A Mobile Home Insurance Primer

If you are the owner of a mobile home, you will need to have home insurance similar to all other homeowners. However, because a mobile home presents some exposures that are unique because of the nature of its construction, policies will need to be tailored to meet your unique needs. Additionally, not all home insurance companies are skilled in insuring mobile homes so you should do your research to find a company that will have your best interest at heart. Keep in mind that the personal liability portion of your home insurance policy will be similar to a standard homeowner’s policy. It’s primarily the property coverage that will vary. Many policies are designed to cover both mobile homes and manufactured homes as their exposures are similar to each other.

The property coverage section of a standard home insurance policy covers damage to the dwelling itself as well as adjacent structures and personal property. Because of its inherent mobile nature, a mobile home policy will need to be modified by endorsement if using a standard home insurance policy as its basis. If it’s a specialized mobile home policy, then you will likely have the important portions of the coverage already built in.

One of the key things to understand about a mobile home policy is that the home itself is not always permanently affixed to a foundation — if there is a foundation at all. As a result, the policy will generally exclude coverage for the dwelling when it is considered to be in transit. This definition is fairly broad in that it can mean either when the leveling jacks or blocks are removed or if all the utilities are disconnected. It doesn’t mean only when the home is actually in motion or in transit, but the definition applies even when it has been prepared for a move. Therefore, you will need to be very conscious of when your coverage may not apply if your home falls into one of the above definitions of in transit. One exception to this is when your home is being moved in an emergency to prevent it from incurring any damage.

Another important factor in a mobile home policy is the coverage, or general lack of coverage, for foundation or support matters. The ability to level a home and keep it level is very important for mobile homes, but the policy is clear about not covering any of the support mechanisms. Unfortunately, the policy doesn’t cover the costs to replace, rebuild, stabilize, or restore the land either.

While it’s generally understood that the home insurance policy does not cover anything related to motor vehicles, this bears repeating when discussing the mobile home policy. While it does exclude all coverage for motor vehicles, the home insurance policy does cover those motors that are not licensed for road use and are used solely to service the mobile home or assist handicapped people. This little bit of coverage can help overcome some difficulties within the policy because a mobile home might contain some machinery inherent to the home’s operations.

When seeking insurance for your mobile home, keep in mind some of the main differences between the design, construction, and use of your home from one that is permanent. Those differences will help guide you in evaluating whether or not your proposed policy can meet all of your insurance needs.

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