What is mobile home insurance and what does it cover?
The main strategy for an insurance company is to anticipate and respond to risk. For mobile homes, the way they are built presents a new arena of risk and potential claims possibilities for insurance companies. Mobile homes are built in a factory, transported to a location once construction has been completed, and are tied down and anchored for stability. Because of this and the lack of a concrete foundation found in a traditional home, insurance companies assume an additional risk which they address through Mobile Home Insurance.
Mobile Home vs Modular Home vs Manufactured Home
Before we get into the insurance details, we should break down the differences between mobile, manufactured, and modular homes. The only real difference between manufactured and mobile homes is a technical definition - most insurance companies consider them identical. There is a more recognizable difference between modular and mobile/manufactured home insurance, however. Mobile homes are movable and never include more than one story whereas a modular home sits on a foundation that is closer to a home. Because of this, some insurance companies often underwrite modular homes as a regular homeowners policy.
Now that we understand the actual insurance definition of mobile homes, let’s break down their insurance stipulations. Most mobile home insurance can be separated into physical damage (sometimes called comprehensive), liability, and personal property coverage. However, although mobile home insurance can be generalized, there is still a considerable amount of variance between companies. This is important and should be carefully noted when shopping for mobile home insurance. Some companies will offer coverage options in their basic policy package closer to a homeowners policy, including additional living expenses, trip collision coverage, or separate structures coverage. Others, however, allow you to purchase it for an additional premium.
Physical damage refers to damages caused by:
- Fire and lightning
- Falling objects
- Wind and hail
- Weight of ice and snow
- Wild or stray animals
- Burst pipes
Liability coverage ensures you are covered if a visitor is hurt on your property, if someone sues you, or if you accidentally damage or injure others. This would typically cover things like medical bills, lost wages, or property damage.
Personal property covers things like your furniture and electronics if they are damaged or stolen. Like a renters or homeowners policy, your personal property coverage on your mobile home extends away from home as well.
As stated, coverage like additional living expenses aren't a guarantee with every basic mobile home insurance policy. However, you can add it and others with most companies. Here are some additional coverage options you can purchase.
Additional Living Expenses
Additional living expenses refers to your insurance company paying for you to live elsewhere in the event your mobile home is being rebuilt or reconstructed after a covered loss. Normally, your insurance company will give you a daily coverage monetary limit as well as a duration coverage monetary limit. Anything you spend above those limits comes out of your pocket.
Trip Collision Coverage
Your basic mobile home insurance begins when your home has been secured to it's resting spot - it does not include the movement to and from any place. Trip collision coverage fills in this gap by offering coverage when your mobile home is being relocated.
Replacement Cost Coverage
Many insurance companies will offer you what they call "actual cash value" in your claims settlement. Actual cash value, or ACV, is calculated by subtracting depreciation from the replacement cost of the item. With this added coverage, you receive the exact cost it would take to replace your mobile home or other item, regardless of depreciation.
Personal Property Endorsements
Something you may want to consider are what insurance companies refer to as “floaters,” “riders” or “endorsements.” Essentially, a floater is an additional coverage for a high-priced category of an item that exceeds the normal limits on your policy. For example, someone on your mobile home policy owns a very expensive ring that is valued at $12,000. Because most insurance companies limit their coverage for jewelry well below that value, you would need an endorsement or floater to help ensure your jewelry is properly covered. While it varies by company, floaters extend to other items as well as jewelry—such as works of art, musical equipment, and even firearms.
While there isn't overarching set of discounts for mobile home insurance, many companies will offer you discounts for the following.
Original Owner Discount
If you are the original owner and titleholder of your mobile home, some companies will offer you a discount. The amount varies, but can averages around 5%.
A multi-policy discount is a very common discount across insurance companies and extends to any type of insurance policy. Auto and renters, auto and homeowners, and auto and mobile home are common examples. When considering purchasing mobile home, consider who you insure your car or other asset with in order to be eligible for a multi-policy discount.
If you have any anti-theft devices such as a home monitoring system, you could be eligible for a discount. Some insurance companies will require you to submit a monthly statement for the security services you receive as proof.
A big exclusion for mobile homes as well as traditional homes is the lack of coverage against flood damage. While you are covered if a pipe bursts and floods your living room, a naturally occurring flood is an entirely different situation. Insurance companies rarely offer any type of coverage for floods due to the severe nature of the claims - they will usually be a total loss payout and affect many of their clients. So, if you live in an area prone to floods and would like to be covered, you have to get coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program, otherwise known as FEMA.
Where to buy:
Although mobile home insurance isn’t as widely provided as car or home, it can still be purchased fairly easily. Here are some popular providers;
- American Family