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How to Insure Your Tiny House
Over the past few years, tiny homes have gone from a limited trend to a dedicated way of life for many. There has been a 67% increase in the number of tiny homes from 2017 to 2020. Many people love the simplicity of a small home with low upkeep and a minimalist approach to personal property. Today, there are more than 10,000 tiny homes in the United States. Varying greatly in size, type, quality and detail, tiny homes cost anywhere from $20,000 to $200,000.
Regardless of the size or tiny home cost, home insurance is a must. Even if your home is 200 square feet, it is providing necessary shelter and housing personal property of value. In the unfortunate event that there is damage or destruction to your tiny home, you will need home insurance coverage to repair or replace the home and its contents. Not having that coverage could result in financial hardship and simply is not worth the risk.
Insuring a non-standard home type, like a tiny home, isn’t as difficult as it once was. As more insurance companies have added tiny home policies into their coverage options, tiny homeowners now have a variety of options.
Is tiny house insurance required?
Whether or not home insurance is required on your tiny home or not will depend on your state and whether or not you have a mortgage on the home. While most states don’t require homeowners insurance by law, there are some exceptions. For example, if your tiny home will be mobile, you will be required to have whatever automotive coverage your state requires. Additionally, if your tiny home is financed by a mortgage lender, the lender may require both homeowners insurance coverage and auto insurance coverage if the home is mobile.
Even if you are not required to have house insurance on your tiny home, we do not recommend that you go without it. We suggest seeking sufficient coverage to repair or replace your home and belongings if needed.
Types of tiny house insurance
Much like the tiny homes themselves, tiny home insurance is unique. Many tiny homes are mobile, meaning that they are on wheels and can be easily moved from one location to another via highway. Other tiny homes are fixed to a permanent foundation. Your home insurance policy type will depend on the type of tiny home you own.
Insurance for a stationary tiny house
Some tiny homes are permanently fixed to a foundation like a regular-sized home. If your tiny home is stationary, you may be able to get a regular home insurance policy or a policy that is specific to tiny homes. For these policies, the insurance provider may require an on-site inspection to ensure the home will not be moved.
Insurance for a mobile tiny house
Things get a little tricker when insuring a mobile tiny home. This mobile tiny home is a sort of a hybrid between a resident and a recreational vehicle.
Tiny home-specific insurance provides options for the mobile tiny home dwellers. This coverage typically covers you like a regular homeowners insurance policy would until the home is in tow, at which time you should have a policy endorsement that allows auto insurance to kick in.
There are some important things to consider when buying a mobile tiny house. Does the home classify as an RV? In other words, is it RVIA certified? Will you be living in the home 365 days a year? There are HUD specifications that you cannot live in an RV for more than 30 days at a time in a fixed location. Speak with insurance agents in your area before buying your tiny home.
Insurance for a tiny house you built yourself
Many regular homeowner’s policies will only cover homes built by certified builders. But one of the perks of tiny homes is that they are small enough to often be built by the homeowner. Fortunately, with tiny house specific coverage, you can get coverage even if you built the place yourself.
Other tiny house insurance options
If the above options don’t work for you or are not available in your area, we recommend checking into mobile/manufactured home policies.
How much does tiny house insurance cost?
Annual premiums for tiny home insurance can range anywhere from $600 to $1,200. Where your insurance premium will fall within this range depends on several important factors like size, value, construction type, location and tiny home type.
If you are going to be a tiny home dweller, you must treat it as you would any home. It is your shelter and the place where most of your personal property resides. If that home was destroyed, it would be critical to your well-being to be able to replace it without putting yourself in financial hardship. This is where your home insurance becomes vital and worth its cost.
Before investing in your tiny home, speak with multiple insurance agents in your area to be sure you get sufficient coverage.