a second structure, it’s going to need coverage to protect it and other vehicles while on the road, as well as coverage for the structure and its contents while stationary. Tiny house insurance packages are essentially a reworking of RV insurance packages, and sometimes they draw elements of mobile home insurance in as well, for a true hybrid policy.
Because of the unique nature of mobile tiny homes, it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact coverages that may come together in your tiny house insurance package. However, you can get a better idea of the coverage options available that may constitute your policy.
Your tiny house insurance package may comprise several or all of the following coverages:
- Collision: Covers repairs or replacement of your tiny house if it gets damaged or destroyed in an accident.
- Comprehensive: Covers damage to your tiny house from perils such as theft and natural disasters.
- Liability coverage: Covers legal expenses such as attorney and court fees in the event you are sued for bodily injury or property damage to a third party either on the road or while parked. Settlements you’re ordered to pay if you lose the case are covered as well. Coverage extends to all members of the family, including pets, living in the house and guests who use the tiny house.
- Medical payments: Covers medical bills and other expenses if you’re involved in an accident and the other party gets injured, no matter whose fault it was.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorists: Covers you in the event the other driver involved in a collision does not have any/adequate insurance to fully cover resulting expenses.
These coverages help protect your tiny house while it’s in motion, but you still need coverage while it’s parked. That’s where components from a mobile home insurance policy may come in to complete your package. These coverage options often include:
- Property coverage: This coverage aspect protects the structure of your tiny home from common perils like fire, certain natural disasters, theft/vandalism, and more.
- Contents coverage: This aspect of coverage offers protection for your personal belongings like furniture, clothing, knickknacks, etc., from common perils like fire and theft.
An independent insurance agent will work with you to put together a tiny house insurance package that meets all of your needs. Be sure to tell them all the ways you’ll use your tiny house, where it’s located, etc., in order to walk away with all the protection necessary to keep your home safe.
What Does Tiny House Insurance Not Cover?
When it comes to insuring a home of any kind, unfortunately there’s no insurance package or policy that’ll cover absolutely everything. Becoming familiar with what your tiny house insurance policy doesn’t cover can save you the hassle of filing claims that are bound to get denied, and in the event of certain non-covered natural disasters, help you find the right kind of policy to protect your home.
Tiny house insurance does not cover the following perils:
- Certain natural disasters (i.e., floods, earthquakes, and mudslides)
- Maintenance-related losses
- Wear and tear damage (i.e., failure of the owner to maintain upkeep of the home)
- Insect damage or infestations
- Damage from war or nuclear fallout
- Business-related liability
If you happen to run a business out of your tiny house (even partially), tiny house insurance typically won’t cover any liability-related mishaps. Tiny house insurance policies also tend to limit liability coverage for certain types of vehicles including aircraft, ATVs and boats, and have very specific exceptions for certain powered vehicles such as riding lawnmowers. Double-check your specific policy to be sure of coverage for special vehicles.
In order to protect your tiny house against flood or earthquake damage, you’ll need a flood insurance or earth movement policy. Flood insurance policies are only available through the National Flood Insurance Program, which is a part of FEMA. Tiny house owners may want to seriously consider getting a policy if their home is located in an area prone to flooding.
What Are the Benefits of Tiny House Insurance?
No matter the size or mobility of your home, it’s meant to be your happy place. Without the proper protection, you run the risk of many common threats damaging or destroying your home, perhaps even to the extent that you’re unable to rebuild. Tiny house insurance packages provide coverage for many daily hazards homeowners face.
Tiny house insurance typically provides coverage for the following perils:
- Fire and smoke
- Water damage
- Aircraft or vehicle damage
- Falling objects (and trees)
- Certain natural disasters (i.e., windstorms, hail, lightning, and blizzards)
Your independent insurance agent can help you review your tiny house insurance policy to answer any remaining questions about your coverage. They’ll also be able to help you figure out whether you’ve got enough coverage, or if you should purchase more.
How Much Does Tiny House Insurance Cost?
Many factors influence the cost of a tiny house insurance policy, including the size and location of your home, the value of the structure, the contents inside, and any upgrades you’ve made. Owners of tiny house located in areas prone to severe weather or other risks like crime will be required to pay more for their insurance policies than those who live in calmer, safer areas.
It's hard to offer an exact figure without knowing your unique situation and the specs of your individual home, but your tiny house insurance policy more than likely will be much less expensive than a regular homeowners policy. Still, you can expect to pay at least a couple to a few hundred dollars per year, or perhaps even more. An independent insurance agent can help find more exact quotes for you.
Benefits of an Independent Insurance Agent
Independent insurance agents have access to multiple insurance companies, ultimately finding you the best coverage, accessibility, and competitive pricing while working for you. Find an independent insurance agent in your community here.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin
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