The Penny-Pincher’s Guide to Mobile Home Insurance
(Whether your house is on wheels or ground, you need protection)
Andrew Bowsher|December 8, 2019
If you're planning on becoming an occupant of one of the four million mobile homes in the US, then you need proper mobile home insurance.
Number of mobile homes in North America
While the number of mobile homes may be decreasing in the United States, as long as mobile homes exist, they require home insurance just like a site-based home.
But does a mobile home need different coverage than a site-based home? Is it required to have? Mobile home insurance can be confusing, which is why an independent insurance agent can help clear things up and find you a great insurance policy. To start, let's talk a little more about mobile homes because they don't always come on wheels.
What Is a Mobile Home?
A mobile home, also called a manufactured home, is a four-walled structure that’s built in a factory and delivered to you to live in. It can remain “on wheels” or not, and in some cases, it can be built on a permanent slab for safekeeping. Just keep in mind that the more “secured to the ground” it is, the more insurable it is.
Revenue of “manufactured (mobile) home manufacturing“ in the US from 2011 to 2023
It is projected that the revenue of mobile home manufacturing in the US will amount to approximately 4.057,2 million US dollars by 2023.
And similar to a manufactured home, but different, is a modular home. Modular homes are also built inside of a factory. But unlike mobile homes, they are brought to a permanent location in bigger chunks and assembled on-site. A modular home, depending on the insurance company, can sometimes be classified as a manufactured home and sometimes as a site-built home if it’s built on a foundation.
What Is Mobile Home Insurance?
From a distance, a mobile home insurance policy looks just like a standard homeowner's policy. However, there are a few differences worth noting that make mobile home insurance unique.
Mobile homes are typically made with different materials than today’s site-built homes. Since they're created in a factory and then transported, the materials need to be much lighter. Unfortunately, lighter materials are easier to damage, so mobile home insurance takes this into consideration.
More often than not, mobile homes are simply anchored into place, not built securely on a foundation. This means that one swoop of Mother Nature's dark side could potentially damage or destroy a mobile home more easily than a site-built home.
That’s why insurance companies offer mobile home insurance as a different type of policy from homeowners insurance. The risks are different and the coverages that matter to a mobile homeowner need to be more closely protected with the right coverages.
What Does Mobile Home Insurance Cover?
Similar to homeowners insurance, mobile home insurance coverage begins with the three most common and basic coverages that any homeowner should have:
Property coverage: Protects you from any big loss to your property due to fire, natural disasters, etc.
Liability coverage: Protects you financially if someone files a claim or lawsuit after getting hurt in your home or on your property.
Contents coverage: Protects all of your possessions in the event of theft or natural disaster-related damage
Now the amount of coverage you’ll need depends on a number of factors, the most important is probably the value of your home and its contents.
Average sales price of mobile homes
The current value of a mobile home in the US is around $100,000. This is expected to decrease slightly over the next several years.
If your mobile home is involved in a claim, there are two ways you can choose to be reimbursed:
Actual cash value: Compensation based on the value of your structure in the current market which takes into account depreciation. (Mobile homes depreciate very fast, just like a car.)
Replacement value: Compensation for the amount it would cost to rebuild the structure to its original condition with similar materials.
There are benefits to both choices. And if you have any questions about the right route to take, talk to your agent and they’ll help guide you toward the option that’s best for you.
Why Should I Buy Mobile Home Insurance?
Pretty much any time you take out a loan for a piece of property, your lender will require insurance. It covers you, and it covers them — and then everyone's protected.
But then there are those elements that are out of your control such as unexpected weather. Should a wind storm come through your property and destroy your home, without coverage you'd be left with nothing to help start rebuilding. Even if you live somewhere that isn't prone to natural disasters, you could still face a fire.
Another thing to think about is liability. Any time that someone is on your property, you're liable for what happens to them. If someone is injured and decides to sue you for the medical bills, that money has to come out of your pocket if you don't have the right coverage. Liability coverage will help protect you in situations like these.
How Much Does Mobile Home Insurance Cost?
Your premium costs depend on a number of different factors. Every state is different. Every company is different. And every mobile homeowner’s needs are different. If you live somewhere that is prone to floods, you'll even want to add flood coverage to your policy which will cost a bit more. In general, the value of a mobile home is typically much less than a single-family cottage, so the cost of insuring it will be much less. Makes sense, right?
The best thing to do is speak with an agent about your mobile home and they can help ballpark a figure based on your needs.
Comparing Mobile Home Insurance Quotes
Independent agents can review your needs and help you evaluate which type of mobile home insurance makes the most sense for you. They'll also compare policies and quotes from multiple insurance carriers to make sure you have the right protection in place for you and your family.
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. Find an independent insurance agent in your community here.