There is no question that you have to have homeowners insurance if you own your own home, but did you know that you need it even if you live in a mobile or manufactured home, just as you do if you live in a more conventional dwelling? It’s true! It’s also true that there are special insurance policies for manufactured and mobile homes (which are technically the same thing, and the designation merely refers to such a home that was built after June 15, 1976).
Why Buy Mobile Home Insurance?
You probably worked hard to save the money to buy your home, and the things within it, but even in the safest parts of the country, there can still be unexpected events – fires, storms, and the like – that can cause major damage, which can lead to financial setbacks. This is why you should buy a mobile home insurance policy.
What Does my Mobile Home Insurance Cover?
The specifics of each mobile home insurance policy differ from company to company, but the typical coverage generally includes:
- Protection for Physical Structures. This includes your actual home and any adjacent structures on the same piece of land, like sheds or detached garages. These are generally protected from all forms of loss not specifically included, including fire, wind damage, lightning, and damage from falling objects or explosions. It is important to know that your coverage will not be in force during transit.
- Protection for Personal Property. This includes coverage for your belongings, whether they are inside your home or one of the adjacent structures mentioned above. Such coverage also applies, albeit at lower limits, while you are away from home – for example, if you leave a laptop in your car, and it’s stolen.
- Personal Liability Insurance. This protects you if you unintentionally cause property damage or bodily harm to someone who doesn’t live with you. It will pay for medical expenses as well as court costs, should the injured party sue you.
What About Flood Insurance?
While mobile home policies are fairly comprehensive, one thing they do not cover is damage from flooding. (This isn’t a slight against mobile homes – flood insurance is not part of the package on standard-construction houses, either.) If you live in a place where flooding is likely, you should buy flood insurance, and you can usually do so from the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program). Only a specific, separate flood insurance policy will protect your home and belongings from flood damage.
Other extensions to your policy are also available, to cover wind and hail damage, or to cover specific components like aerial antennae on your roof.
Are You Eligible Mobile Home Insurance Discounts?
Since most standard insurance companies do not cover manufactured homes of any kind, chances are that you won’t find a home/auto discount that applies to your mobile home policy. However, that doesn’t mean no discounts are available. Many companies discount your premium if:
- Your mobile home rests on a permanent foundation.
- You’ve built a basement beneath your mobile home.
- The roof is either pitched or shingled.
- You’ve installed skirting around the bottom.
- You’ve installed smoke or fire detectors inside.
- You own a newer manufactured home.
- You are over 50 years old.
Homeowner’s insurance is just as important for mobile homeowners as it is for those who live in permanently fixed homes. Don’t live without it.