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how to insure a manufactured home

If you own (or are in the market for) a manufactured home, you might wonder how your insurance compares to a traditional homeowners policy. We'll shed some light on the key risks specific to such homes and how they might affect your mobile home insurance coverage.

What is a manufactured home, anyway?

If the term is unfamiliar, it's essentially another way to describe a mobile home. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the official definition of a manufactured home is a house that is built in an assembly plant — in compliance with strict design and safety codes — and transported on a portable chassis to its ultimate destination. And manufactured home insurance doesn't just protect your home — it also covers detached structures like garages and sheds.

Insurance protection for manufactured homes

Arranging the smartest mobile home policy means knowing the areas in which your abode is most vulnerable.

Fire

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the top cause of fires in manufactured homes is electrical distribution equipment. In the majority of other homes, though, cooking is the top threat.

Why is this noteworthy? Mostly because it means mobile-home fires can occur more easily when no one is home, allowing the damage to spread unimpeded. To make matters worse, smoke alarms are missing in half of all manufactured homes, according to the NFPA.

Adding ample amounts of dwelling protection (which covers your home's structure) and personal property insurance (which pays to replace your possessions lost in a blaze) is a great way to gain some extra peace of mind.

Insulation

While manufactured homes have come a long way over the years, the differences in construction between site-built homes and traditional homes can still bring about some insurance issues — one of which is insulation. You could also explore winterizing or insulating your mobile home yourself to further decrease your risk (and make your insurer smile).

Wind

One of the most common concerns your insurer may have regarding your manufactured home is damage from heavy windstorms. If your place is lighter than most site-built homes and is at risk of blowing over, you might feel more comfortable with increased limits on your dwelling protection, in case you need to repair your home in the specific instances it's damaged by wind or hail (convenient, huh?).

Collision

While your manufactured home will be your residence for years, it's still mobile for one day. Adding some form of trip collision coverage will help make sure you're prepared if the unthinkable happens and your home is totaled while being transported from the assembly plant to its destination.

Manufactured home depreciation

Another key aspect to bear in mind with your manufactured home policy is the depreciation on mobile homes as they age. This could mean the value of your home might have gone down since you first started your insurance policy, and your limits on dwelling protection and liability coverage (not to mention your overall premium) are higher than they need to be.

It's always wise to reevaluate your home and your assets every so often to make sure you're getting the most from your manufactured home insurance.

Have more homeowners insurance questions?

Check out our other handy homeowners insurance pages to get more details on coverages, limits, and responsibilities to help you get the best mobile home insurance quote.