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Florida retains the largest manufactured housing market in the U.S. Also commonly referred to 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 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, at least in the initial stages, 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. However, some mobile home communities may require proof of coverage as part of their regulations. Although you may not be required to have manufactured homeowners insurance in force, depending on your situation, 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 damage is not a covered peril; 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 detached structures such as awnings, fences or carports.
- Personal property: This covers your contents and belongings against loss or damage due to covered perils.
- Liability: This pays for damages that you cause to the property of others, 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, regardless of whether you are found at fault or not.
- 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, or you may be able to add it by endorsement. 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.
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 an approved mobile home park, your premiums may also be lower.
Hurricanes and tropical storms
Florida’s coastal position means it is often in the path of hurricanes and tropical storms. Insurance companies in Florida are required to expand coverage against wind damage from named hurricanes, but a mobile home policy does not cover flooding, which is common during these powerful storms. You will need to purchase additional flood insurance through the 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.
Windstorm insurance is a bit of a misnomer, as wind is covered under most standard policies. Additionally, Florida requires home insurance companies to cover the wind damage caused by hurricanes and tropical storms. You should know how your policy reacts to wind damage, especially from named storms, as you may have a special wind deductible that is higher than the deductible for other types of damage. However, windstorm coverage can be declined if you agree to accept the full costs of all wind damage on your mobile home.