What to know about insurance for manufactured & tiny homes

There are only a handful of companies that insure manufactured homes, which means higher rates

No doubt manufactured and tiny homes are significantly cheaper than traditional homes, but there’s often a surprise after the purchase. Insurance can cost twice as much. What gives? Consumer Reports breaks down the cost differences and reveals ways to get a lower premium.

Why does it cost more to insure less home? The insurance industry points to greater susceptibility to wind, hail damage, tornadoes, fire, theft, and vandalism compared with a traditional home.

But there could be more to it: Some consumer groups say insurance companies may be more likely to take advantage of “financially vulnerable” people — charging them more money for fewer benefits. There also might be outdated discrimination from the days when mobile home parks were mostly located in poor and crime-ridden ZIP codes.

There are only a handful of companies that insure manufactured homes. Less competition can also mean higher rates.

When it’s time to shop around for a policy, consider working with a local independent agent, which can be more efficient than looking for yourself online.

Here are four other ways to save.

Make sure you have the highest possible credit score. Your credit history can determine premium rates.

Ask about “bundling,” meaning are there savings if you buy your home and car insurance from the same company.

Consider a higher deductible. Increasing the amount, you’ll first pay out of pocket before your insurance — from $500 or even $1,500 could save several hundred dollars off your premium.

Finally, pay the premium in full all at once. Doing so might save you between 5 and 15 percent.

Mention to your broker if you’ve installed fire or CO2 alarms, along with securing the home with anchor ties. These measures better protect your family and might save you more money with your policy.

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