Some musings about Tiny Home Insurance from Martin Burlingame, CEO of Strategic Insurance Agency.
What are tiny homes that are not mobile classified as for insurance? Are they ever classified/insured as mobile homes?
They are classified as dwellings (accessory or primary dwellings). It depends on the state, location, intent to move, etc. Mobile homes have a negative connotation and tend to incur a higher premium. Municipalities also have restrictions on where tiny homes are allowed but there has been considerable progress with planning and zoning regulations. I recently spoke at the Tiny Home Industry Association’s Action and Impact Conference this month and there is considerable buy in from a variety of stakeholders in the community to change perceptions of tiny homes. Some of these tiny homes are an affordable option but others can be $200K+. They are investments that you definitely want to protect with insurance.
It seems like most tiny homes are mobile. Are they easier to get insured if mobile? What are the pain points for tiny homes that are not mobile?
We are finding that most tiny homes really don’t move much, but it helps if they are RV certified it can be written as an RV. There are plenty of builders that use a trailer base to make the tiny house mobile. In our Tiny Home Insurance Program, we offer coverage for up to 200 moves in a year but no one really comes close to that. They could technically move all year long but what is important is to make sure it’s done right. We partner with CoastToCoast Transportation and they do a great job for our clients that use them.
The biggest pain point is a self-built that is mobile. They present the most challenges but nothing is impossible. The point is, you should #insureyourtiny
If a tiny home does not have its own address (i.e. sitting on someone else’s land) is it insurable?
Yes, but we suggest before you take off to give us a mailing address. Some tiny home owners want to go completely off the grid so we need to make sure the policy is in place with automatic electronic payments to prevent any gaps. While tiny home’s offer you flexibility and mobility, it is difficult to uproot entirely.
Anything interesting to share about insuring tiny homes that are not mobile?
We find that a lot of people even run businesses out of tiny homes. There’s a great coffee shop downtown Colorado Springs in a tiny house and you’re seeing that trend pop up all over the country too.
Also, I am amazed by the tremendous sense of community amongst home owners and permanent tiny home communities are gaining traction. People want to downsize and have flexibility but not necessarily move all the time. We like to offer a one stop shop option for auto, atvs, boats, jet skis, motorcycles, home owners insurance, renters insurance, business insurance. We work directly with customers as well as insurance agents to help people protect their dreams.
For those of you who haven’t picked up a copy of Turning Tiny, I have a chapter in there called Tiny House Insurance 101: Protecting your tiny home investment. There are over 60 other phenomenal contributors. Click here: http://turningtiny.com/
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