You want to protect everything that’s important to you, and that includes where you live, what you own and your hard-earned money. That’s true whether your home was built where it is or delivered. Mobile home insurance provides coverage for your home and your personal possessions, and also includes personal liability protection. Here we’ll explain how that works, how much coverage you need and what you can expect to pay.
What Mobile Home Insurance Covers
Mobile home insurance pays to repair or replace your home and belongings. It also pays for the medical bills of injured guests and your legal fees. Here’s how the different portions of a comprehensive mobile home insurance policy work to safeguard you if the unexpected happens.
This pays to fix or replace your home. Dwelling coverage pays up to your policy limits if your mobile home is damaged by fire, smoke, wind, hail, heavy rainfall, weight of ice and snow, falling objects, burst pipes, lightning, explosions or vandalism. In addition to the structure of your home, dwelling coverage for mobile homes usually covers:
- Attached structures
- Oil and gas drums
- Materials and supplies used in construction or repair of the mobile home
- Wall-to-wall carpeting
- Other structures separated from the mobile home such as a fence
Personal property coverage
This coverage pays out if your personal items are damaged or stolen. There are limits to personal property coverage, so you may need to buy extra coverage if you have high-value items you want to insure.
Personal liability coverage
Liability mobile home insurance can pay for lawsuit claims filed against you for accidental injuries or property damage you do to other people. It also pays for the medical expenses of guests’ injured in your home. For instance, If your friend slips on your wet kitchen floor and hits his head on your counter, your liability coverage could help pay the hospital bills. If your friend sues you, it would also pay for your legal defense and any settlements or court judgments.
Medical payments coverage
This coverage pays the smaller medical bills of people who are accidentally hurt on your property, regardless of fault. It’s usually capped at $5,000 so it can be used for minor injuries that result in small medical bills. This way guests are less likely to sue you for minor incidents.
How Much Mobile Home Insurance Do I Need?
You want to get dwelling coverage in the amount equal to what it would cost to rebuild or replace your mobile home with comparable materials. Or, at least you should get as much as you can afford.
If you file a claim, your insurer will reimburse you only up to the limits in your policy. Depending on your policy, you will either be paid the actual cash value, replacement cost or an agreed upon value of your mobile home.
Replacement cost coverage is better than actual cash value. With replacement cost you get the amount of money needed to rebuild your home with equitable materials without deductions for depreciation. Note that not all insurance companies offer replacement value for mobile homes.
Actual cash value takes into account your mobile home’s depreciation and thus would pay out less if your home is destroyed.
An agreed lost settlement amount is the amount of coverage you and your insurer agree to when your policy is drafted. You’re guaranteed to get that amount in the event of a total loss.
Personal property amount
The coverage amount for your belongings is usually set between 50% to 70% of your dwelling coverage amount. For example, if your mobile home is insured for $90,000, and your personal property coverage is set at 50%, you’ll have $45,000 in contents coverage. You can buy extra protection for high-value possessions if you want.
Generally you want a liability insurance amount that matches what you could lose in a lawsuit. In a worst case scenario, if you face a big lawsuit, you don’t want to have inadequate liability coverage.
Other Types of Mobile Home Insurance
Additional living expenses coverage will pay for your living expenses when you are unable to live in your mobile home while it’s being repaired.
Emergency removal expense coverage pays for the cost of removing damaged property from your mobile home.
Trip/transportation coverage provides your mobile home with collision coverage when it’s being transported to another location.
Breakdown protection is coverage that includes the repair or replacement of major appliances and electronics in your mobile home when the breakdown of these items is due to mechanical or electrical failures.
Identity theft recovery insurance provides help if you are a victim of identity theft including expense reimbursement, such as $15,000.
Damage Not Covered by Mobile Home Insurance
Insurance coverage is designed to protect you from accidents and the unexpected. But no insurance policy covers everything, and mobile home insurance is no exception.
The following types of damage are not generally covered in mobile home insurance policies:
- Water damage from sewers and drain back ups
- Wear and tear
- Wet or dry rot
Flood and Earthquake Insurance for Mobile Homes
Mobile home insurance also typically does not cover damage from earthquakes and flooding. You can buy additional coverage for earthquakes as an add-on benefit to a mobile home insurance policy.
Flood damage also needs a separate flood insurance policy. If your community is part of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), you are eligible to buy federally sponsored flood insurance. Check with your home insurance agent for details.
Unless your mobile home is secured to the ground with a permanent foundation, your insurance company may require your mobile home be secured with approved tie-downs and ground anchors.
Tie-down requirements can vary among insurance companies. If you are shopping for new mobile home insurance, you will want to find out the specific tie downs required. Determine if your old tie downs will suffice or if you will need to buy new ones.
Named Peril Mobile Home Insurance
There are also “named peril” policies for mobile homes that provide limited coverage just for damage from lightning, explosions, fire, wind and riots. A named peril policy might be tempting because it costs less than a broader policy. The drawback is that you’ll have to spend your own money to repair your home or replace your belongings if they’re damaged by anything not listed in the policy.
What’s the Difference Between Mobile Homes and Manufactured Homes?
Mobile homes are typically built in a factory and are taken to the owner’s property to be set up. A mobile home may be built on a metal frame and some mobile homes have tie downs instead of a permanent foundation. Manufactured homes have all these same characteristics.
The difference between the two is the manufacture date. The Housing and Urban Development (HUD) determined that a factory-built home built prior to June 15, 1976, is considered a mobile home and a factory built home completed after that date is a manufactured home. Mobile homes and manufactured homes are both regulated by HUD.
Mobile Home Insurance Costs
There are several factors that can affect the price of mobile home insurance:
- Size of the mobile home
- Value of your personal property
- Other insured structures
- Age of the mobile home
- Insurance coverages you choose
- Your credit history
- If you own the land underneath the mobile home
- Materials used to build the home
- Discounts, such as discounts for safety and security features
Tips for Buying Mobile Home Insurance
- Review your mobile home insurance policy regularly That way you can be sure your coverage limits still match your needs and keep pace with rising building material costs and inflation. The amount you insure your mobile home for today might not be the amount you need in a few years.
- Make a list of your mobile home’s contents and update it each year. Having a home inventory helps expedite claims. It will also help ensure that you have enough coverage for what’s inside your home as you add to your possessions.
- Equip your mobile home with smoke detectors and find out if you can get an insurance discount for them.
- Make sure additions to such as sheds and extra rooms are reflected in your insurance policy.
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