Published: March 2015
Although manufactured homes, once commonly referred to as mobile homes, are built in a factory and moved to a chosen location, they aren't much different than a site-built single-family home — even when it comes to insurance. Whether you live there year-round or seasonally, it’s important to help protect your home with mobile home insurance.
Insurance coverage for mobile and manufactured homes is usually similar to a standard homeowners policy, offering coverage for the home, your personal property and liability claims, according to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). The two basic coverages typically included in mobile home insurance policies are for physical damage and personal liability, the Insurance Information Institute (III) says.
Physical structure: If your mobile home sustains physical damage from perils such as fire, hail, theft or vandalism, the costs of repairs or replacement are typically covered by a mobile home policy. Additional structures on your lot, such as a patio or garage, and your personal belongings would also likely be covered. However, some policies only cover certain causes of loss. These “named perils” policies may have lower premiums, but be sure to check with your agent so that you know what is excluded from your policy. The III also notes that most mobile home insurance does not include coverage for flooding, which is in-line with standard homeowners policies, nor would the home be covered while it is transit.
Liability: Mobile home policies typically include liability coverage, which may help protect you (within the stated policy limits) if you or someone in your household is found liable for damage to someone else's property or if a guest is injured at your home. However, liability coverage generally does not cover an injury to you or another member of your household, the III says. If you slip on your steps, you likely won't be reimbursed for any medical expenses. If your kids accidentally break the neighbor’s window playing ball, however, your policy will likely cover the cost of repair.
Mobile home policies are frequently based on replacement cost, actual cash value or a stated amount (which means there is a maximum amount you’ll receive if your home is destroyed), the III says. The III suggests reviewing a stated amount policy (also called an agreed value policy) annually, as you may want to adjust your policy based on current mobile home values.
AICPA says there are a few things that may help make your mobile home safer and potentially lower your insurance premiums.
- Be certain it meets HUD's Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards Code. (Some companies may not insure homes manufactured before the introduction of the HUD guidelines.)
- Avoid frozen pipes (and the resulting damage) with good insulation.
- Use tie-downs and ground anchors to help avoid or minimize storm damage. (Also keep in mind that a double-wide may handle storms better than a single-wide home.)
When contacting your agent about mobile home insurance (not all insurance companies offer it), be sure to ask if any discounts are available. If you already have other coverage with the insurer, such as auto or life insurance, you may be eligible for a multi-policy discount (if the insurer offers one). You may also want to ask about additional optional coverages available, which may be recommended based on where you live or to expand your existing coverage.