Mobile Home Insurance: What Does It Cover?
Mobile homes, also known as manufactured homes, are properties constructed in a factory, and then moved to a semi-permanent location.
They’re often cheaper than site-built (or stick-built) homes, making them an attractive alternative.
And since they’re technically “mobile,” it’s possible to move a mobile home to another location.
Mobile homes come in a variety of floor plans and provide space similar to a stick-built home.
More importantly, though:
Insuring a mobile home is different from insuring a standard property.
If you’re thinking about buying a mobile home or a manufactured home, here’s what you need to know about mobile home insurance.
What is Mobile Home Insurance?
If you buy a mobile home or a manufactured home, it only makes sense to buy insurance to protect your property from damage. In which case, you would need mobile home insurance.
This insurance works similar to other types.
It only covers properties that fall under the category (or definition) of a manufactured home. This includes properties built on a metal frame.
Mobile Home Insurance vs. Standard Homeowner’s Insurance
When buying a mobile home, you might ask:
Why can’t I get a standard homeowner’s insurance policy?
This is an excellent question, and the reason involves risk level.
There are structural differences between a mobile home and a standard home. Stick-built or site-built homes have a permanent foundation. So they’re built on either a crawlspace, a slab, or a basement.
Manufactured homes, on the other hand, have metal frames that serve as the foundation. This difference alone puts mobile homes at greater risk of damage. So insurers usually offer separate policies for these types of dwellings.
Keep in mind that while you need to buy mobile home insurance for a mobile home or a manufactured home, you don’t need mobile home insurance when buying a modular home.
Some people use the terms “modular” home and “manufactured” home interchangeably. But these dwellings aren’t the same.
Modular homes are often built inside factories, too. But unlike manufactured homes, modular homes have a permanent foundation. This can include a slab or crawlspace like a stick-built home.
Since modular homes don’t sit on a metal frame, you can buy a standard homeowner’s insurance policy when buying these properties.
What is Covered
The good news is that mobile home insurance offers much of the same coverage as a standard homeowner’s insurance policy.
Policies can vary, though. So it’s important to ask questions and understand specific details about your policy. This ensures you receive adequate protection.
Mobile home insurance coverage includes:
1. Dwelling coverage
This part of your mobile home insurance covers the actual dwelling and other permanent structures on your property.
Other permanent structures can include a garage, a deck, or a shed. Your insurance policy covers the repair cost or the cost to rebuild your property after a covered peril.
Covered perils under a mobile home insurance policy can include:
- Wind damage from natural disaster
- Accidental or sudden water damage from within the property
Regarding the latter, if a pipe breaks inside the home and floods your interior, your policy will often cover this damage.
2. Personal property coverage
In addition to the insurance policy paying to repair or rebuild your property, it also offers personal property coverage.
Therefore, you’re covered if your personal belongings are damaged under a covered peril, or stolen in the event of theft.
3. Liability coverage
Unfortunately, someone might get injured on your property. And if so, you’ll likely be held liable.
Mobile home insurance also provides liability protection. This part of your policy can cover legal fees if you’re sued. In addition, it helps cover the injured party‘s medical costs.
4. Additional living expenses
If you have to repair or rebuild your property, you might have to live elsewhere temporarily. This can include renting another home on a temporary basis or living in a hotel.
This part of your mobile home insurance covers additional living costs, if your property becomes uninhabitable.
What is Not Covered
Although mobile home insurance offers a lot of protections, it doesn’t cover everything.
This is also the case with a standard homeowner’s insurance policy.
Typical mobile home insurance doesn’t cover the following:
- Flood damage
If you live in an area that’s prone to these events, you can get add-on coverage, or buy a separate policy to cover these events.
For example, let’s say you live in an area prone to earthquakes. Your insurance provider might be able to add earthquake insurance as a rider on your policy.
Then again, you might purchase in a flood zone. If so, you can purchase flood insurance through FEMA‘s National Flood Insurance Program.
Without this additional coverage, funds to repair the property would come out of your pocket.
Keep in mind, too, that some mobile home insurance policies don’t cover hidden water leaks due to lack of maintenance. Speak with your provider to see if your policy includes this coverage. If not, you might be able to add “hidden water damage coverage” to your policy.
Is Mobile Home Insurance Required?
If you’re financing your mobile home or manufactured home, in most cases your lender will require insurance to protect their investment.
Once you’ve paid off your mobile home, you’re no longer required to insure the property—but this is highly recommended.
Maintaining insurance protects your investment, too. Therefore, you should maintain a policy for as long as you own the property.
Although some mobile homes are valued less than stick-built homes, the cost of mobile home insurance can be more than a standard homeowner’s insurance policy.
This is primarily due to the higher risk level. Annual insurance premiums for a mobile home varies depending on many factors. However, policies average between $300 and $1,000 each year. Factors that affect annual mobile home insurance premiums include:
- Age and condition of the property
- Value of the property
- Your insurance claims history
- Value of personal belongings
- Home security features
Other Factors to Consider
Since mobile home insurance differs from a standard homeowner’s insurance policy, here are a few things to keep in mind.
1. How to find mobile home insurance coverage?
Even though you’re buying mobile home insurance for a primary residence, getting a mobile home insurance policy can be tricky. This is because some insurance companies don’t offer this type of protection.
Some insurers only provide standard homeowner’s insurance. Meanwhile, others only work with third-party mobile home insurance companies to provide options for their customers.
Providers that offer mobile home insurance include:
How to Save Money on Mobile Home Insurance
Even though mobile home insurance is more expensive than standard homeowner’s insurance, there are ways to save money on your policy.
One of the best ways to save money is to bundle your policies with the same provider. If you have a life insurance policy, health insurance, or auto insurance, contact your provider to see if they offer mobile home insurance. If so, you might be eligible to receive a discount on this policy. This can reduce how much you pay on an annual basis.
You can ask your insurance provider about other discounts, too. For example, you might be eligible for a lower premium if you install a security system or cameras on the property.
Another option is to increase your insurance deductible. The deductible is what you’ll pay out-of-pocket before your insurance provider covers a claim.
Some deductibles can be as low as $500. Just know the lower your insurance deductible, the higher your annual premium. To save money, consider increasing your deductible to $1,000.
You can also save money on mobile home insurance by shopping around and getting quotes from multiple insurance providers. Ideally, you should request at least three rate quotes before making a decision.
There’s no cost to get a quote, and you can potentially save hundreds a year by comparison shopping.
Mobile homes or manufactured homes are often cheaper to construct than site-built properties.
They also offer a semi-permanent home solution. But while a mobile home can provide the same space and comfort as a site-built property, you can’t get a standard homeowner’s insurance policy for these dwellings.
Mobile home insurance provides the protection you need, but it is more expensive than a typical policy. But if you shop around and take other measures, you can get an affordable premium and protect your investment.