Tiny House Insurance: How Much Do You Need

WRITTEN BY: Mark Romero


Tiny houses are becoming increasingly popular with many singles and even families today. A house is considered tiny if it’s under 400 square feet. That’s why tiny house insurance is a popular topic among homeowners.

While these homes are typically on a trailer of some sort, the overall design of a tiny house allows an owner to feel as if they’re living in an actual home and not an RV!

While being able to buy a home for a few thousand dollars might sound like a carefree lifestyle, it can be a challenge to find the needed insurance for a tiny home.

The good news is that more and more insurers recognize the popularity of tiny homes, offering more coverage options overall.

Tiny House Insurance Like a Regular House

Homeowners typically purchase what is called dwelling insurance. This insurance covers the cost of repairing or rebuilding a home after a fire or other disaster.

Suppose your tiny home is on a permanent foundation and was constructed according to local building codes. In that case, you can typically purchase this same dwelling insurance for your home, no matter its size.

However, tiny home manufacturers don’t always adhere to the same building codes required for a standard house on a permanent foundation! This is especially true of DIY tiny homes and tiny houses on wheels.

Since these tiny homes might not be built to code, they may not qualify for this type of dwelling coverage insurance. 

Tiny House Insurance Like An RV

If your tiny home is on wheels, it might qualify for RV insurance. You may even be able to tack this insurance onto your current auto insurance policy and receive a multi-policy discount! Ask your current automobile insurance provider about RV insurance for your tiny home on wheels.

If your car insurer doesn’t cover your tiny home on wheels, note that some insurers only offer RV insurance to trailers built by certain qualified manufacturers to ensure that those RVs are stable and safe.

These manufacturers are often part of the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association or RVIA, and their campers or trailers will have a special RVIA seal.

Tiny Homebuyer’s Tip

RVIA-certified manufacturers build some tiny houses. They’re constructed with the same standards used for park model RVs. If you haven’t yet purchased a tiny home, you might consider shopping for one built by an RVIA-certified manufacturer. That way it will be easier to find RV insurance. 

Insurance Policies Specifically for Tiny Houses

Some insurance companies offer tiny house insurance designed for tiny homes on wheels that don’t technically park model RVs. Note some important details about these types of policies:

Part-time Use

If your tiny house is on wheels, note if you will live in it full-time. Some insurers offer coverage similar to RV insurance, as it’s not your primary residence.

License Plate

If you’re eligible for RV insurance, you might be required to have a permanent license plate on the tiny home, even if it’s parked in an RV park. 

Pre-Coverage Inspection

Some tiny house insurers require an inspection before they offer coverage. Be sure you note if this is a requirement for your insurer and be prepared to have them test the electrical systems, plumbing, and so on.

Towing Your Home

Coverage for your tiny house typically doesn’t include towing. Your insurance policy may cease its coverage the minute you hook your tiny house to a trailer hitch! If you plan on moving your tiny house, ask if towing is included.

Types of Tiny House Insurance Offered

If you have a tiny house, be sure to ask your insurance agent about the following types of coverage:

Dwelling or structural insurance

This covers the cost of repairing or rebuilding a structure after a fire, storm damage, etc. Structural insurance should include the structure’s roof, windows, and any attached decks and porches. Be sure to contact your agent about adjusting your coverage, if needed, after adding a deck, skylight, etc.

Personal property insurance

This covers the cost of repairing or replacing items that are not part of the structure itself. This would include appliances, furniture, clothing and linens, artwork, etc.

Liability insurance

This protects you in case someone is injured on your property. For example: if your dog bites someone, or if you cause damage to another person’s property. Even in a tiny home, it’s good to have liability insurance! 

Inland marine insurance

This covers mobile property, and companies that haul tools and equipment regularly use this insurance. Inland marine insurance might cover your tiny home while it’s being towed.

However, note that this policy doesn’t typically include liability coverage. You would need additional insurance to cover damages caused to someone else’s property while towing your tiny home.

Home Theft

Ask if your dwelling or personal property coverage includes theft of the house itself. If not, you might need an additional theft policy. This policy is often written as an automobile policy. That way the policy will reimburse you the house cost if it should be stolen. 

Special Advice for DIY Enthusiasts

Because tiny homes aren’t always made to local building codes, this increases the risk of an electrical fire or burst plumbing pipe. This is one major reason that many insurers refuse to cover tiny homes. This risk of damage to your tiny home is even greater if you decide to build it yourself!

Improve your chances of being covered:

  • Take lots of detailed photos during the construction process, especially during installing electrical and plumbing fixtures. 
  • Make notes of materials used, including their manufacturer, materials, size, etc. 

Photos of high-quality materials and proper installation and build techniques can reassure an insurance agent that your DIY tiny house is safe and not at increased risk for a fire or other disaster! 

How to Get Tiny House Insurance

If you’re considering downsizing or just want to live more efficiently and sustainably, tiny houses may be the perfect option. However, you still want to ensure you have tiny house insurance to protect you from the unexpected. To see rates in your area, give us a call or shop policies in your area online here.