Manufactured homes and mobile housing units are available in lots of styles and sizes. They range from compact units measuring 500 feet to much more generously-sized homes of 3,000 square feet.
Manufactured and mobile homes are different to other types of properties. They are constructed off-site and then delivered to your land for assembly. Manufactured housing is attractive to homebuyers due to its inexpensive cost, compared to regular housing.
Because manufactured homes differ to traditional “stick-built” housing, insurers assess manufactured homes’ risks differently. In addition, manufactured housing often requires forms of insurance coverage that other properties do not.
If you are considering purchasing a manufactured home, be aware of these insurance variables. Find out more information in the following sections.
Learn About Standard Coverage
Most owners of manufactured homes must hold at least a basic homeowners’ insurance policy. This is especially true if you have a mortgage for your manufactured housing unit. Standard policies provide coverage for incidents such as:
- Damages to your home or property.
- Damages to or loss of your personal belongings.
- Personal injury liability.
In addition, the majority of homeowners’ insurance policies protect against other events such as weather damage, damages caused by landslides and theft. Your possessions are covered under standard value limits.
For instance, even if a piece of jewelry is worth $4,000, the insurer may set a cap at $2,000. Personal injury liability coverage compensates for medical and legal bills that arise from a guest being injured on your property.
Depending on the specific policy, injury liability insurance pertains to injuries experienced by policyholders, household members and pets.
If your manufactured home is damaged to the extent you have no option but to move out, a standard homeowners’ insurance policy provides living expenses. Your policy must include Additional Living Expenses coverage to receive such financial aid.
You may have to purchase ALE insurance separately if your insurer does not include it in your homeowners’ insurance policy.
Standard home insurance for manufactured homes and mobile housing units operates on three levels of reimbursement. These are:
- Actual Cash Value Policies. These provide the lowest level of compensation for damaged or lost possessions, but these types of policies are the most inexpensive to purchase.
- Replacement Cost Value Policies. These are more expensive than actual cash value insurance policies but they cover your possessions for the full value it would cost to purchase new comparable items.
- Extended Value Policies. Although these policies are pricey, they promise to compensate for items at 25 percent more than the items’ worth.
Standard policies for manufactured homes come with strict limits. They do not provide coverage for all types of emergency incidents. Furthermore, they usually only insure personal possessions up to designated limits.
In addition, standard home insurance policies for manufactured home owners do not cover damage caused by earthquakes, floods and human-caused incidents like nuclear attacks.
Owners of manufactured housing units must be aware of additional insurance issues that do not apply to traditional properties. A good example of this is transportation insurance.
This protects your manufactured home while it is being transported to your land and during the assembly process. Be aware: mobile and manufactured homes depreciate in value over time differently to traditional properties.
Learn About Optional Coverage
To obtain comprehensive coverage for all your home insurance needs, you must layer additional optional coverage to your base policy. Many types of supplemental coverage are available.
Common types include:
- Flood, Hazard or Catastrophe Insurance. This gives your manufactured home protection against many disasters and incidents that are not covered by a standard homeowners’ insurance policy. Get optional coverage for floods, earthquakes, acts of terrorism and more. If your area is particularly prone to something like floods or earthquakes, it is especially important you get cover for these potential incidents.
- Floater Insurance. This is used to protect specific belongings of high value that would otherwise be covered amongst other lower-value possessions.
- Scheduled Personal Property Insurance. If you have expensive or unique original artworks, pieces of jewelry, antiques, high-end designer clothing or other high-value possessions, you can use this coverage option.
- Personal Electronic Equipment Insurance. This insures high-value electronic devices and audio-visual equipment above the limits included in a standard homeowners’ insurance policy.
- Dog Bite Insurance. This ensures you are fully covered in the event your pet injures somebody. If you own an aggressive dog like a wolf hybrid, this is particularly useful insurance to have.
How to Save on Coverage
The cost of insurance policies for owners of manufactured homes is determined by several factors. These are:
- The cost and condition of your home.
- The perceived risk levels of your property.
- Your history of insurance claims.
- The location of your home.
- Standards and competition within the home insurance industry.
Not all factors are within your control but you can take some actions to save on the cost of your coverage. Improve your property’s security and safety by fitting smoke alarms and burglar alarms or improve the condition of your property through repair and renovation work.
Making changes like those make all the difference to an insurer’s perceived risk of insuring your home. In turn, this usually means lower premiums to pay. In addition, you benefit by making your insurance company aware of positive changes to your neighborhood.
If a new Neighborhood Watch is established or if new fire hydrants are installed close to your home, you are eligible for lower premiums.
You can potentially lower the cost of your insurance in other ways. Examples include:
- Shopping around for the best rates.
- Raising the deductible on your policy.
- Paying off your mortgage.
- Purchasing all of your policies from the same insurance company.
- Remaining responsibly insured by the same company over time.
When it comes to cost-effectively insuring your manufactured home and personal possessions, you have a wide variety of options to choose from. It is important you understand all of your options before determining which insurance company to go with and which type of policy and additional cover you wish to obtain.
By taking the time to fully understand your options and opportunities, you are sure to find the ideal policy to suit your personal requirements.