Depending on how old your mobile home is, you may have a hard time insuring it. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines "mobile home" as a factory-built home produced prior to June 15,1976. "Manufactured home" marks any factory-built homes made after June 15, 1976.

The reason this distinction is important is that mobile homes do not fall under the federal- regulated safety standards that manufactured homes do. This can make it difficult to find insurance for your mobile home. Fortunately, there are some companies that specialize in insurance coverage for mobile homes.

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What does mobile home insurance cover?

A standard mobile home insurance policy covers your: dwelling, other structures, personal property, personal liability and additional living expenses. Also, it provides these coverages for a mobile or manufactured home.

Dwelling

Dwelling coverage protects against damage to the structure of the home from perils that include:

  • Fire
  • Hail
  • Theft
  • Vandalism

When you buy mobile home insurance, purchase enough dwelling coverage to replace your older mobile home if it is destroyed.

Personal property

Personal property coverage protects your belongings against theft, damage and destruction. Much like dwelling coverage, purchase enough personal property coverage to replace all of your belongings in the event of a total loss. To help make this easier, create a home inventory list of your personal property. This way you can know the correct amount of personal property coverage you need.

Personal liability

The personal liability portion of a mobile home insurance policy covers medical and legal expenses if you or a family member you live with are responsible for injury or property damage to others. A standard mobile home insurance policy usually covers $100,000 in liability. However, a long hospital stay or extended court case can easily surpass that amount, leaving you to cover the remaining cost out of pocket. To avoid this, consider increasing your liability coverage limit to $300,000.

Additional living expenses (ALE)

If your older mobile home is damaged to the point that you need to temporarily relocate while repairs are done, ALE takes care of your extra living expenses. Also known as loss of use coverage, this includes housing arrangements, meals and additional commuting costs.

Other structures

This coverage takes care of additional structures on your property, including patios or garages, which may also be part of your policy.

Exclusions

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.

How much is older mobile home insurance?

Premiums for mobile home insurance vary and may range from $300 to over $2,000 a year. Factors that affect your final rate include:

  • Your ZIP code
  • The age of your mobile home
  • The coverage limits you choose
  • Your deductible

Older mobile homes built before June 15, 1976, tend to have higher premiums or even be disqualified for coverage from some larger insurers. Due to these older mobile homes being unregulated, they're sometimes seen as high risk in the eyes of insurance companies.

How do I get older mobile home insurance?

Getting a quote online for mobile homes built before regulations were put in place can be difficult. Some insurers require you to call them for mobile home quotes. There are, however, insurers that specialize in mobile home insurance. The best mobile home insurance companies include:

  • American Modern
  • Assurant
  • Foremost
  • Progressive
  • American Family
  • Allstate

When looking for older mobile home insurance, check out regional and independent providers near you. They can often provide you with a quote, or at least recommend someone who can.

State laws do not require you to carry mobile home insurance, but mortgage companies and mobile home communities often require it.

Frequently asked questions

How do I know how old my mobile home is?

If you're unsure whether you have a mobile home or a manufactured home, look for a HUD tag, or "certification label," near the rear of your home. This tag indicates the primary inspection agency that made sure the home followed Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (MHCSS).

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.

Is mobile home insurance worth it?

Mobile home insurance is worth the cost. It protects you from expensive costs related to damages from common perils like fire, lightning and robbery. Mobile home insurance can also protect you if someone who does not live with you is injured on your property.

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