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Tiny House Insurance. My Personal Experience and Policy

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 

In the summer of 2016, I decided to take another look. I visited 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!

My annual premium with Darrell Grenz came to $903, which I paid up front to reduce costs. This might seem expensive, but I do have a beefy insurance policy that includes multi-state travel. Also, I was told I could adjust my policy at any time for a lower rate (see update below). I believe the average premium for Tiny Houses through this company is $600.


After almost a year with Darrell Grenz, I have canceled my insurance policy. I was completely dissatisfied with the communication and service I received. In December of 2016, I asked to change my policy. I was ignored or given the runaround for nine months! Excuses were made about family emergencies and understaffing issues. I tried to be understanding, but, ultimately, I never received a change to my policy. Imagine if I actually needed to make a claim! I cannot in good conscience recommend or Darrell Grenz. In fact, I’m telling you to not to use them. I feel as though I spent $903 on nothing, as most times I couldn’t even get anyone to return my communication.

I have since purchased a new insurance policy through Michael Carmona Agency. My new policy includes everything I had with Darrell Grenz, except I removed multi-state travel and added renter’s insurance and liability coverage for medical expenses. My new annual premium is $878.80. If I ever want to move my house, I simply pay a per-day fee for Tiny House travel insurance (about $75 a day). For my current situation, this is better.

This time, for the sake of transparency and keeping legitimacy alive, I’m going to give you ALL of the details of my policy. Download a copy by clicking below.

CLICK HERE To Download A Copy of My Insurance Policy

So far I am very happy with the customer service at Michael Carmona Agency as they have gone above and beyond to meet my needs. I will continue to update you as I continue with this policy. If you reach out to them, please tell them I sent you.

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Tiny House Insurance

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  1. Allison Anton
    September 28, 2020 / 9:04 am

    So many things jump out at me: (1) This isn’t an insurance policy, it’s an application. It doesn’t really go into detail about anything that’s covered. (2) You’re not covered for theft of any of your property, although you’re covered for theft of the actual tiny house. You’re covering the tiny house as if you were the landlord, so no coverage for contents or personal property. (3) Contrary to the video that lead me here, you don’t actually live in the tiny house full time and it is in fact vacant.

    • October 6, 2020 / 10:07 am

      When I started the policy, I was living in the house full time. You probably watched one of my older videos. I have since updated this article.

  2. Dana
    September 13, 2020 / 1:06 am

    Heya! Awesome website, I shall thoroughly explore! Thank you! So, after you built yours, you WERE able to register it just fine? I was thinking registering it would be harder than insurance, cus then it’s street legal I assume. Did they inspect/require anything? (I would go with a solid premade trailer base as well.)

    Then, this MC agency insured it even tho it’s not an “RV”, great! I cant find what they classified it as but, if you got it on your self built i suppose i can too, but was just wondering classification. also wondering if you were kinda forced to put secondary living (no animals) instead of primary to get the insurance. My first thought was auto insurance policy too tho, since I mostly plan to keep it connected when i’m using it.

    • September 16, 2020 / 11:33 am

      Yes, all that is correct. Although, back in 2013 when I registered the Tiny House there weren’t as many regulations. They didn’t really inspect it much, they classified it as a “coach trailer” in California, and later when I renewed, as a Recreational Trailer in Illinois. I didn’t even have to bring the Tiny House into the DMV the second time, or the third when I registered it yet again, in Washington state a few years ago. I feel that I might be grandfathered in, since the trailer has been registered in a few different states now.

  3. Khara
    July 6, 2019 / 1:52 pm

    This is all such helpful information. Thank you!
    When you reference the Michael Carmona Agency, the link takes you to, a MAC Insurance, Inc. company. Did they change their name? Are you still insured with them and happy with product/service?

    • July 16, 2019 / 12:05 pm

      I am still insured with them and still happy. And yes, MAC is their company.

  4. July 25, 2017 / 2:02 pm

    Your costs can change a great deal depending on where you call “home”. Least expensive state I found was South Dakota. These folks are a great resource.

    • Heythere guy
      July 30, 2020 / 7:17 pm

      What’s the process like to get it insured for a self build? Do they have to check the construction process somehow? Do you just tell them the dollar amount you want insured?

      • August 11, 2020 / 10:59 am

        Depends on the insurance company probably, but I just filled out the paperwork and supplied the dollar amount.

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