Mobile and manufactured homes are constructed inside a factory, which sets them apart from traditional stick-built homes. Some of these homes can be moved by a trailer, although modular manufactured homes can’t. While these types of homes are different from traditional homes in a few distinct ways, they still require some form of insurance to protect the structure and your belongings. Having the right type of manufactured home insurance is key to ensuring you get the coverage you need.
Whether you already own a manufactured or mobile home or you’re looking to buy, this guide has some helpful tips and information to show you how to get the right type of homeowners insurance for mobile homes to meet your needs.
Mobile vs. manufactured homes: understanding the difference
The terms mobile and manufactured homes are technically the same, as both are built in a factory instead of on-site like traditional stick-built homes. However, factory-built homes constructed before June 15, 1976, are classified as mobile homes. Anything built after that date is considered a manufactured home, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD.
Both home types are different from traditionally built homes because they’re constructed from the bottom up inside a factory setting. This protects the home from the weather during the construction process, helps prevent the possible theft of materials, and increases production time from start to finish. Once a mobile or manufactured home is built and purchased, it’s transported to the home’s location. Mobile homes have tires and a trailer hitch, which means they can be moved and transported virtually anywhere, unlike a traditional standard home.
When it comes to getting insurance for manufactured homes, there are several things to keep in mind. First, make sure you have some form of dwelling coverage that replaces the structure of the home in case of damage by things like fire, wind, hail, or vandalism. Look into personal property coverage and additional structural coverage if you have other buildings on your property, like a shed or a separate garage.
Manufactured home insurance is almost exactly the same as traditional homeowners insurance since it’s designed to protect the structure and your belongings from various perils. Many major insurance companies offer manufactured home and mobile home insurance. However, some don’t because they believe it’s too high risk.
It’s important to do some research and determine which insurance companies offer the best policies and coverage for these types of homes before you sign on the dotted line. The amount and type of insurance you receive may depend on factors such as the age of the home, your specific state, and what type of foundation the home is on.
Home insurance for mobile and manufactured homes: what it covers
A standard mobile/manufactured home insurance policy covers the dwelling or structure based on listed perils that may occur, such as fire, hail, or heavy winds. There are a few basic types of coverage you can get for your manufactured home:
- Dwelling: This coverage pays to repair or replace the structure of the home if it becomes damaged due to covered perils like fire and lighting, falling objects (like a tree limb), wind and hail, burst pipes, or the weight of ice and snow. Look carefully at the listed perils to ensure you’re getting the specific type of coverage you need. Get a coverage amount that’s high enough to replace the manufactured home if it’s completely destroyed.
- Personal property: This type of coverage typically pays to repair or replace your personal belongings, like furniture, clothing, mattresses, electronics, and other items, if they’re damaged or stolen. Make a comprehensive list of your belongings, save receipts, and take photos in case you need to give this information to your insurance company adjuster.
- Liability: This coverage protects you from a lawsuit if someone were to become injured on your property or inside your home. It also may cover the cost of some medical bills. Most liability coverage is included with standard plans, but you can increase the coverage limits.
- Other structures: If you have a shed, garage, mother-in-law dwelling, or other structures on your property, then it’s recommended that you pay for “other structures” coverage. This pays to repair damaged fences and any other outdoor structures that aren’t attached to your home.
Some special considerations and exclusions are specific to mobile and manufactured home insurance. Most mobile homes built before 1976 are too old to get homeowners insurance regardless of your location. States like Florida, Texas, and South Carolina may require you to get more inspections and may have other exclusions due to being located in high-risk areas for major storms like tornadoes or hurricanes. Ultimately, the availability of coverage and the type of coverage you receive depends on the insurance company’s underwriting guidelines.
Factors affecting mobile and manufactured home insurance rates
Several factors may affect your manufactured home insurance rates, including:
- Your location may affect the rate based on risks like crime or natural disasters.
- If you have a claims history, it may affect your eligibility and your premium. For example, the more home insurance claims you’ve filed in the past, the higher your rate will likely be.
- Older manufactured homes cost more to cover, and most homes older than 1976 may not be eligible for coverage.
- Your personal credit score and any outstanding debt can also determine how much your premiums will be and whether or not you’re eligible. Generally, the higher your credit score, the lower your premiums.
- The manufactured home’s make and model could also play a role in your coverage amount and eligibility since higher-end models tend to cost more to replace.
- The size and style of the home also matter. Single-wide manufactured homes are less costly to cover than double-wide or triple-wide sizes due to higher total square footage.
- Added safety features like a home security system and doorbell camera may help you get a discount, so be sure to ask your insurance company if these discounts apply.
- If you have a vehicle, you might be eligible for an insurance bundle discount that combines all of your insurance plans together for a lower monthly premium.
How to get insurance for mobile and manufactured homes
Here’s how to get home insurance for your mobile or manufactured home:
- Know your home’s make, model, total square footage, and the year it was manufactured. This ensures that you get the most accurate quote possible.
- Shop around and look for insurance companies that specifically state they offer coverage for these types of homes.
- Make sure you set the appropriate coverage limits when shopping for an insurance plan. This should include the cost to replace the home, coverage for your personal belongings, how much liability coverage you’ll need, and if you’ll need additional coverage for other structures like fencing, a shed, or a separate garage.
- If you live in a flood zone, make sure you get separate flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program.
- You should thoroughly understand the policy’s terms and conditions before you commit to a plan. Look carefully at the fine print and make sure you’re clear about any special exclusions or conditions of coverage.
- Consider getting a separate home warranty if you want additional coverage for major appliances and home systems, like plumbing and electrical.
Case studies: insurance claims involving mobile and manufactured homes
While most insurance for manufactured homes is similar to stick-built homes, there are a few examples when the type of claim you file may be different. It’s important to note that your insurance typically won’t cover the home while it’s in transit. If you move your home, or when you first have the home delivered, your home insurance likely won’t cover the cost of damage to the structure or anything inside.
Common claims related to manufactured homes include roof damage or removal from high winds, siding that may rip off the exterior of the home, and flooding from major storms and heavy rains. Your home insurance coverage depends on several things, including the state you live in, the cause of the damage, and what type of foundation the home rests on.
In 2004, Florida began dropping insurance coverage for many mobile homes, and some states treat them like automobiles rather than actual homes. It’s important that your policy is clearly listed as home insurance and that you have the coverage limits you need to get proper compensation.
Your location matters when it comes to mobile and manufactured home coverage. States like Florida and Louisiana are high-risk areas where hurricanes are prevalent. In Florida, home insurance costs for all types of homes have skyrocketed, and some residents of Louisiana are finding it more difficult to get coverage due to location. This is particularly true for mobile and manufactured homes, which tend to be more vulnerable when exposed to storm-related structural damage. That’s why getting comprehensive coverage is so vital. The more coverage you have, the more you’ll be protected financially in the event of a disaster.
Mobile and manufactured homes are an affordable alternative to stick-built homes, but it’s important to understand your homeowners insurance needs. Always research a variety of companies and compare costs and coverage limits to ensure you get the best policy. Evaluate your insurance needs carefully and seek out the best coverage options so your mobile or manufactured home stays protected.