According to Fannie Mae, the country is in the midst of a housing affordability crisis. Manufactured homes could provide a good alternative to the skyrocketing costs of buying a traditional house. Housing costs for mobile home dwellers are $925 per month. That is $675 less than the costs for the average site-built residence.
Texas has the country’s most manufactured home construction plants. But for a mobile home to be truly cost-effective in the state, it is important to know how to find the most affordable mobile home insurance in Texas, especially because manufactured home insurance premiums in Texas are higher than a standard home insurance policy.
What is a mobile home?
A mobile home is defined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as a transportable home built on a permanent chassis at an off-site manufacturing plant. However, HUD refers to mobile homes as “manufactured homes,” unless they were built before June 15, 1976.
Transportable homes built on or before 1976 are referred to as mobile homes, whereas those built after 1976 are considered manufactured homes. When in doubt, check for a HUD certification label or tag affixed to the home. Only manufactured homes display the label; a mobile home will not have one.
It is important to know when your home was built and if it is classified as a mobile or manufactured home because it is generally more difficult to get a Texas mobile home title and insurance for an older mobile home.
Is mobile home insurance required in Texas?
Texas does not require mobile homeowners in the state to carry a mobile home insurance policy, although those who finance their home will likely be required to have coverage. It may be difficult to find coverage for a mobile home built before June 1976. If you own or plan on purchasing a manufactured home, having coverage can provide useful financial protection against unexpected covered losses. For example, your home or property could be burglarized, catch fire, get damaged in a storm or experience on-site guest injury.
Mobile home coverages in Texas
Mobile home insurance provides similar coverage to a home insurance policy, although manufactured home coverage is typically more expensive than basic home insurance. When you have mobile home insurance, you can receive financial reimbursement for covered losses and damages due to perils or hazards such as theft, vandalism, fire, wind, hail, snow and ice. A standard mobile home insurance Texas policy covers:
- Dwelling and detached structures: A policy includes the home’s structure, often known as the four walls, and certain non-attached structures, such as a fence, shed or carport.
- Liability insurance: This covers the legal costs that could stem from someone being injured (or their property being damaged) while on your property. Liability insurance pays for attorney and court fees, as well as legal judgments against you as a result of an injury or loss at your home.
- Personal property: This offers reimbursement or replacement of your home’s contents if they are lost or damaged due to a covered peril.
- Loss of use: This coverage could pay for your living expenses if you are unable to remain in your mobile home following a covered loss. Reasonable living expenses, such as meals, a hotel or apartment rental, may be covered while your mobile home undergoes repairs.
- Medical payments: This pays for a third party’s medical bills if they are injured at your home or on your property.
It is important to keep in mind that a standard mobile home insurance policy does not cover flood damage. If you live in a flood or hurricane zone, you will need to purchase flood insurance separately. Policies are available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
Things to consider about mobile home insurance in Texas
Texas has a number of perils to which your mobile home may be vulnerable. Having mobile home insurance in Texas could help you rebuild without causing financial devastation. Common causes of loss include:
- Tornadoes: Texas frequently experiences tornadoes, with around 140-150 recorded occurrences each year. Mobile home insurance generally covers damages due to tornadoes.
- Hurricanes: Hurricanes and tropical storms can affect the state and your home. Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and Tropical Storm Imelda in 2019 caused devastating flooding throughout Texas. A policy can provide you with financial coverage if your home is lost or damaged by hurricane causes, although homes on the Gulf Coast do not include wind damage on policies. Instead, wind damage can be purchased from Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA). If you live outside the designated areas, your policy will cover wind damage from hurricanes, regardless of the insurer. Additionally, flood damage is only covered if you purchased a separate policy dedicated to floods.
- Floods: There are a small number of flood zones in the state, but unexpected flood damage is possible. Flooding is not covered by a standard policy. Instead, you would need to purchase flood insurance, which costs about $700 per year.
Frequently asked questions
What is the difference between a mobile and a manufactured home?
The main difference between a mobile and a manufactured home is the age of the build. Manufactured homes are the modern version of a mobile home, built on or after June 1976. Most transportable homes today are manufactured homes. However, there are still older mobile homes in Texas, which are typically more difficult to get insurance coverage for.
Is mobile home insurance required in Texas?
It is not mandatory to have mobile or manufactured home insurance in Texas, although it may be required for those financing their home. However, a policy could provide you with the funds you’d need to repair or rebuild your property if it experiences loss due to fire, theft or covered weather events.
What companies sell mobile home insurance?
Not every insurance provider offers mobile home insurance. If you are in search of coverage, Allstate, Farmers, Geico, State Farm and USAA are some of the largest insurance providers that offer manufactured home coverage.
How can I find the cheapest mobile home insurance Texas coverage?
Mobile home insurance is typically more expensive than home insurance. The age of your manufactured or mobile home may also be a contributing factor to price. To find the best rates, take the time to collect multiple insurance quotes to compare. Be sure to read the fine print to confirm you are looking at similar policies and limits before choosing the cheapest quote.