Advice / Lifestyle

Tiny House Insurance. My Personal Experience and Policy

Here’s the deal: insuring a self-built tiny house is challenging. I’ve struggled. Others have struggled. Insurance companies don’t know how to categorize our strange, rolling homes, let alone insure them for damage and theft. Luckily, with the popularity of the movement growing, it is becoming easier to find tiny house insurance.

Tiny House Reclaimed Wood Siding - 0048

Insuring a Tiny House as an RV

When it comes to tiny house insurance, classification is important. In the past few years, RVIA (or Recreational Vehicle Industry Association) has started classifying tiny homes built by approved manufacturers as “certified RVs.” In the tiny house world, only a few companies are licensed to build RVIA certified tiny homes. The easiest way to determine if a company is certified is to look them up on the RVIA website. If your tiny house is going to be built by a RVIA company, it will be legally categorized as a Recreational Vehicle. Insurance companies understand this classification and it will be easy to secure RV insurance.

But what if you’re not an RVIA approved manufacturer? Well, your tiny home will not be RVIA certified. You can not get an RVIA certification after the fact. The DMV will categorize your tiny house however they please upon registration. For example my tiny house was registered as a “Recreational Trailer” in Illinois and as a “Coach Trailer” in California. These classifications are more difficult to insure.

Tiny House Insulation - 0160Insuring a Tiny House as something other than an RV

I have heard of tiny housers finding insurance by categorizing their tiny homes as additional dwelling units, pieces of art, or something else altogether. If you do not intend on traveling with you tiny house, this is a real option because these types of policies are state by state. They will not include travel. 

Examples of how others are insured locally:

THGJ Wyoming Snowy Range - 0025

My Tiny House Insurance

Back in 2014, when I finished my tiny house, I searched for insurance. It was important for me to get a RV policy since I was using my tiny dwelling for travel. I also needed multi-state coverage, which further complicated my search. Every company would either refuse to insure me or quote some absurd number. Eventually I gave up.

For two years, I put my faith in the liability coverage offered through my truck’s policy. My tiny house was insured as a “tow load” when traveling down the road. Once I disconnected my tiny house from my truck, I had no insurance at all.

THGJ Denali Stampede Road Flat Tire - 0002

Summer 2015 road trip:  Flat tire in Alaska 

This summer I decided to take another look. I visited insuremytinyhome.com and applied for coverage. After multiple discussions with Darrell Grenz, my insurance rep, I was able to secure a policy that includes travel. I was thrilled!

Do you want details on my policy? I bet you do! My annual premium is $903, which I pay up front to reduce costs. This might seem expensive, but I do have a beefy insurance policy that includes multi-state travel. Also, I can adjust my policy at any time for a lower rate. I believe the average premium for Tiny Houses through this company is $600.

Tiny House insurance

As with my Tiny House Costs, I’m sharing this personal information because: 1) I think the data should be available and, 2) I want everything to be easier for you than it was for me. Since I just secured this policy, I can’t say whether I’m happy with it or not. I do feel a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. Check back later for a breakdown of my policy 

Other articles about this insurance:

*Q&A with Darrell Grenz on Tiny House Insurance

*Article by PAD Tiny Homes on this insurance

What are you planning for Tiny House Insurance?

19 thoughts on “Tiny House Insurance. My Personal Experience and Policy

  1. Jenna, how long did it take you to hear from Darrell after you completed the application? He does not respond to my numerous emails or voicemails after I completed the application and sent him a copy of the Electrical certification from a licensed electrician, per his request. Any help, greatly appreciated! Looking for a policy that covers our Owner Built tiny house on wheels while in transit (unhooking in different states) and in a more permanent location once that location is known.

      • I see. It basically a red flag at this point for us, as we can’t get ahold of our PROSPECTIVE insurance agent. God forbid we’d need him for a claim….

        In your opinion. Is it worth it? Have you had a good experience with him since you signed?

        Would you mind sharing the details of your policy? My Partner and I are looking to do the same, and get a policy that would cover us on the road, in addition to a more permanent location.

        Thank you for posting this great information!

        Brad

      • Hi Brad,

        You can email me and I will send some details of my policy. I can’t really say yet if the insurance is worth it or not. It’s definitely expensive. Unfortunately where I am parked, it is required.

        – Jenna

      • Thanks Jenna – I used the form on the CONTACT page to email you. Not sure if you can email me form there?

  2. I want to sell my house and buy a tiny house.but I want to put it on land. Not travel in it.what do I need to check on insurance for that.thanks ,I love your blog keep having fun…jayc

  3. Thanks for mentioning us! Yes, our insurance policy covers our tiny house only within our current state of residency, but we are quite happy to see you got insurance for traveling with your home – we will need that pretty soon, too!!!

  4. Very helpful, thank you!

    The builder we are going with offered use an RV certification, and we didn’t choose to go with it because we figured we could take care of it after the fact.

    Would your advice be to move forward with it from the beginning? It was an additional 5000 CAD.

    • Is it an RVIA certification or some other certification? I don’t know of any Tiny House companies certified by the RVIA in Canada. You cannot get your Tiny House RVIA certified after the fact, and you cannot get a RVIA certification unless it was built by a certified manufacturer.

      • One company that just recently got RVIA certified in Canada is Minimaliste Houses. They are in Quebec and doing beautiful builds!

        Thanks for this post, just starting to look into insurance and this is helpful. Really enjoying your blog, by the way!

  5. Thanks so much for sharing about this! It’s something I’ve been meaning to look into as I start my tiny house journey. You may want to update the section of which builders are RVIA certified. I’m sure it’s hard to keep up since so many new builders but I’ve seen many others that at least claim to be certified. 🙂 loving your blog!

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