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7 Things Tiny House Owners Should Know About Tiny Home Insurance

By Jarrod Heil

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Tiny homes are a hot trend for those people who strive to downsize and may even want to hit the open road in something bigger and more comfortable than a traditional RV.

While the tiny-home trend may be here to stay, especially with tiny-house communities popping up all over the United States, there are many things you need to know about insuring your tiny dream home.

From classifications of tiny homes with and without wheels to the amount of livable space and whether it’s on a fixed foundation or not, here’s everything you need to know about insuring your tiny home.

Can You Insure a Tiny House?

Yes, you can certainly insure a tiny house and, in some cases, insurance may actually be required for your tiny piece of paradise. Some insurance carriers will gladly insure your tiny home but others may balk at the opportunity because tiny homes are still in a grey area of insurance laws.

But let’s take a look at all the different scenarios of tiny home insurance to see which one suits your miniature home will plenty of living space.
 
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1. You Still May Need Insurance

Although there’s still a lot of grey area surrounding tiny homes, there are several instances that apply where you’re required to have some sort of insurance policy protecting your tiny home, and there are also several instances where insurance isn’t required by law.

If your tiny home is currently being financed — whether it’s with a mortgage, RV, personal or any other type of loan — your lender will require you to maintain adequate insurance coverage. If you own your tiny home outright, you may be required to maintain insurance, depending on the type of tiny home you have.

But just like any other type of insurance, it’s always better to be covered for the unknown, at least having a policy to protect your peace of mind and your tiny home in the event of a disaster.
 
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2. Tiny Homes on Wheels Are Categorized Differently

If your tiny home is residing on wheels and has any inkling to hit the open road, vehicle insurance as required by law must be applied to cover your tiny home. Insurance for tiny house on wheels is a bit different than ones without wheels.

That’s where things get a little tricky. The type of tiny home you have (with or without wheels, one or two stories, square footage of living space) also dictates what kind of insurance you qualify for. We’ll get to that in just a minute, but first let’s take a look at another grey area.

3. The Problems With DIY Tiny Homes

Tiny homeowners who decided to go the DIY-build route may be in for an unpleasant surprise when their palace is completed and the time to purchase insurance has come. DIY tiny homes that aren’t built by professional companies may not qualify for the proper type of insurance.

That’s because they’ll likely have to go the route of specialty insurance companies that have very strict regulations on what they can and can’t insurance — your tiny home may fall into the latter category if you haven’t secured the proper documentation. So let’s take a look at the four most common types of insurance for tiny homes.

4. Homeowners Insurance for Tiny Homes

Because tiny homes are wired with electric, running water and many other modern commodities found in homes, the same standards and inspections must be met as traditional homes — and the same home insurance coverages may still apply.

You still have to insure the home dwelling coverage. Albeit, likely less coverage than a traditional home. There’s still room for accidents to occur, so you must maintain adequate liability coverage. Plus, you’ll probably have personal stuff inside your tiny house, so personal property coverage also still applies.

But if your tiny home isn’t permanently installed on a property that you own, or it’s on wheels, you can pretty much kiss a homeowners insurance policy goodbye because your home won’t qualify for this type of coverage.
 
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5. Manufactured Home/Mobile Home Insurance for Tiny Homes

Like manufactured and mobile homes that sit on a property in which the homeowner doesn’t personally own, tiny homes with the same background will need manufactured or mobile home insurance if requirements are met.

The tricky part about this is you’ll still have adequate coverage for your dwelling, personal property and liability, but mobile home insurance typically places strict restrictions on certain events that could cause significant damage, such as fires.

The good thing is that tiny homes on wheels still may qualify for mobile home coverage. However, that coverage doesn’t apply when you hit the open road. If you want to move your tiny home to a new location, which is one of the great things about them, you’ll need to purchase separate coverage for the move or, if you can, add a travel endorsement onto your mobile home policy.
 
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6. RV Insurance for Tiny Homes

If your tiny home has permanent wheels, not relying on a temporary trailer to move it from place to place, you may not qualify for any type of home insurance. Instead, you may only qualify for RV insurance, which also has some pretty strict requirements.

Tiny homes with wheels that want to qualify for RV insurance must maintain a current RVIA Seal from a certified builder and may be required to have no more 400 square feet of livable space.

Tiny homeowners who plan to hit America’s National Parks and other campgrounds on their mobile journey may be required to have an RVIA Seal to be allowed to park their tiny house on the property.

In addition, many RV policies aren’t designed as full-time livable spaces, so you may need a designated full-time package policy to properly protect you.

7. Personal Property Insurance for Tiny Homes

There’s a special designation for tiny homes without wheels that aren’t lived in full time and also maintain a permanent or semi-permanent foundation.

If this very unique situation applies to you, your tiny home may be considered a piece of personal property and could be covered under s separate personal property insurance designed to keep your belongings safe from perils.

But you must know that tiny homes that hit the open road to be towed to a new location and are covered by personal property insurance aren’t covered while they’re on the open road.

How Much Is Tiny Home Insurance?

Since there are so many different insurance classifications tiny homes may qualify for, there are also a ton of different levels of insurance premiums you may face.

On average in the United States, tiny homeowners can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $4,000 per year to insure their tiny home, depending on many factors.