A little bit ago, I wrote about looking for a new insurance policy for Fy Nyth. (Here) Now I have a new policy in hand and thought I'd give you all an update on what actually happened.
I have to have insurance since I bought a pre built house with an RV loan from my local credit union. (More on that decision here.) And since they consider it an RV, just like buying any other vehicle with a loan, you do have to carry full coverage insurance until the loan is paid off. So insurance I must have. At least for a few years.
A year ago when I bought my house, there was only one company I could find who was willing to insure my house. RVAmerica. I paid them for a year. Now, a year later, I thought with the movement toward tiny houses taking off, I should look around and see what else is available now.
So I called lots of insurance companies. Many of the same ones I had talked to a year ago. A year ago, most agents I talked to responded with, "Um, what? I never heard of that. No I don't think we can insure that." This year, it was much different. I got lots of "Oh! Like those cool little ones I've seen on TV! They are so amazing! I'm so jealous, I want one. Let me check if we insure them." So it's encouraging that whatever you think about reality TV, people have at least heard of the idea in a positive light now.
I still got some phone call back though saying, "I'm so sorry, we don't seem to offer policies for those." Or, since I happen to live in the least populated state in the union, "I'm sorry, we do, but we don't offer plans in your state."
The best options I had in this state seemed to be Darrel at http://www.insuremytinyhome.com or Farmers. Darrel is the first person offering insurance specifically for tiny homes which is really cool. But he seems very slow to respond to either emails or phone calls, sadly. I did speak to him, but responses were very very slow. Farmers on the other hand was quite prompt. I'm sure different local offices may have a wide range of differences, but I am very happy with my local one so far.
The agent I talked to went to check on what they offer, and called me back very rapidly. She seemed super excited about the whole idea. Apparently they now have a category called something like "Travel trailers that are stationary and full time residences." They seem to have invented this just to cover tiny houses. Also pretty cool! They do have insurance for collision too, but since I have no plans to move my house anytime soon, I was not interested in paying for that. She told me they have to actually look at and take photos of the house to send to their office. I teased her that they just said that so their agents all get private tiny house tours! ;) In a few hours after I first called the office, she had run home to get her mud boots, was following me back a dirt lane, and hiking up a pretty muddy hill thanks to recent rain, to check out my house. By the next day, she had everything processed and I ran into town to sign the paperwork and saved myself over $300 compared to what I had paid the year before.
Plus, while I never want to have to file a claim, I think Farmers knows what they actually insured. I never really felt that way about RVAmerica. I could have paid more and got coverage for personal items, a lower deductible, or collision as well like I mentioned. But none of those things were important enough for me in my current situation to make me want to pay for them. I'm just letting you know they were possible.
I tried to get as many details from the company as I could to give you all as much helpful info on this as possible. I know there are many others looking for insurance as well. This particular policy was available to me since I have a house built by Tumbleweed and they have an RVIA certification. One of the pluses of having purchased a prebuilt house by a well known name. Of course, it would be way cooler to say I built it myself, but there are some pluses on the other side as well. Famers did need the VIN and RVIA numbers from my trailer. I assume this would have worked if I had a house built by any other RVIA manufacturer. I'm not sure what would have happened if I had a home I'd build from scratch by myself. They may have insured it as well, I'm just not sure. Below is a copy of my new policy, just with some of my personal details blocked out.
So overall, it looks like the insurance world at least is getting a little more accepting of tiny houses which I think is great. But they are still far from the norm, and lots of companies still don't know how to deal with them. I hope that if lots of us keep calling them and asking to pay them for insurance, they will become more and more aware of the demand for this service and figure out how to better cover them. So keep going! Keep calling! And comment with any info you personally have on this topic that I have not included if it would help other folks out.