Insurance is a common topic among the tiny house community.
Can tiny houses be insured? Yes. The way you can get insured depends on whether you have a house on wheels or on a foundation. The best way is to talk to an insurance company before you build your house. Either way, you should be prepared for some extra paperwork.
Once you know what type of tiny house you will be living in, you can start shopping for insurance.
Here is everything you need to know about acquiring insurance your tiny house.
There are many benefits that come along with purchasing insurance your home. Most important, it that you want to make sure your tiny house is protected.
What Is The Best Type of Insurance for your Tiny House?
When shopping for insurance for your tiny house, there are a few things to keep in mind. The first thing is whether or not your tiny house is fitted to move.
Tiny homes that are hitched on trailers or placed on wheels, may fall under RV rules when it comes to insurance.
However, is your home has a more permanent residence, purchasing insurance will be quite different. Here are the differences between tiny houses so that you can feel confident in your insurance policy:
1) Moveable Tiny Houses
Moveable tiny houses are the homes that can be transported by vehicle. Depending on the area you live in, these types of residences may be considered RVs. Which means that you will be purchasing insurance for an RV as opposed to a home.
This may give you more options, however, when it comes to obtaining insurance.
RV insurance thinks outside of the box when it comes to protection. This because there are different factors to consider when hitting the road. You have to factor in typical road concerns like breakdowns and weather elements. If you are looking for more information about RV-style insurance, check out this article for a full breakdown of what RV insurance should cover.
2) Standing Tiny Houses
Standing tiny houses are the ones that are not meant to move around freely. These types of properties often stand on a larger piece of land and are used like traditional homes.
However, finding insurance for these types of homes may mean a lot more hoop jumping.
This is because tiny houses are still a foreign idea to many people. This includes certain insurance companies. Many owners of standing tiny houses find that getting insurance for their home is more difficult than they thought.
However, it is still important for the safety of your home, and your family, that you still find insurance for your house.
If you have your heart set on a stand-alone property, don’t be discouraged.
One thing you can do is list your property as a fixed foundation. This means that your property will not be moved. However, if you are planning on your tiny house being a fixed foundation, you can’t do it alone.
The key to having this type of property with insurance is to find a certified builder. A certified builder will help you every step along the way to make sure your home is properly built. This way when the time comes to find an insurance plan, you can be sure that your house is up to code.
What Are Common Problems With Finding Insurance?
Like any insurance plan, the plan you choose for your tiny house will come with some restrictions. However, knowing what to expect before diving into a plan can help to keep you safe.
At the end of the day, insurance plans are there to protect you and your home.
So, make sure that you are getting what you want. Here are some common problems that owners of tiny houses have run into when finding an insurance plan:
1) Personal Property Insurance
The most ideal insurance plan for any homeowner is a personal property insurance plan.
However, obtaining one of these plans for a tiny house can be contentious. The biggest problem that homeowners have is that most insurance companies require the tiny house to be on wheels.
This means that your tiny house will have to be fitted to move. This doesn’t mean that you can’t obtain personal property insurance if your house doesn’t have wheels.
You may have to compromise with your insurance company in unique ways. Some owners choose to own list their tiny house as a part-time residence. While this isn’t always ideal for every family, it may buy you more time.
The hope among the community is that insurance plans in the future will be more flexible with tiny residences.
One of the biggest downsides to personal property insurance for tiny houses is that you don’t get it both ways. While you need to have wheels on your home to obtain this type of plan, you don’t get road coverage. This means that your insurance plan will not cover you if your trailer breaks down along the way.
However, the perks of owning personal property insurance can make this compromise worth it.
2) Home Design Details
Insurance companies are not in the business of losing money. They want to be sure that if they are putting money up to protect your home, that it will be worth it.
Which brings us to the second most common problem that homeowners face.
Small design details in your tiny house can make or break you when it comes to insurance. Most insurance companies require a certain type of installation as well as other details. The last thing you would want to do is build your dream tiny house only to find that it won’t be insured.
One way to get the best of both worlds is to find an insurance carrier before beginning construction on your home.
This way you can be sure that the details of your tiny home will match up with an insurance plan. This will help to keep you from second-guessing your work.
When you know that the work that you are doing is still protected, you can enjoy your house more!
What Does Insurance for Your Tiny House Cover?
One of the most important parts of picking any insurance plan is knowing what your specific needs are.
While most home insurance plans are fairly basic, there is room for customization. However, because tiny houses are considered unique properties, you may have fewer options. Basic coverage may include:
- Theft protection
- Fire protection
- Burst pipes
- Wildlife protection
- Structure damage
- Damage over time
The first thing to consider is the type of area you live in.
This will also give you a direction when it comes to finding home insurance.
Here are some things that you should consider adding to your home insurance:
Areas that are close to water landmarks or on the coast are more prone to flooding. However, most insurance plans still do not consider flooding insurance to be essential.
So, if you know that the area you are living in can flood, make sure to ask!
There will more than likely be an extra price for insurance upgrades like flooding. But, the peace of mind is totally worth it.
Mother nature is a beast.
You can’t predict how the winds may change. So, how can you be expected to prepare for it? Believe it or not, some insurance companies do not cover damage to the house done by nature.
If you know you live in a particularly windy area, consider adding this to your plan.
Work With An Expert
You shouldn’t feel nervous when setting out to find an insurance plan for your tiny house. The more information you have, the more confident you should feel. However, it doesn’t hurt to get expert help. Especially when it comes to something as important as homeowners insurance.
Asking for an outside opinion if not handing over your control. It is simply ensuring that you are getting the best coverage and value for your money.
One great resource to look into is Insure My Tiny Home. Community resources like this are invaluable to the community. The work to help tiny homeowners not only find insurance plans but also understand better how insurance will work for them.
At the end of the day, essentials like protection and peace of mind are priceless.
There are many unknowns when it comes to owning a tiny house. This is especially true for those who are just dipping their toes into the idea.
Morten is the founder of GoDownsize. He has filmed and interviewed people living in tiny houses and RVs since 2011. He grew up on the coast where his dad took him boating from a young age. He has completely rebuilt two RVs in which he travels with his family for months at the time. Read more about Morten here.