So you're jumping on the trend of owning a tiny home. With all the hype out there, it's easy to overlook how to insure a tiny home and which carriers will pick up the liability.
An independent insurance agent has you covered when it comes to setting up the proper insurance for your tiny home. They work with multiple insurance companies to help find the perfect blend of coverage and cost suitable for your goals and budget.
What Is Tiny Home Insurance?
First things first, knowing what a tiny home insurance policy will and won't cover is key to making sure you have all your ducks in a row. You won't be able to get a standard homeowners insurance policy on a tiny home, and the kind of coverage you get will depend entirely on what you plan to do with your tiny home (like use it as your primary residence, a vacation getaway, or rental unit).
No matter what you plan to do with your tiny home, you'll want your insurance policy to include the following coverages:
- Liability insurance: You will always need liability insurance. This will save you from a legal nightmare if you ever get sued due to someone getting injured or property damage occurring.
- Property insurance: Insurance for the actual tiny home structure itself is good if you plan to replace, repair, or rebuild the structure after a claim.
- Personal property insurance: You'll want to make sure your policy provides coverage for all your personal belongings that replaces them if they get stolen, damaged, or vandalized.
- Theft and vandalism: Speaking of theft and vandalism, you're going to want coverage against it.
- In-transit coverage: Whether you plan on moving your tiny home multiple times a year or once a year, you'll want some sort of in-transit coverage to make sure your limits of insurance extend while your tiny home is mobile.
Tiny House Insurance Policy Types
There are different types of insurance policies that will provide different coverages for your tiny home. What you need will depend on what you plan to do with your tiny home and how often you plan to move it. Read on to discover which policy type will suit your specific tiny home needs.
Insuring your tiny home under an RV policy:
Your tiny home will have to be certified by the Recreational Vehicle Industry Associated (RVIA) in order to be insured under an RV policy form a majority of the time. This RV policy will provide liability coverage, personal property coverage, structural coverage, collision coverage, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, theft/vandalism, and medical coverage. It will also give you coverage when your tiny home is on the move and when it's parked.
One thing you'll want to be sure with this type of policy is to get a carrier that offers "fuller's time" RV insurance if you are occupying the tiny home as your primary residence on wheels. This coverage will offer a more robust RV policy option so you have all the coverage you need. Again, your independent insurance agent is your best friend when it comes to obtaining the right policy for your tiny home.
Insuring your tiny home under a mobile home policy:
Another option is to insure your tiny home under a mobile home policy. This is for tiny homes that are certified by the National Organization of Alternative Housing (NOAH). This policy is going to be more of a true mobile home policy, meaning you keep your tiny home in the same spot most of the time with the ability to move it. Most insurers will only allow you moving your mobile home a limited number of times per year. When you move it you have to call your agent and make sure they are aware of the move so they can endorse the policy with an in-transit coverage.
The mobile home policy will provide coverage for your tiny home similar to your standard homeowners policy including personal liability, personal property, medical, structural, and theft/vandalism. Discuss with your independent insurance agent to find out if this is really the right policy for your tiny home.
Insuring your tiny home as a DIY built home:
This is where it can get tricky to insure. Most carriers do not like that a tiny home, or any home for that matter, is built without a certified contractor. Most carriers won't provide coverage for a DIY built tiny home, but some may. A lot of times you might find yourself self-insuring if your independent insurance agent does not have an insurance carrier that will comply.
What Will Your Independent Insurance Agent Ask You For?
A good independent insurance agent will ask you questions in order to insure your tiny home properly. You just read the different types of policies that your tiny home could fall under depending on what you are doing with it. A knowledgeable and careful agent will make sure they ask the right questions to get the right coverage.
Questions your independent insurance agent should be asking:
- Who built your tiny home?
- What year was your tiny home built?
- How many square feet is your tiny home?
- What materials were used to make your tiny home?
- Is the tiny home your primary residence?
- How many acres of land is your tiny home on?
- Where does your tiny home reside?
- Do you rent out your tiny home, either as an Airbnb or as a long-term rental?
- Is your tiny home mobile?
- How often is your tiny home mobile?
Best Insurance Companies for a Tiny Home
The best insurance companies to insure your tiny home are, well, relative. It truly depends on how you are insuring it, what insurance carriers your independent insurance agent works with, and how often you move or occupy your tiny home. Since the possibilities are many, that means the carriers are just as many.
Most insurance companies will provide an RV policy and a mobile home policy. That being said, your options are many. Finding the right carrier for you is going to be a discussion to have with your independent insurance agent. They will be able to help you make the right decision based on your tiny home needs.
The Cost of Tiny Home Insurance
The cost of tiny home insurance can be as much as your primary home insurance on a regular single-family residence. This might seem a bit overkill considering your tiny home will be a lot less to insure than your standard everyday American home, but that's not exactly how the carriers see it.
Yes, it costs less money to replace the tiny home due to its size and overall functionality, however, it's also a bigger risk. This is because you are having to insure more risks like mobility and various lots that the home may or may not move to. Not to mention the tiny house itself could actually be stolen.
Not to fear, your independent insurance agent can find you proper coverage your tiny home needs all while getting you the best price. Making sure your agent knows all the variables that your tiny home adventure may have is a good thing and can only save you a headache down the road when a claim happens. Remember, your agent isn't a mind reader and when it comes to insurance. Typically, the more you know the better you can plan for what might happen in the future.
The 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. And as your company grows and your needs change, they'll be there to help you adjust your coverage, up or down, to make sure you're properly protected without overpaying. Find an independent insurance agent in your community here.