Tiny Home Insurance: A Buyer’s Market
Written By Janet Thome
Insurance will be a requirement if you are going to finance your tiny home. Insurance for Tiny Homes and Park Models has become very affordable and many carriers are jumping on board because it has become a very hot market. Prices vary greatly so do some price comparison, because it is now a buyer’s market.
Park Model Or Tiny Home
Many builders market the park models they build as tiny homes. It is important to know this when you want to obtain insurance. There is no legal, unified definition for a tiny home at the moment.
The term’s definition is as fluid as the wind and because it is not universally agreed upon, it is up for interpretation and you will find that almost every lender, insurance company , city or county has a different explanation for what a tiny home is.
Some insurance companies lump tiny homes and park models together and some companies have created separate divisions for them. Some allow wheels, some do not. Some companies allow tenant occupied, but not an Airbnb and some will allow an Airbnb.
Almost 5 years ago, my insurance was canceled 2 weeks after the policy was written because they said my park model was a tiny home. Now they are insuring both. Progress!
RV Certification is required by some companies and not required by others. Most companies want the home to be professionally built, but now there are options for self builds. There is actually only one insurance carrier that requires certification that I have listed here.
Are You Thinking Of Foregoing Insurance? Think Again
Read these stories and you might change your mind. Click Here.
Builders Risk Insurance
When choosing your builder for your tiny home, make sure the company has Builders Risk insurance that will cover your tiny home while being built and find out when the coverage stopped. You will want to have your insurance in place to avoid any gaps of coverage.
Excellent article from FitSmallBusiness regarding Builders Risk Insurance.
If you are building your own tiny home. There is insurance to protect your home while you are building your home.
Cautionary Tale: DIY Self Build WITHOUT: Insurance Tiny House Talk
Full Time Living Covered!
Every resource I list allows for full time living whether it is owner or tenant occupied or an Airbnb.
Your credit score counts toward the amount your policy will cost. Talk to several companies without pulling your credit to determine what is best for you, the prices range considerably. as much as a $500.00 difference.
Tiny Home Villages
If you have a tiny home village or you are going to start one, make sure you consult with your insurance company to make sure there is not a lapse of coverage with your property and outbuildings and your tenants. Get their advice on what the insurance requirements should be from your tenants including liability.
Who would clean up the mess, if someone brought a tiny home in and they had no insurance and a fire occurred? I personally lost everything in a fire because of someone else’s negligence- so I know the devastation that lack of insurance can bring.
One Policy With A Primary Residence And A Tiny Home ADU
You can also check with your primary insurance company and see if they will insure your tiny home as an ADU as a secondary residence on your property.
When choosing a company to transport your tiny home, make sure they have liability and cargo insurance and make sure their drivers are vetted.
Every Need Can Covered In The Tiny Home Industry
- Park Model Insurance For Temporary, Vacation, Full Time Residence
- Tiny Home Insurance With Or Without Wheels For Temporary, Vacation, Full Time Residence
- DIY Tiny Homes With Or Without Wheels
- RV Certified And Non Certified
- For Those Who Travel
- Tiny Home Villages And Hotels
- Trip Collison Coverage
- Rental Reimbursement For Loss Of Income
- Builders Insurance
- Under Construction
- Off The Grid
- Wood Stove As Primary Heat
- Other Structures
- GPS Tracking
- Loss Of Contents
- Appliance Loss
- Personal Liability
- Professionally Converted Vans And Skoolies
- One Policy For Your Primary Residence And Tiny Home As A ADU
Tiny Home Insurance
Homeowner’s Policy: Perfect Policy Meant For Owner Or Tenant Occupied
American Modern Specializes In Manufactured Home Insurance: Direct Insurance Company In All Fifty States
American Modern is now insuring Airbnbs!
Park Model: Wheels Must Stay On
The type of product they offer will consider your home as a park model style home under the manufactured home category. It is meant for a home that will not be moved around frequently, and that will stay in one spot once placed and be tied down/secured or placed on a foundation. Wheels must stay on.
Program offered is for home located in a park or on private land
Can be full-time owner occupied, seasonal, rental or vacant
Comprehensive coverage for: The home itself, including any professionally attached structure, deck, porch, awnings and content coverage’s for belongings
Liability coverage in the event that a neighbor slips and falls on the homeowners deck for example.
Can offer flood and earthquake coverage (as offered per state/program)
Primary Heat Source Must Be Electric
Home cannot have a wood stove or fireplace (supplemental source) as main heating source- must have electric baseboard, hot water baseboard (boiler) or forced air/ducts as primary heat source
Home also must be wired for electricity, cannot be 100% solar powered. Solar must be a secondary source of power.
Details on coverage: Click Here
Trip Collision Coverage
American Modern has an excellent trip collision coverage that is priced very reasonably with a $100.00 deductible. It only lasts 30 days, but can be added when you first have your cabin delivered OR at anytime you have to move it. It covers the entire cabin including tires and axles. Depending on the location, the cost is between $25 to $35.
Tiny Homes: Without Wheels
American Modern has another division just for tiny homes WITHOUT wheels.
You Can Call American Modern Directly Or Find A Local Agent
American Modern: 866-880-8651
Find An Agent ClickHere
Strategic Insurance Agency LLC: Andrea 719 476 0106
If you are going to be traveling in your tiny home and need a homeowner’s policy and you want to cover the transport because you are picking it up yourself, give Andrea a call. Strategic also offers insurance for off the grid tiny homes.
States they provide tiny homes insurance in are Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, North Carolina, New Mexico, Oregon,Tennessee & Washington. Liability limits of $50k, $100k & $300k, and a trip endorsement which is $150 for the policy term, regardless of the amount of trips.
Commercial Insurance With Strategic Insurance Agency LLC
Martin Burlingame 719 476 0104 For your commercial needs
Homeowner’s Policy: Self Built And For Those That Will Travel Often: Transport Can Be Covered
Mac Insurance Company
Micheal Carmona : Agent, Owner 971-238-2502
Specializes In The Lloyd’s Of London Tiny Home Policy
Located in Portand, Oregon: Can Insure In Over 40+ States
Tiny Home Coverage Can Include:
- Personal Property
- Manufactured Built
- RV Certified And Non Certified
- Coverage When You Are On The Move
- Trip Collision
Types Of Tiny Houses That Can Be Covered:
- Tiny Homes On Wheels Stationary Or On The Move
- Tiny Homes Without Wheels Or On The Move
- Park Models
- DIY Built
- Manufactured Built
- Professionally Converted Van And Skoolies
Tiny Homes Can Be Used As:
- Primary Home
- Tenant Occupied
- Second Home-Vacation Home
A builder can be covered for general liability, professional liability, business auto and inventory
What Is The Difference Between A Homeowner’s Policy And The Tiny Home Policy?
Regular home insurance policies weren’t written to cover a home that has the ability to be on the move or has a chance of getting stolen.
Types Of Coverage in The Tiny Home Policy
Coverage A – Dwelling – This is the value of your tiny house if it gets damaged. We insure as low as $25,000 to as much as $150,000. If you buy it from a builder the price of purchase is usually the Coverage A limit.
Coverage B – other Structures – This is for your solar panels, built on decks, and other property structures that are not part of the tiny house. We can do up to $50,000.
Coverage C – Contents – All personal belongings inside your house. If you were to turn your tiny upside down and whatever falls out is part of your personal property. Clothing, pots and pans, TV, electronics, your bed, etc.
Replacement Cost for Contents – Whenever you have a loss your contents will be replaced brand new and not at its depreciated value. Meaning your 5 year old TV that might cost $40 now would be replaced by a $500 TV.
Theft of Contents – We can offer up to $3,000 in theft coverage for your belongings.
Theft of Tiny Home – If you are worried about your tiny house being stolen then you need this! We provide a tracker so that if your house was ever stolen we can always have a way of finding it.
Trip Endorsement – If you’re the type of person who travels with your home or needs to move it from an old location to a new we can make sure you are always covered on the go.
Personal Liability – Provides coverage for inside your premise and outside your premise. If someone were to get hurt on your premise and they were to sue you this is where your liability comes in. It would help pay towards any medical bills or charges from a lawsuit. This also covers you if you were to accidentally somehow hurt someone else. Like when a snowboarder collides with another or a fisherman hooks his buddy. Personal liability would also cover your tiny home if you are renting a space on someone’s else’s property in case you cause damage on their property.
Wood Stoves- They will insurance tiny homes that have wood stoves as their primary heat!!!
Foremost Insurance Group: The only company that requires certification
Foremost Insurance Group writes park model policies and tiny home policies. When you speak to an agent, make sure they know there are separate divisions for them. It is a newer change and not everyone is up to date on this.
You can obtain Foremost insurance through a Farmer’s agent.
Insurance For Tiny Homes: Ontario, Canada
Dave Burns is a broker with Kingston Specialty Group that can help you obtain insurance in Ontario, Canada. If you live in a different province, he can refer you to another broker. Dave can provide insurance for owner or tenant occupied and off the grid tiny homes. Dave can also provide insurance for shells. If you are from Canada and you are having a cabin built in the US, it is a good idea to talk to Dave Burns first regarding the heating choices allowed and inspections required.
The prices are very reasonable. Dave writes commercial policies as well.
David Burns RIB (Ont.) CAIB
844 Gardiners Road
Kingston, ON K7M 3X9
Photo Credit Tiny Portable Cedar Cabins
Pacific West Associates FAQ
Written By Janet Thome
1) Who is Pacific West Associates and what do they do?
Pacific west associates is a certification agency that deals with Recreational Vehicles, Recreational Park Models, Commercial and Special Commercial Modular buildings, Manufactured Housing. PWA is also a full discipline engineering firm including Mechanical, Electrical, Forensic and Structural divisions. Chuck Ballard is the President and Director Of Standards for the Tiny Home Industry Association ( THIA) and is a principle member that writes the codes and standards for the RV Industry.
Principle Member of the NFPA 1192 Standard On Recreational Vehicles
Principle Member of the NFPA 1194 Standard On Recreational Parks And Campgrounds
Principle Member ANSI A119.5 Park Model Recreational Vehicle Standard
Principle Member ANSI UPA (Uniform Plan Approval)
Principle Member ANSI/RVIA Low Voltage Standard
2) What is the difference between RVIA and PWA?
RVIA is an industry association with the capability of introducing and regulating building code, along with the ability to inspect and affirm compliance to accepted building codes. Pacific West Associates is not an industry association, but an accredited inspection and certification agency with the qualifications to administer and assure compliance to the building codes.
3) Who governs and recognizes PWA as an authority to certify?
States and national jurisdictions recognize Pacific West Associates credentials to certify the product that bears our tag.
4) What is the difference between an inspection company and certification company?
Inspections companies are able to oversee product being built, but only a certification company is allowed to apply a label that determines compliance.
5) Define ANSI A119.5, NFPA 1192 and NFPA70 Sections 551 and 552
ANSI A119.5 is a nationally recognized standard that defines the building codes for Recreational Park Models. NFPA1192 is for recreational vehicles. NFPA70 National Electric Code sets the standards for electrical requirements of all buildings, with sections 551 and 552 pertaining to Recreational Vehicles and Recreational Park trailers respectively
6) Define ANSI
American National Standards Institute. The American National Standards Institute is a private non-profit organization that oversees the development of voluntary consensus standards for products, services, processes, systems, and personnel in the United States.
7) Define ASTM
ASTM International, formerly known as American Society for Testing and Materials, is an international standards organization that develops and publishes voluntary consensus technical standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems, and services.
8) What does it mean when a ASTM standard is withdrawn?
ASTM standards withdrawal means the standard is no longer printed, or referenced or overtaken by a different standard still in publication.
9) What types of recreational vehicles does PWA certify?
Recreational Vehicles covered under NFPA1192, including Type A, B, and C motorhomes (including skoolies and van conversions)
Towable RVs including Fifth-wheel travel trailers, Folding Camping Trailers, Travel Trailers, Truck Campers, Expandable Travel Trailers, Horse trailers (livestock) and Sport Utility Trailers (toy haulers)
We certify Recreational Park Models under ANSI A119.5
Tiny Homes can be certified under either of these 2 categories
10) Does HUD Regulate Park Models?
No Hud does not regulate park models. Statement from HUD.
Regulation And Use Of Occupancy Of RVs Is In The Purview Of State And Local Authorities
Initially, as stated in this preamble, HUD is not regulating use of manufactured homes or RVs. More specifically, how individuals decide to use their manufactured home or RV unit after purchase—and, in some cases, after receiving a Manufacturer’s Notice about the unit’s compliance with RV standards—is beyond the scope of this final rule. The regulation of use and occupancy of RVs is the purview of state and local authorities, not HUD.
Article Source: Manufactured Home Procedural and Enforcement Regulations; Clarifying the Exemption for Manufacture of Recreational Vehicles
11) To Become A New Builder That You Certify, What Is The Criteria?
New builders are inspected by one of our inspectors so their QA process and building practices comply with ANSI or NFPA requirements. Generally a consultation period previous to the on site inspections and ongoing communication with the builders to keep up with changes.
12) Who Is Pacific West Tiny Homes?
Pacific West Tiny Homes, Inc. is a subsidiary of Pacific West Associates, Inc. which is an accredited third party agency that has been recognized in the industry for over 30 years. PWA is composed of licensed electrical, mechanical, structural and forensic engineers. The evaluation and certification staff meet the requirements of the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) E699-16, which is for agencies involved in testing, quality assurance, and evaluating of manufactured building components. ASTM E541-10 is the previous standard that has now been withdrawn.
Services include DIY Built, Manufactured Built and Consultations.
Chuck Ballard President Of Pacific West Associates
Alex Ontiveros Vice President Of Pacific West Tiny Homes