UPDATED: Jan 25, 2019
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Manufactured homes are a little different from a traditional house, but that doesn’t mean they should go without good homeowner’s insurance coverage. Whether you live in an older manufactured home or have invested in one of the new high-end models, you need good insurance.
Fortunately, there are plenty of choices to get the specific coverage that a manufactured home needs, including some of the best-known names in the insurance world.
The Basics of Manufactured Home Insurance
First, it is important to make a distinction in the terminology; a manufactured home is one that is built after 1976 and is required to meet federal building codes. The term mobile home should technically apply only to pre-1976 models before the code laws were enacted. Many people and even insurance companies continue to use the terms interchangeably, so a mobile home policy is likely to be the same thing in most cases. As one last terminology note, a modular home is not the same as a manufactured home due to construction and foundation differences.
With that out of the way, let’s look at the coverage you need. Like any other home, a manufactured home insurance policy provides coverage for the dwelling itself, for personal property, and for liability. Coverage also includes add-ons like attached porches and other structures such as detached garages.
Some older mobile or manufactured homes may not qualify for full replacement cost coverage, but most modern homes should be able to get it. That means that if your manufactured home is destroyed, you will be paid out the amount of money that is required to replace it with a similar home, rather than the depreciated cost.
Good manufactured home policies offer many of the same endorsement choices as on any homeowner’s policy, including increased personal property coverage for high-value items, home office coverage, and identity theft.
Specifics of Manufactured Home Insurance
The biggest difference between a manufactured home and a site-built home is that it is mobile. That means you need to be able to cover the home when it’s being transported to the location where you plan to keep it.
Manufactured home insurance includes this coverage, usually as an endorsement. If your home is in a permanent location and you have no plans to move it, you do not need this coverage. Bear in mind that even as the home is being transported from the factory to the lot where it will be placed, you need to insure it.
There are some special discounts offered for manufactured homes, depending on the company. One example is a discount for being the original owner of the home. Multi-policy discounts are usually available for bundling auto insurance, similar to any other home insurance policy.
How We Made Our Choices for Best Manufactured Home Insurance
Your manufactured home is just that – your home – and we wanted to find insurance companies that would treat it as the equal of any other type of home. Our picks, therefore, had to have comprehensive policies with all kinds of options along with the endorsements a manufactured home needs.
A lot of big name insurance companies say the offer manufactured home insurance, but they neither underwrite nor service the policies directly. We chose only companies that handle their own manufactured home products so that you know exactly who is standing behind your policy.
All of our picks also come with a good reputation, so that you know they actually will stand behind that policy when a claim comes in.
We selected companies that offer a wide coverage area so that this information would be useful to the widest audience possible, but many local companies have excellent programs, so keep them in mind.
Our Top Recommendations
These three insurers all offer top-notch insurance programs to manufactured home owners.
Foremost is the self-proclaimed number one mobile and manufactured home insurance company in the nation, and they have definitely been at it a while. Mobile homes were the original product offered by the company, which is now a part of Farmers Insurance Group.
They cover all types of mobile and manufactured homes and can help with older homes as well, and multi-policy discounts are available with both other Foremost policies as well as Farmers policies. Their package is comprehensive with a lot of add-on options.
If you want a big-name insurance company with a great manufactured home policy, Allstate is the place to get it. With a solid base package policy and a lot of endorsements including transportation coverage, Allstate takes insuring manufactured homes seriously.
They also have a great list of discounts, including multi-policy and an original owner discount. And of course, they have a strong reputation as one of the biggest insurance companies in the country.
MetLife may come as a surprise on this list, but they have a solid manufactured/mobile home policy and may, in fact, be one of the more affordable options, especially if you belong to one of the many affiliate groups or work for one of the many companies through which they offer discount programs.
You can also take advantage of multi-policy discounts and a range of other rate-lowering discount options. MetLife also comes with a good reputation as a solid company.
Shopping for Manufactured Home Insurance
Whether you are purchasing a brand-new manufactured home or buying one that is already established, the approach should be much the same. Know how much coverage you need, what options you want to add, and what deductible you’d like, and then get enough apples-to-apples quotes to compare.
One of the big questions to ask when getting quotes is whether the company actually underwrites the policy directly. Many companies do not underwrite their own manufactured home policies directly. Ask which company will do the underwriting so that you can research that particular insurer’s reputation and know exactly what you are getting. Remember – that is the company that will handle a claim, not the company selling it as an affiliate.
There are a lot of excellent manufactured home insurance programs out there, so there is no reason to settle for less than comprehensive coverage from a reputable company. Even if you have an older mobile home that doesn’t meet the requirements for a standard insurance company, there are very reputable specialty companies. Remember that you may pay a little more for that peace of mind – the least expensive insurance is not always the best insurance. Take your time when shopping around, and get as many quotes as possible so you will know you’ve chosen the best.
The Bottom Line
Shopping for manufactured home insurance is a lot like any other home, although you may not have quite as many options. Do your research and know what you want your policy to cover so that you know just what to look for when you get a quote. Do not forget the multi-policy discounts; many companies treat a manufactured home policy the same when bundling, so shop your auto around at the same time.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.