A few months ago, I wrote this post about insurance for tiny houses on wheels, but I want to add some additional information and perspective. It’s December now, the season of keeping the home fires burning – often in the form of tiny heaters keeping us toasty as winter snows fly, wee little burners cooking holiday meals, and candles lit to honor the people we love. It’s a time for reflection, for love…and for considering insuring the home you love to light, warm, and live in.
I lived without insurance for nine years. It simply wasn’t available and, besides, I figured I could be my own “insurance agent” – by socking money away while living without a mortgage. That was MY insurance. But when this policy was created, I jumped at it. I want the money I’m socking away to stay mine, even if the worst case scenario happens. I’d be sincerely devastated if I lit my house on fire while warming my underthings over the stove, but now I know I won’t be devastated AND broke.
And I also hadn’t thought about liability. As I talk with people about insurance, they often think about it like I used to – purely in terms of how it will protect their home. But the policy also covers liabilities for others that we tend to forget about. Now I’m covered if someone falls off my porch or out of the loft and becomes injured. I know a lot of tiny house folks, like me, entertain many curious guests, so unsexy stuff like this really is worth thinking about.
I’m not trying to sell insurance, and I know it isn’t for everyone, but I want to make sure people understand their options and make educated decisions about what’s best for their wallet, peace of mind, home and everyone they share it with. Stay safe this season, and every season! – Dee
Real Insurance for Tiny Houses on Wheels!
Hey everybody, Dee here. Last year, I wrote about the struggle to find real insurance for tiny houses. Plenty of other folks have also been stewing over how to best protect tiny house owners from catastrophic loss. But I’ve got good news for you today! I found someone willing to give real, substantial insurance to tiny houses that treats them like homes worth protecting.
What I and many others have been looking for is simply an insurance policy that covers my house and possessions in case of fire – which is a pretty reasonable precaution when you live in a wooden box. But it seemed nearly impossible to find a policy that would actually pay out if your tiny house burned down. Common hold-ups for many tiny house dwellers seeking insurance included that the houses weren’t certified as RVs, that they were located in some else’s yard, or that they were DIY construction jobs built without permit inspections from the city. My only option was to get a renters policy to at least cover the loss of my cherished tiny window elf and tea pot in the event of a fire.
Now, Darrell Grenz of Portland, Oregon has networked with Lloyd’s of London to develop a policy that will cover the market value of a tiny house plus your possessions in the event of a fire. The premium will likely be around $500 per year, or more if you live deep in the country with remote access by the fire department. That amount is due up front; there are no monthly payments because there’s no financing for the package. But that seems reasonable given the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re covered – really covered!
The policy is only available to tiny houses in California, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and Washington right now, but other states may be adopted later. It specifically exempts loss due to theft (better lock the trailer hitch), or loss while going down the highway. But it does cover you while you’re sitting around on the front porch, thinking about how it’s raining so hard that it sounds like fish are thudding on the roof. You know, daily life. Other exclusions: nuclear incident, civil war and death by trampoline.
Contact Darrell to get the details, or keep an eye on him on Facebook, because he’s going to keep working to insure tiny homes on wheels.
Darrell Grenz (Hero of the Day!)
Grenz Insurance Agency
Darrell also has a lead on possibly insuring the house while moving down the highway, and is looking at trying to get financing for monthly payments. There’s hope for other states too. Depending on how things go in the west, he may be able to wrangle insurance in other states. And, Ryan Mitchell of thetinylife.com and others have been researching options for pulling together to get insurance. So stay tuned – good things are happening!