What is mobile home insurance?
In terms of purpose and definition, mobile home insurance is much like standard homeowners insurance. If your manufactured home gets damaged, this insurance coverage offers you protection against financial hardship that may come with having to pay for the repairs or rebuild out of your own pocket.
Much like standard homeowners insurance, there are different types and levels of insurance for mobile homes. It will be up to you and your insurance agent to select the best policy for your needs.
What is mobile home insurance?
Mobile home insurance, or manufactured home insurance, is insurance that covers any dwelling that falls under the manufactured home definition. These homes are typically built on a metal frame, are delivered in one piece and always have a HUD label.
Mobile home insurance is considered the equivalent of homeowner’s insurance for owners of manufactured homes. In 2018, the medium price of a manufactured home was $87,100 compared to $225,700 for a standard home. While these homes are typically cheaper to buy, it’s still important to have a mobile home insurance policy in place. After all, many people don’t have $87,100 in their bank account to replace their home in the event it is destroyed. That’s what mobile home insurance is for.
What does mobile home insurance cover?
Mobile home insurance provides coverage for the dwelling, personal belongings, liability coverage and more.
- Dwelling coverage: This coverage is for the actual mobile or manufactured dwelling as well as other permanent structures on the property. In other words, any damage done to your home or other structures on the property (like a deck, garage or shed) that is a covered peril is covered under your dwelling coverage.
- Personal property coverage: This coverage is for your personal belongings. If the items you own are damaged or stolen, your policy covers you.
- Liability coverage: This coverage is to protect you in the event someone is injured on your property and you are held liable. Liability protection may cover legal fees and medical costs up to your coverage limit.
- Additional Living Expenses (ALE): This coverage applies when there is damage covered by your dwelling coverage that requires you to live somewhere else temporarily. This may include things like rent or hotel costs.
Some mobile home owners opt to purchase peril policies, a type of mobile home insurance with low premiums but high risk. Peril policies only cover very limited causes of damage, meaning you’ll be on the hook for any costs not resulting from one of the listed perils. Make sure you understand the full scope of what is and isn’t covered before purchasing one of these policies, and that you can afford the full cost of repairs not covered.
What does a mobile home insurance policy not cover?
There are some things standard mobile home insurance policies do not cover. Some of these require add-ons or additional policies for coverage and may or may not be needed depending on your geographic location.
- Flood damage
- In-transit damage
Mobile home insurance companies
Although homeowners insurance and mobile home insurance share some similarities, not all homeowners insurance providers offer mobile home insurance in all states. Still, if you currently have homeowners insurance, the best place to start is by contacting your provider to see if you can bundle policies and get a discount on your mobile home insurance. Some insurance providers, such as USAA and Geico, work with third party mobile home insurance providers to offer more specific coverage.
The best mobile home insurance provider for you will depend on your geographic area and the type of coverage you need. These are a few of the popular mobile home insurance providers:
- Foremost: A subsidiary of Farmers Insurance, Foremost earned an A rating with AM Best and is known for low customer complaints. Quotes requests can be done over the phone or on their website, but are not instant. They’re most known for their extended replacement cost coverage.
- Assurant: Assurant is a partner of Geico, Liberty Mutual and Progressive, and handles mobile home insurance policies. Their user-friendly quoting tools are available online. Assurant earned an A rating with AM Best and uniquely covers flood damage as part of their standard policy.
- HomeFirst: With over 20 years of experience in manufactured homes, HomeFirst is a great choice when it comes to the specialized insurance needs of prefabricated homes. Their policies include flood coverage, which is often not standard. You can do a quote request on their website and an agent will get back to you. They earned an A rating with AM Best.
- Allstate: A nationally known provider, Allstate offers some unique optional coverage features like hail coverage and mine subsidence coverage. They have a great buffet of discounts and earned an A rating with AM Best.
- Farmers: Also a name recognized across the nation, Farmers provides mobile home insurance coverage. Though you cannot get a quote online, which may be an inconvenience, Farmers has a wide variety of additional coverage options many insurers do not offer. They earned an A rating with AM Best.
- American Modern: Earning an A+ rating with A.M. Best, American Modern is very financially strong. Their policies are a bit more restrictive than some others, as their dwelling coverage is only covered up to actual cash value as opposed to replacement cost value. However, they may be a good option for someone seeking specialty coverage that they cannot find elsewhere.
As with home and auto insurance, you’ll get the best coverage by asking for quotes from multiple providers and comparing prices.
How much does mobile home insurance cost?
Mobile home insurance policies often cost more than standard homeowners insurance policies due to the higher risk associated with mobile home ownership. The premium on an average policy could cost anywhere from $300 to $1,000 annually, depending on a number of factors and circumstances.
Many factors go into determining the cost of mobile home insurance. They include:
- The state you live in.
- Weather conditions and risks in your geographic area, including hurricanes, tornadoes and floods
- Frequency of wildfires in your geographic area
- The crime rate in your neighborhood
- Quality of your local emergency response departments, such as police and fire departments
- The value, age and condition of your mobile or manufactured home
There are also a few ways to discounts on your mobile home insurance. Types of discounts typically available include:
- Being the original titleholder of the mobile home
- Bundling your mobile home insurance with other policies through the same insurer
- Installing a home security system
- Retirement and/or senior discounts
What is the difference between mobile home insurance and standard home insurance?
As similar as they are, mobile home insurance is different from standard homeowners insurance policies because of the major structural differences between the dwellings being covered.
Since mobile homes are not attached to a foundation, they have a few more inherent risks. Fires, wind, and broken pipes all pose a bigger threat to a mobile or manufactured home, and mobile homes are more likely to be targeted for theft. On the other hand, the total value of a mobile home is usually lower than a stick-built home. Since they carry such distinct risks, insurers prefer to group mobile homes into their own type of policy.
Frequently asked questions
Why is mobile home insurance more expensive?
Mobile home insurance is more expensive because of the reduced ability of mobile and manufactured homes to withstand incidents such as floods and fires. Mobile homes are also at a higher risk for theft and vandalism.
Will my homeowners insurance policy cover my mobile home?
Homeowners insurance policies do not cover mobile homes. Mobile home insurance is considered specialty insurance. If you have an existing home insurance policy and need to insure a mobile home, contact your insurance provider to ask about bundle deals and discounts.
Do I need a mobile home insurance policy for my modular home?
No. Mobile homes and modular homes are similar in that they’re both produced in a factory, but in most cases, you’ll need a regular homeowner’s insurance policy for your modular home.
How can I save money on my mobile home insurance policy?
Some mobile home owners choose to buy a cheaper peril policy in lieu of a more comprehensive mobile home insurance policy. Just keep in mind that the lower premiums come with a higher risk if any damage occurs due to an event not covered under the peril policy.
You may also be able to get discounts by bundling policies through the same provider, or by installing home security cameras and an alarm system. Contact your provider to ask about their mobile home insurance discounts.
Another way to decrease your premium cost is to increase your deductible. The higher the deductible, the lower the premium. However, be sure that whatever the deductible you choose you are prepared to spend that amount out of pocket in the event you must file a claim.
Video: How to retire with a million dollars if you make $45,000 a year (CNBC)