According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), a mobile home is a factory-built home that was built prior to June 15, 1976. Mobile homes built before that date weren’t subject to federal standards, unlike manufactured homes built after June 15, 1976. Due to the age of your mobile home and the unregulated safety standards, finding insurance for your older mobile home may be challenging, but some companies that specialize in mobile homes may be an option for you. In this article we’ll cover:
- Do you need mobile home insurance?
- The challenges in getting mobile home insurance for older units
- How much does it cost to insure an older mobile home?
- What type of coverage does an older mobile home need?
Do you need mobile home insurance?
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.
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.
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.
How do I get older mobile home insurance?
According to Statista, there were over 4 million mobile homes in the U.S. in 2018, but this number is expected to fall to 1.72 million by 2023. 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 that specialize in mobile home insurance. The best mobile home insurance companies include:
- American Modern
- American Family
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.
Looking to insure your older mobile home?
American Modern: best for older mobile homes
If you’re having trouble finding coverage for your older mobile home, then you should explore American Modern. The insurer offers specialized coverage by offering protection for older mobile homes.
American Modern offers basic coverages such as protection against covered perils that may damage your home or belongings. Their policy also protects you if an injury occurs to someone while on your property.
Foremost: best overall
Foremost specializes in mobile home insurance and partners with AARP, the nonprofit organization for Americans age 50 and older. Foremost also created the first mobile home insurance policy and has been insuring mobile homes for nearly 70 years.
Foremost offers all the standard coverages of a mobile home insurance policy, as well as optional coverages like earthquake and identity fraud coverages.
How much does insurance for an older mobile home cost?
Rates for an older mobile home policy vary widely. Premiums for mobile home insurance can go from $300 to $2,000 or more a year. This price may fluctuate depending on the area where you live, the age of your mobile home and the coverage limits you want to purchase.
Older mobile homes may have high premiums or even complete denial of coverage from larger insurers. The unregulated building standards of older mobile homes cause them to be considered high-risk in the eyes of many insurance providers. Getting a quote online for a mobile home that was built before 1976 can be tough. Many insurers require you to call them for older mobile home quotes.
What does mobile home insurance cover?
A mobile home insurance policy protects your home and your belongings. 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.
Personal property coverage protects your belongings against theft, damage and destruction. For example, if a thief stole jewelry and electronics from your home, you would be protected.
Much like dwelling coverage, you’ll want to purchase enough personal property coverage to replace all of your belongings 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 increasing your liability limit up to $500,000.
Additional living expenses (ALE)
If your older mobile home gets damaged to the point you need to relocate until repairs are completed or you get a new mobile home, then ALE can help take care of extra living expenses. This includes housing arrangements, meals and commute costs due to the relocation.
Additional structures on your property, such as a patio or garage, may also be included in your mobile home insurance policy.
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.
Mobile home insurance FAQs
Q: How do I know how old my mobile home is?
A: 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.
Q: Is mobile home insurance worth it?
A: 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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