Mobile Home Insurance: Reviews & Comparisons
If you want to protect your home, insurance is imperative. But homeowners insurance isn't available for those dwelling in manufactured homes. Fortunately, there's a solution: mobile home insurance.
But what is mobile home insurance? What should you look for when shopping for insurance for a manufactured home? And how do you compare one policy to another? Read on to learn everything you need to know about mobile home insurance.
What is mobile home insurance?
Mobile home insurance is a specialized type of home insurance which applies specifically to mobile homes (also called "manufactured homes"). Because manufactured homes are more vulnerable to the elements than traditional homes, they don't qualify for traditional homeowners insurance. That's why many companies now offer mobile home insurance as an alternative.
To qualify as a manufactured home, your property must rest on a movable chassis instead of a traditional foundation. Also, it cannot have more than one story. If this describes your home, then you qualify for mobile home insurance.
How do you compare mobile home insurance policies?
The first thing you want to make sure when shopping for mobile home insurance -- or any type of insurance -- is that you are comparing like with like. Policy premiums can vary widely depending on -- among other things -- the type of insurance, the coverage, and the deductibles you choose.
A good practice is to create a spreadsheet with the details for each quote you get. Then it's time to compare the cost, financial stability, and customer service of each policy.
SuperMoney's financial rating and free mobile home insurance reviews will save you a lot of time when comparing your options.
When comparing mobile home insurance policies, ask yourself the following questions:
What types of mobile home insurance do you want?
There are three different types of coverage that you can pursue:
- Physical damage coverage
- Personal property coverage
- Liability insurance
Physical damage coverage covers repairs if the structure of your home is damaged by a (covered) disaster. Such situations might include a fire, wind and hail, ice and snow, burst pipes, or vandalism.
Liability insurance covers costs if a visitor to your home gets injured and sues you, or if you accidentally damage their property.
Personal property damage covers the repair or replacement of damaged or stolen belongings, such as your clothes or electronics.
Most mobile home insurance companies offer each of the above types of coverage. As such, you can pick and choose policies with the coverage that best suits your needs.
How much coverage do you need?
There are many factors to consider when choosing the right amount of coverage for your manufactured or modular home. First, determine the value of your home and all of your possessions, including furniture, art, electronics, appliances, and jewelry. The minimum coverage for a single-section manufactured home is around $30,000. Double-section mobile home insurance policies typically start at $45,000. However, you may need more coverage. Determine if the coverage you choose will be enough to replace your home.
Liability is another factor to consider when choosing coverage levels. Think about how much coverage you need to protect your assets if you were on the receiving end of a large claim. If you are sued, your basic liability coverage may not be enough to pay for legal costs, any awards, lost wages, and medical bills.
A lot depends on your personality and lifestyle. Are you a minimalist who doesn't invest in expensive goods? If so, you may want to cut costs by keeping personal property coverage to a minimum. If you're renting, liability insurance may be legally required by your landlord, but you can probably get by with the minimum physical damage coverage.
Plus, depending on where you live, some mobile home insurance companies offer specialized coverage (also called "endorsements" or "riders"). For example, if you live in southern California, you might want to seek out earthquake coverage. And if you live in rural Alaska, it might be wise to secure coverage from damage caused by wild animals.
Are there any additional benefits?
Like all insurance policies, mobile home insurance sometimes comes with benefits. For example, some offer identity theft protection. Others offer alternative living expenses coverage, which pays for hotel costs if you're forced to vacate your home. Find out all the benefits that each insurance company offers, and factor in this value when you choose your policy.
What are the policy's deductibles?
Deductibles are the amount of money that you yourself are responsible for paying toward an insured loss. If a disaster strikes your mobile home, the amount of the deductible is deducted from your claim payment.
Generally speaking, the larger the deductible, the less you pay in premiums for an insurance policy.
One way to save money on a mobile home insurance policy is to raise the deductible. Every time you get a quote, ask about the options for deductibles when comparing policies. Most mobile home insurers offer a minimum $500 or $1,000 deductible. If you get a higher deductible, you can save on the cost of the policy.
The catch, obviously, is you will have to pay the deductible when you make a claim. So, make sure it's an amount you could afford to pay in the event of a claim.
What is the insurer's financial rating?
There are five independent agencies that rate the financial stability of insurance companies. These are A.M. Best, Fitch, Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA), Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s. Each has its own standards and rating scale.
Not every insurance company is rated by all agencies. So, you might need to check several to find yours. When available, SuperMoney combines the rating of several agencies to offer a consolidated financial rating.
Agencies can announce changes of ratings on any day. So, it's smart to check annually on the ratings of any company you're considering.
What do mobile home insurance reviews say about the insurance company?
The best coverage and prices are worthless if you're dealing with a company that won't take care of you when you need to make a claim.
Your insurance agent should be accessible and accommodating. These days, most insurance companies have an online portal equipped with autopay to make payments seamless and effortless. And in moments of crisis, you need to know that your insurance company will work with you, not against you.
The best way to know which companies you can trust is to read real, unbiased user reviews. If multiple past customers cite the same complaint, odds are high that you'll run into the same problem. You want to look for a company with mostly positive reviews.
SuperMoney's community provides free access to hundreds of unbiased user reviews.
How can you lower costs?
Mobile insurance premiums can cost you anywhere from $200 to $1300 each year. What kind of premiums will you pay? That depends on your circumstances.
Several risk factors impact your rates. These include your state of residence, the cost and age of your home, your chosen coverage, and whether or not you've made any recent insurance claims. Many of these factors are outside of your control, but there are some choices you can make that will drive down costs.
For example, if you choose a policy with a higher deductible, your premium payments will be less costly. However, you'll make up for it by paying more out-of-pocket in the event of an insurance claim.
And some insurance companies offer discounts for circumstances that lower your risk factor. For example, premiums often go down if your home is part of a mobile home park. Plus, many insurance companies will lower your rates if you install security features, like smoke detectors and burglar alarms.
Ready to get started? First, decide which insurance type and coverage level you need, and which would be nice if you found them for the right price. Then, shop around to find insurance companies that are available in your state and whose policies reflect your needs. Once you've narrowed it down to three to five options, request quotes from each. Finally, see what SuperMoney's community of consumers have to say in our mobile home insurance reviews.
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