Manufactured homes, also referred to as mobile homes, are prefabricated houses that are built in a factory and transported, by road, to the sites where they will be used. Unlike modular homes, these homes have a permanent wheeled chassis that enables them to be moved again at a later date. Mobile homes provide people with a more affordable housing option, and a number of dealerships throughout the country display, sell, and coordinate the delivery of these homes to the public. If you own one of these dealerships, you will want to be sure to protect the investment you have made in your business with a suitable commercial insurance policy.
2014 Manufactured Home Dealer Statistics from IBISWorld
- There are approximately 4,750 manufactured home dealerships operating in the United States.
- These businesses employ more than 21,300 people.
- The mobile home industry is responsible for about $8 billion in revenue each year.
What Are the Insurance Concerns at a Mobile Home Dealership?
Commercial insurance policy packages for mobile home dealers are very similar to the packages designed for car dealerships. There are a number of concerns these businesses have, whether looking at the value of the merchandise, the liability concerns related to delivery and transport, or the service and repair aspect of the businesses. It is imperative that when you are purchasing mobile home dealers business coverage, you work with an insurance agent who is experienced at building policies in this highly specialized industry.
The property of your dealership is likely best handled by what is known as a garage policy or dealers insurance. Very few insurance companies deal with this type of coverage, but the ones that do are very knowledgeable about your risks and are likely to provide a number of coverage options to help you build the right policy for your business. An independent agent can help you navigate through these options.
You Need Sufficient Property Damage Coverage
The mobile homes you keep in your inventory, whether display models or models that are ready to be transported upon ordering, have a very high monetary value. They are typically exposed to the elements and are therefore vulnerable to wind, hail, water and wildfire damage. A major disaster can bring about a very high dollar loss for your business, so you need to be sure that your policy can handle such an event. Your mobile home dealers insurance policy will provide you with property damage coverage, but you may need supplemental insurance.
- Flood insurance: A flood can cause a lot of damage to these types of homes, but it is very unusual to find a business insurance policy that will cover losses caused by floods. To get this coverage, you will need to purchase a flood insurance policy through the NFIP. An independent agent can help you obtain this insurance.
- Earthquake and hurricane insurance: Just as homeowners insure their homes, you will need to protect the integrity of your inventory through proper insurance channels. If your business is located along the Eastern Seaboard or Gulf Coast, a separate hurricane insurance policy may be necessary. Likewise, if your business is in the western United States, earthquake insurance may be advisable. Your independent insurance agent can help you determine your risks and find the policies you need.
You Need Proper Liability Insurance
As a dealer of mobile homes, you face some unique and interesting liability risks. In addition to the risk of injuries to the public while touring model homes, you also have liability risks associated with delivery and service.
Many dealers subcontract with other companies to handle the delivery and setup of these homes, and these other companies should carry their own insurance. However, it is important to remember that in today’s litigious society, anyone can be sued for anything, and if an expensive accident occurs during the time of delivery, your business can be named in the lawsuit. Fortunately, liability insurance coverage can provide coverage for court costs, legal defense fees and other financial damages.
Be sure to discuss your liability risks with your insurance agent while building your policy so you can ensure that your various risks are covered by your policy.
What Other Insurance Coverage Do Mobile Home Dealers Need?
In addition to the property and liability coverage mentioned above, you may have to get or at least consider other insurance coverage types including the following:
- Business income insurance: A disaster can force your business to close down for an extended period of time while repairs and a rebuilding of inventory take place. This insurance type can help your company maintain sufficient income to keep it afloat until you resume normal operations.
- Workers' compensation insurance: This is required in most states; it covers the costs of medical treatments for injuries sustained by your employees while on the job.
- Health insurance coverage: If you have more than 50 full-time employees working for your business, you will be required by law to provide them with an affordable healthcare plan. Your agent can help you review your health insurance options.
- Life insurance: This is optional coverage that you may want to provide to your employees as part of their benefits package. Because this coverage ceases once employees terminate their employment with your company, it is typically rather affordable.
- Employment practices liability insurance: This can protect your business from losses due to legal defense fees and potential damages in the event that an employee sues your business for discrimination, sexual harassment or any other illegal business practice.
- Employee dishonesty insurance: This may protect your business from financial losses in the event that an employee steals from your business or engages in other illegal behavior while on the job.
Additional insurance coverage may be a good fit for your specific manufactured home dealership. An independent insurance agent can work with you to help you recognize other risks you may face and can help you find appropriate coverage to mitigate those exposures.
Get Help Building a Strong Mobile Home Dealers Insurance Policy
As a manufactured home dealer, when you purchase a business insurance policy, you need to look at several different coverage types. This is why it is to your benefit to work with an independent agent in the Trusted Choice® network. Not only can these agents help you determine and mitigate your risks, but they can also work with a variety of insurance companies to build an appropriate and cost-effective policy. Find a Trusted Choice agent near you, and schedule an appointment to discuss your options. With your agent’s help, you can soon be comparing quotes on mobile home dealers insurance coverage designed specifically for your business.