Mobile homes can be stylish and affordable, but they can also be at risk for damage. Fire, lightning and high winds pose the biggest threats to mobile homes, manufactured homes, and even to upscale modular homes. When something unexpected happens to your manufactured home, you may have questions. How do you know if you can file a claim? How do you start the claims process?
If you need to file a claim right now, the first step is to contact your agent or insurance company. An agent in the Trusted Choice® network will be able to help you with the entire claims process so you can get back to your life. When you are looking for a local professional who can help you with your mobile or manufactured home insurance needs, contact a nearby Trusted Choice member agent.
Mobile and Manufactured Homes Risk Factors
- South Carolina has the highest percentage of mobile homes at 18.8%; North Carolina with 16.8% and New Mexico with 16.6% are other top states for mobile home dwellings
- From 2006-2010, fire, lightning, wind, hail, water and theft constituted nearly 95% of all causes of property damage.
- In those same years, fire, lightning and debris removal caused homeowner losses of $31,762 on average.
Mobile Home and Modular Home Insurance Claims
Mobile homes today are called manufactured homes. According to the department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the term “mobile home” refers to manufactured homes built prior to 1976, at which time HUD instituted building codes to govern standards for factory built homes. However, the name “mobile home” still sticks, and many people use the terms mobile home and manufactured home interchangeably.
Modular homes are very different from mobile and manufactured homes. These are much more like traditional homes in appearance. These types of homes are factory built, then assembled on site in a fashion similar to a traditional home.
While manufactured and modular homes are built to high safety standards today, natural disasters like floods, hailstorms, windstorms and lightning tend to pose more of a threat to these homes than site-built homes. Before your home experiences damage from a natural disaster, it is important to know what coverage you have in place, and work with an agent who can ensure that you have adequate insurance for various risks.
If you have a mobile, manufactured or modular home, some of the most critical things to ask yourself are:
- Do you have flood insurance in place? Standard home insurance policies do not cover flood, and you must have flood insurance to file claims on water damage caused by rising water.
- Do you have hurricane or windstorm coverage? In many cases, manufactured and mobile home owners must get specific coverage to be able to file claims after disastrous storms.
- How much coverage do you have in the event of a mobile home fire? Do you have replacement cost coverage that will enable you to file a fire claim and completely replace your home?
- Do you have sufficient contents insurance? In order to file a claim for lost, stolen, or destroyed belongings that will help you fully recover from a loss, you must have adequate contents insurance built into your mobile home insurance policy. Consider taking an inventory of your belongings, then keep that inventory somewhere safe. Make sure you also talk with your agent about whether you need additional coverage for items such as a boat, snowmobile, expensive jewelry, fine art or collectibles.
Another risk you should consider as a manufactured home owner is your liability. If you inadvertently cause harm or damage to another person, such as a visitor to your property, that person can file a claim against you. Additionally, if you damage another person's property, you're also liable for repairs or replacement in most cases. Liability claims can occur due to a range of causes, including accidents in swimming pools, on trampolines, visitors falling on an icy walkway, and so on. Be sure to talk with your agent to determine if you are adequately protected.
Information Needed for Mobile Home Insurance Claims
When you need to file a modular, mobile home or manufactured home insurance claim, it can be a very confusing time. You may be dealing with the aftermath of a windstorm, fire, burglary or other devastating cause of loss. To cut through some of the confusion and make the claims process simpler, one of the best things you can do is to collect some information. Your insurance company will need:
- Your name, address and contact details
- Your mobile home insurance policy number
- Date and description of the loss
- Extent of the damage and items lost
- Any injuries sustained
- A police report, if one exists
It is a good idea to keep a list of your belongings, their value, receipts, photos and serial numbers handy. Include documentation that lists the value of the home and any upgrades you've made as well. This preparedness can make the claim-filing process easier.
How Does the Claims Process Work?
When you file a claim on your manufactured home insurance, the process may go like this:
- The insurance company will assign a claims adjuster. The adjuster will usually specialize in dealing with mobile home damage.
- The adjuster will set up an appointment to inspect the damage, if needed. Provide the adjuster with any pictures or receipts that will help assess the value of items damaged or lost.
- The adjuster will review your policy coverage and the damages to determine whether the claim is covered.
- The adjuster will contact you regarding the claim settlement; if it is covered, the adjuster will issue a payment (less your deductible amount) for the amount of the loss.
Next, you’ll need to work with one or more contactors if you there is significant damage to your home. Most likely your insurance company or adjuster will provide a list of recommended companies for the needed repairs. Be sure to maintain a record of all invoices and payments made for the repairs done.
Get the Right Mobile Home Insurance Coverage
Investing in a mobile home or modular home insurance policy is important to protect your investment. However, you can save yourself a lot of trouble by doing some legwork in the beginning.
It’s a good idea to understand what your policy covers and how losses will be recouped. Broadly speaking, there are two types of policies for mobile homes: actual cash value (ACV) and replacement cost.
ACV policies take into account the depreciation value of your home and belongings. Replacement cost policies are designed to provide the amount (minus the deductible) needed to repair damages to the mobile or manufactured home on today's market.
Get the Assistance and Guidance You Need
An agent in the Trusted Choice network can help you get fully prepared if it comes time to file a mobile home insurance claim. Member agents in the Trusted Choice network are devoted to helping the consumer, not selling a specific insurance company’s products and services. Your local agent will advocate for you and help you every step of the way.
Contact a local independent agent in the Trusted Choice network today and get the guidance you need to evaluate the mobile home insurance that is the best fit for you.
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