Mobile home: Florida

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Florida retains the largest manufactured housing market in the U.S. Also known as “mobile homes,” manufactured homes are typically more affordable and lower-maintenance alternatives to traditional single-family homes. A mobile home’s affordability could make it a good starter home or an ideal place for a retired individual. To stay on budget, finding the right mobile home insurance in Florida is essential. A homeowners insurance policy provides similar coverage, but a Florida manufactured homeowners insurance policy is best suited for mobile homes.

What is a mobile home?

A mobile home is built in a factory and moved to a home site (typically a mobile home park) where other mobile homes are situated — hence it being labeled as “mobile.” It is designed to move, although doing so can be a slow and laborious process.

A mobile home could also be referred to as a manufactured home, although they are not technically the same thing. The main difference between manufactured and mobile homes is the date of construction. Mobile homes were constructed on or before June 15, 1976. Manufactured homes are the modern version of the mobile home.

Is mobile home insurance required in Florida?

Florida mobile home insurance is not mandatory unless you have financed your mobile or manufactured home. In that case, the lender will likely require you to have a Florida mobile home insurance policy for as long as you are making payments. Although you are not required to have manufactured homeowners insurance in force, having coverage could save you from a serious financial loss in case of damage or loss from a fire, hurricane or burglary.

Mobile home coverage in Florida

As mentioned, mobile home insurance is similar to homeowners insurance. A basic manufactured home policy in Florida covers perils such as winds, fire, wind, theft, vandalism, explosions, snow and ice (even if rare in the state). Flood damages are not covered perils; you will need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy.

Mobile home insurance typically includes:

  • Dwelling: This coverage is for the physical structure of your mobile home.
  • Detached structures: This includes insurance for items and accessories such as awnings, fences or carports.
  • Personal property: This covers your contents and belongings against loss or damage due to covered perils and theft.
  • Liability: This pays for third-party damages that happen while guests or visitors are on your property, as well as legal and judgment expenses from lawsuits if someone is injured at your home.
  • Medical expense payments: This coverage pays for medical bills if a visitor is injured while at your property.
  • Loss of use: This helps reimburse living expenses while your mobile home is uninhabitable due to a covered loss. It includes reasonable costs such as a hotel stay or apartment rental and meals until you can move back into your manufactured home.
  • Sinkhole loss: Some manufactured home policies include sinkhole insurance automatically. The coverage would pay for damages caused to a manufactured home’s structure due to a confirmed sinkhole.

Things to consider about mobile home insurance in Florida

When purchasing mobile home insurance in Florida, there are a few state-specific things to keep in mind that could help you find the right amount of coverage at an affordable price.

Age of the mobile or manufactured home

If you are living in an older mobile home, especially one built prior to June 1976, it may be more difficult and costly to insure. Although your insurance options may be limited, you can still shop around by getting quotes from at least a couple of carriers to find the best price. Additionally, because age could impact the condition of a home, this may be a contributing factor to premiums.

Location

Conditions at the mobile home site, such as a skirted or enclosed foundation as a base and tie-downs that properly anchor the mobile home according to local or state code requirements, could lower the cost of coverage. If your home is in a mobile home park, your premiums may also be lower.

Hurricanes and tropical storms

Florida is unfortunately prone to hurricanes and has the greatest number of direct hurricane hits in the country. Insurance companies in Florida are required to expand coverage against wind damage from named hurricanes, but a mobile home policy does not cover flooding. You will need to purchase additional flood insurance through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or a private home insurance carrier to provide coverage.

Flood insurance may be required if you finance your manufactured or mobile home. Mobile home insurance carriers often have a separate deductible for hurricane damage, which could be a flat-fee deductible or a percentage of the value of your manufactured home.

Frequently asked questions

Is mobile home insurance more expensive than a homeowners insurance policy?

A mobile home policy is typically more expensive than home insurance, especially in Florida. Mobile homes are built offsite in a factory and then attached to a foundation, making them potentially more vulnerable to damages. Their lighter construction makes a manufactured home easier to transport, but the lighter build may not withstand hurricane-force winds as well as a traditionally-built home.

What is the difference between a mobile and a manufactured home?

A mobile home is older (and generally more expensive to insure) than a manufactured home. While you can refer to either type of home by the other name, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has concluded that mobile and manufactured homes are different. To be classified as a manufactured home, it must have been built on or after June 15, 1976 and meet certain building specifications.

What affects the cost of mobile home insurance in Florida?

Some of the factors that may affect manufactured home insurance in Florida most are age, condition and location. Old mobile homes made prior to new building codes for manufactured home are generally more difficult and expensive to insure than newer manufactured homes. Some counties in Florida have cheaper premiums, but the value of the home is another big factor.

The quality of the mobile or manufactured home build could make a significant difference in what your premium will be. Newer mobile homes often feature amenities you would find in a traditional build home, such as wood floors and granite countertops. The more expensive upgrades could raise the cost of your mobile home insurance.

Do all insurance companies cover mobile homes?

Not every insurance company provides manufactured home insurance in Florida. Some of the larger carriers that sell mobile home insurance in Florida include Allstate, Foremost, Geico, State Farm and USAA.

Written by
Cynthia Paez Bowman
Personal Finance Contributor
Cynthia Paez Bowman is a finance and business journalist who has been featured in Bankrate, Business Jet Traveler, MSN, CheatSheet.com, Freshome.com and TheSimpleDollar.com. She regularly travels to Africa and the Middle East to consult with women’s NGOs about small business development and works with select startups and women-owned businesses to provide growth and visibility.
Edited by
Insurance Editor