Secrets

Tiny House Insurance

Here’s the deal: insuring a self-built tiny house is challenging. I’ve struggled. Others have struggled. Insurance companies don’t know how to categorize our strange, rolling homes, let alone insure them for damage and theft.

Luckily, with the popularity of the movement growing, it is becoming easier to find tiny house insurance.

Insuring a Tiny House as an RV

When it comes to tiny house insurance, classification is important. In the past few years, RVIA (or Recreational Vehicle Industry Association) has started classifying tiny homes built by approved manufacturers as “certified RVs.” In the tiny house world, only a few companies are licensed to build RVIA certified tiny homes. The easiest way to determine if a company is certified is to look them up on the RVIA website. If your tiny house is going to be built by a RVIA company, it will be legally categorized as a Recreational Vehicle. Insurance companies understand this classification and it will be easy to secure RV insurance.

But what if you’re not an RVIA approved manufacturer? Well, your tiny home will not be RVIA certified. You can not get an RVIA certification after the fact. The DMV will categorize your tiny house however they please upon registration. For example my tiny house was registered as a “Recreational Trailer” in Illinois and as a “Coach Trailer” in California. These classifications are more difficult to insure.

nsuring a Tiny House as something other than an RV

I have heard of tiny housers finding insurance by categorizing their tiny homes as additional dwelling units, pieces of art, or something else altogether. If you do not intend on traveling with you tiny house, this is a real option because these types of policies are state by state. They will not include travel. 

My Tiny House Insurance

Back in 2014, when I finished my tiny house, I searched for insurance. It was important for me to get a RV policy since I was using my tiny dwelling for travel. I also needed multi-state coverage, which further complicated my search. Every company would either refuse to insure me or quote some absurd number. Eventually I gave up.

For two years, I put my faith in the liability coverage offered through my truck’s policy. My tiny house was insured as a “tow load” when traveling down the road. Once I disconnected my tiny house from my truck, I had no insurance at all.

This summer I decided to take another look. I visited insuremytinyhome.com and applied for coverage. After multiple discussions with Darrell Grenz, my insurance rep, I was able to secure a policy that includes travel. I was thrilled!

Do you want details on my policy? I bet you do! My annual premium is $903, which I pay up front to reduce costs. This might seem expensive, but I do have a beefy insurance policy that includes multi-state travel. Also, I can adjust my policy at any time for a lower rate. I believe the average premium for Tiny Houses through this company is $600.

As with my Tiny House Costs, I’m sharing this personal information because: 1) I think the data should be available and, 2) I want everything to be easier for you than it was for me. Since I just secured this policy, I can’t say whether I’m happy with it or not. I do feel a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. Check back later for a breakdown of my policy

 

Top 5 Secrets Of Tiny House Living

There is no easy way to put this. Are you sitting down? No? Have a seat then. You may find the residue of your own romantic notions spraying your direction as I carefully, yet accurately burst a bubble.

What bubble you ask? The bubble that suggests living in a tiny house is a painless, simple, carefree, existence. It simply is not. Living in a tiny house (no matter how subtly you think you are making the transition) is and adjustment. It requires a little finesse and a lot of bourbon tolerance. Below are the top 5 secrets to tiny living that may help a bit with perspective so you can move into your diminutive dreams more successfully!

SHOWER STALLS ARE SMALL  I am not a big man. At just 6′ tall and weighing about *garble garble garble* or so, I don’t need to take a shower in a Scandanavian bath chamber. In fact, several years back I remember thinking how ingenious tiny houses bathrooms were and how beautiful the showers could be with their massage heads and stainless steel accents. We would go to an RV show and I would marvel at how I could pretend to wash my hair without hitting my elbows. Truth is, I wanted the shower stalls to work, so I would tuck my wings a bit more and I never practiced dropping the loofah or having to stand at the back while waiting for the water to get warm!

WINDOWS ARE TO THE WORLD…AND BACK  Those very same oversized windows that allow in natural light and give you a picturesque view during the daytime, are also the ones that stare back at you at night while you gaze cautiously out into the world. Your neighbors (or lurkers) peer into your life as if watching their favorite soap opera on a large screen TV. No matter if you have shades or blinds as the shadows of your silhouette framed by the task light LEDs gives an even more curious picture show! And never-your-mind the rainy days. Oh to stand in front of those windows and look out at the saturation and seemingly un-passable deluge happening just feet away.

NOT ALL SINKS DO DOUBLE DUTY AS DOG BOWLS  I have long been skeptical of those miniature sinks that adorn tiny houses. How does one do anything in them? To wash a plate do you have to understand advanced geometry and topology? What about a mixing bowl? Does a mixing bowl require a trip to the outside spigot or the shower stall? Images from the past 5 years would lead one to believe that a tiny house must have a less than standard size sink so as to keep tiny in proportion.