In some states, nearly 20% of homes are mobile homes, and it’s estimated that hundreds of thousands of mobile homes are uninsured nationwide. Fortunately, specialty insurers welcome mobile homeowners even if you've never had coverage before — but there are some important things you’ll need to know to choose the best mobile home insurance.
Also called manufactured homes, mobile homes are sometimes confused with modular homes or even travel trailers. Modular homes are assembled on site and require a standard home insurance policy. While mobile homes are technically movable, most mobile homes stay put, anchored in place to better resist storms. Mobile homes built after 1976 are called manufactured homes, according to HUD.
Mobile homes have a VIN number and, similar to vehicles, they depreciate in value, which changes the way they are insured compared to stick-built homes. While many types of mobile homes can last for several decades when well-maintained, the insurable value of the home goes down based on age. Often, this can affect how your belongings are insured as well because the coverage for personal property is usually capped at a percentage of your mobile home’s insured value.
Don’t forget to check out Benzinga’s roundup of the best homeowners insurance companies.
Expect to find a lot of regional insurers for the mobile home insurance market. National insurers are less common and might be using a third-party company to provide coverage. Here are some of our favorites, including some regional insurers.
1. American Modern
With five decades of experience insuring mobile homes, American Modern has stood the test of time and addresses some of the shortcomings common to the mobile home insurance sector.
While not always the least expensive option in our lineup, American Modern offers to insure mobile homes without age restrictions. Policies are written using stated-value coverage, which is listed on your policy and eliminates coverage underages for a total loss due to depreciation.
Partial losses are only covered for actual cash value, however, which is a depreciated amount. Customers can choose a rider to provide full replacement cost coverage. Standard coverage includes fire, wind, hail, burst pipes and more.
You’ll also find options on how to cover your home if it’s rented to others or if you renting a mobile home for yourself. American Modern offers several other types of policies as well, such as golf cart coverage or boat insurance.
Another well-established insurer with over six decades of expertise, Foremost offers mobile home insurance with the option of choosing full replacement cost coverage. Expect a strong list of included coverages with several extras that would be costly add-ons with other insurers or not available at all.
Foremost is a member of the Farmers Insurance Group of Companies and holds bragging rights for having developed the first mobile home insurance policy. Endorsed by AARP and licensed in all 50 states, Foremost should be on your list when you shop for mobile home insurance.
Over 38,000 agents nationwide sell Foremost insurance products, which makes a local agent easy to find. Mobile home policies written by Farmers Insurance are provided through Foremost’s network of regional companies. Several other well-known insurers use Foremost to underwrite their mobile home policies.
While Foremost is available throughout the U.S., the company is not licensed to sell mobile home insurance in Hawaii and now services only select areas in Florida. Expect wide availability in other states.
With insurance policies to meet nearly every need, Progressive's mobile home insurance policies can be paired up with other policies like auto insurance to make complete insurance coverage a breeze.
In some areas, Progressive uses specialty or regional insurers to provide mobile home coverage. This is common for specialized insurance types.
Replacement cost coverage is available and policies can be customized to meet your needs.
This is true whether you want a simpler and more affordable policy or you want to cover every possible detail.
4. American Family
In 19 states throughout the U.S., American Family is a well-respected insurer and has been
While the company name changed a few times over decades, American Family’s commitment protects households with a range of policies spanning auto insurance to business insurance to farm insurance to mobile home insurance.
In addition to standard manufactured home coverages for repair or rebuilding, personal liability coverage and personal property coverage, you can also choose from thoughtful add-ons like umbrella coverage that provides extra liability coverage for both your home and autos.
American Family even provides an option to ensure matching siding if your home’s exterior is damaged, an option missing from many competitor’s policies.
What is Mobile Home Insurance?
Similar to a standard home insurance policy, the major coverages for a mobile home insurance policy use a letter system to identify each group of risks. In fact, some newer mobile home insurance policies use the same policy form as a stick-built single-family home. For other mobile homes, however, there are some distinct differences in coverage.
The type of policy available for your mobile home often depends on the age of your home. Coverage options can vary by location as well, which means whether a mobile home is located in a mobile home park and or whether the park is an adult park. Mobile homes in family parks, for example, are often written on a different type of policy form that limits the coverage for damage to the home itself. This also often reduces coverage limits for personal property and liability coverage.
Below are the primary coverages commonly found on a mobile home insurance policy:
Coverage A: Dwelling Coverage
This is coverage for the mobile home itself as well as attached fixtures and is based on both square footage and age. For example, some insurers may provide coverage for up to $75 per square foot for newer mobile homes, whereas stick-built homes are often insured for $150 per square foot or higher. Some policies may have a higher allowance or allow an additional amount of coverage, often limited to $5,000 or less.
Older homes may have a coverage limit as low as $35 per square foot. In general, expect the coverage amount to shrink on many policies as your mobile home ages, but some companies do offer replacement cost coverage, which is a much better way to
It's common to find older mobile home insurance policies written as actual cash value policies, which reduces the coverage amount over time. Also, mobile homes 15 years or older may be written as actual cash value policies. Be sure to ask your agent which type of coverage applies to your mobile home, replacement cost coverage or actual cash value coverage.
Add-ons like screen rooms are not covered by the base dwelling coverage, may have limited coverage or may not be covered at all. Instead, they are treated as attachments and must be itemized separately on your policy. For example, if you have a single-wide and you add a weathertight room with the same square footage as your single wide, the add-on room will likely be covered for a much lower amount even if the square footage for the addition is the same as your mobile home.
Coverage limits for attachments are often higher if the attachment was recently added. Awnings are also considered scheduled attachments. Be sure your insurer knows about any attachments to your home and don’t assume everything attached to the exterior of your home is covered.
Pay special attention to roof coverage. Some insurers may not provide wind coverage for older roofs. If you have your roof replaced, be sure to let your insurer know so your policy can be updated.
Coverage B: Other Structures
Coverage for other structures refers to non-attached buildings and improvements. Sheds, fences, workshops, garages or gazebos would all fall under Coverage B but expect coverage to be limited. Also, ask if Coverage B is included with your policy. Some insurers offer this coverage only as an add-on for mobile home policies.
Coverage C: Personal Property
Your televisions, clothing, furniture and other personal belongings are covered by Coverage C. Maximum coverage limits for mobile home policies tend to be much lower than the coverage available for families in stick-built homes, so ask about coverage limits to be sure the policy provides enough protection.
Also, be aware of the difference between replacement cost coverage and actual cash value coverage. Replacement cost coverage will provide you with enough money to replace belongings damaged due to a covered loss. Actual cash value coverage will only pay a depreciated amount for your belongings, often much less than you'll need to replace the damaged items.
Coverage D: Additional Living Expense
If you're temporarily forced from your home due to a covered claim, Coverage D can provide some relief by paying extra expenses, like hotel rooms or the cost of eating out.
Coverage E: Personal Liability Coverage
Your mobile home insurance policy includes personal liability coverage as well. Think slips, trips, and falls. However, many policies limit the amount of liability coverage available based on location.
If the home is not in a park, liability limits can fall even lower, to $50,000. In each case, insurers are building policy limits based on loss exposure for homes in each environment. If you haven't yet purchased your mobile home, consider this common limitation when you choose your location.
Coverage F: Medical Expenses
Most home insurance policies also come with a small allowance for medical expenses meant to cover minor injuries to others.
Why Should You Buy Mobile Home Insurance?
Generally, most customers should avoid policies that only provide actual cash value coverage. In the event of a claim and after you paid your deductible, it's likely that your claim will be settled for a fraction of the cost of replacing your home and belongings.
Also, beware of policies that charge additional broker fees or policy fees. Consider the total cost of coverage compared to the quality of coverage being provided. Most reputable providers won't charge additional fees.
Once you have a policy, don't let the insurance lapse. Damage can happen at any time and in any number of ways, possibly costing tens of thousands to repair — and can possibly lead to the loss of your home.
Also, be aware of no-frills policies and their limitations. DP-1 policies, for example, are simplified policies, sometimes referred to as fire policies. Risks like water damage or theft won't be covered but fire and lightning are included coverages.
Liability coverage is included with a DP-1 policy, but is limited in both dollar amount and scope; damage to the property of others is not a covered liability. While the simplified coverage may be appropriate if you understand the risks, most families are better suited with more comprehensive coverage.
What to Look for in Mobile Home Insurance
When shopping for mobile home insurance, look for providers that offer replacement cost coverage for your mobile home. Often, based on age, these policies cover the cost of repairing or replacing your home up to the value of a comparable unit. If your home is older, some replacement cost policies convert the coverage amount to a fixed value that will be listed on your policy.
Look for a company that’s well-versed in mobile home insurance. Some well-known insurance providers offer mobile home insurance that's underwritten by a third-party insurer. At the agent level, this could mean that the sales staff is not well versed in the specific coverages provided by the policy and how to address any gaps in coverage. Seek out an agent who is experienced with writing mobile home insurance policies and who can help guide your purchase.
In particular, ask questions about storm coverage. Certain types of storm damage may require a higher default deductible. It may be possible to change this deductible to a more affordable amount. Also, ask about flood coverage if you're in an area where flooding is a concern. Many mobile home insurers also offer flood insurance and you might get a discount if you purchase both policies together.
Mobile Home Insurance Discounts
Several types of discounts may be available that can lower the cost of your mobile home insurance policy. Ask your agent which discounts are available for your policy.
Discounts may be available for
- Fire extinguishers
- Smoke alarms
- AARP members or AAA members
- Seniors over 50
- New roof
- Online policy delivery
- Automatic payments
- Combined policy discount for flood policies or other insurance types
Whether a stick-built home or a double-wide, your home is your castle and you’ll need the right coverage to protect your family. When buying mobile home insurance, it pays to ask questions. Many coverages you might think are included may only be available as add-ons or may not be available at all through some insurers. In particular, look for replacement cost coverage whenever possible.
A total loss without this coverage may leave you without enough money from your claim settlement to start over. With a small time investment, you’ll find the right policy to protect your family for years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are all mobile home insurance policies the same?
No, mobile homes are different from RVs and park models. Remember, you should ask your insurance agent which sort of policy is best for your unit.
Is mobile home insurance expensive?
Generally, mobile home insurance is more affordable than other types of insurance, costing only a few dollars a day or less.