Getting Insurance for Older Mobile Homes
If your mobile home was made before 1976, you may have trouble finding home insurance. We can help find a solution.
Finding home insurance for an older mobile home can be a challenge because of their high-risk nature. Due to regulation differences between mobile and manufactured homes, mobile homes made before June 15, 1976, are considered very risky in the eyes of home insurers. Some companies won't insure them at all.
State law doesn't require you to have mobile home insurance, but most mortgage lenders and mobile home communities require it. This could put you in a difficult spot if you have an older mobile home.
This doesn't mean you don't have options to cover an older mobile home. An independent agent can help you find coverage. There are even home insurance companies that specialize in mobile home insurance. This article will go over:
- Buying insurance for an older mobile home
- The challenges in getting mobile home insurance for older units
- What coverage does an older mobile home need?
How do I get older mobile home insurance?
When looking for a quote for older mobile home insurance, some larger providers do not allow for online quotes. This means you have to contact an agent directly. There are, however, insurers who specialize in mobile home insurance. The best mobile home insurance companies include:
- American Modern
- Bolt Insurance
Also consider looking at regional and independent insurance providers in your area, as they can often provide you with a quote or recommend someone else who can. Also ask friends and family in your area who own mobile homes who covers them.
How much does insurance for an older mobile home cost?
There's a fair amount of range in premium price for an older mobile home policy. The average premium for mobile home insurance is $250 to $2,000 a year. This price can fluctuate depending on the area where you live, the age of your mobile home and the coverage limits you want to purchase.
Why is getting insurance for older mobile homes so difficult?
How hard it is to get mobile home insurance mostly comes down to how old your mobile home is. In 1982, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) created the Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (MHCSS). This was done to regulate safety conditions for homes that are fabricated as opposed to constructed on site.
According to the MHCSS, mobile homes built after June 15, 1976, were designated "manufactured homes" and followed MHCSS regulations. Mobile homes built before the date continued to be designated as such. The unregulated building standards of older mobile homes cause them to be considered high risk in the eyes of many insurance providers. This can result in high premiums or even complete denial of coverage with larger insurers.
How do I know how old my mobile home is?
If you're unsure whether you have a mobile home or a manufactured home, near the rear of your home, look for a HUD tag, or "certification label." This tag indicates the primary inspection agency that made sure the home followed MHCSS standards. Also, in your kitchen cabinet, electrical panel or bedroom closet, look for a paper label stating the wind zone, snow load and roof load limits of the home. This is referred to as a "data plate."
If there is a HUD tag and a data plate, you have a manufactured home. If these are not present, you probably have a pre-MHCSS mobile home.
What does mobile home insurance cover?
A standard mobile home insurance policy often includes these coverages:
Dwelling coverage provides protection to the mobile home itself against perils listed in your policy, such as water damage to your roof or deck. When choosing your dwelling coverage, make sure to get enough to replace your older mobile home in the event that it is destroyed. The standard minimum amount of dwelling coverage you can get is $30,000 for a single-unit mobile home and $45,000 for a double-wide mobile home.
Personal property coverage protects your belongings against theft, damage and destruction. Much like dwelling coverage, you want to purchase enough personal property coverage to replace all of your stuff after a disaster. Making a home inventory list makes it easy to see how much personal property coverage you need.
The personal liability portion of your mobile home insurance assists with medical and legal expenses if you or your family members are responsible for injury or property damage to others. Mobile home insurance policies usually cover up to $300,000 in liability. However, given that a long hospital stay or court case may tear through that amount, leaving you to pay anything more out of pocket, consider an umbrella policy to bump your liability limit up to $500,000.
Additional living expenses (ALE)
Should your older mobile home be damaged to the point you need to relocate until repairs are completed or you get a new mobile home, ALE helps take care of extra living expenses such as housing arrangements, meals and commute costs due to the relocation.
Mobile home insurance doesn't cover some natural disasters, such as flooding. Many mobile home insurers provide flood insurance that you can purchase as an add-on to your policy, which is advisable if you live in a high-risk flood zone.
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