Insurance For Tiny Houses In Transit

Insurance For Tiny Houses In Transit

We have covered an insurance option for those of us in the western states before on our blog (click HERE) but that coverage is only active for parked tiny houses. So, how do you deal with insuring your tiny house when you are moving it? Is there insurance for tiny houses in transit? Our friend Alek Lisefski (turns out we actually went to the same school in little Fairfield, Iowa!) at The Tiny Project wrote a great article on how to deal with insurance for your tiny house on the move.

You can of course hire a towing company to do the move for you and they will be insured (well, they better be for the price you’ll need to pay them). But I know most of our readers are of the DIY persuasion so you’ll need to consider how to insure your tiny house on the go. In the article, Alek says, “Any time your house is on the road it won’t be covered by your regular auto insurance”. Yikes.

tiny houses

Alek Lisefski’s house on the move

He says that to insure his tiny house, “We had the house categorized as a modular home, insured as part of a commercial trucking policy. The technical name for the type of towing we were doing was referred to as a “mobile totor.” But it get’s more complicated.” And here it really does get nutty, “Our truck (and trailer) had to be insured as part of the commercial trucking policy, and — here’s the kicker — in order to insure the house (or anything we towed, for that matter) WE COULD NOT OWN IT. This type of commercial policy is meant for towing other peoples’ stuff for pay. So in order for the insurance company to go along with it, I had to assure them that I did not in fact own the house. BUT I DID own it! So how was I to make this work?”

To read what Alek did to get a policy for his tiny house on the move, click HERE. And be sure to say a big hello to Alek on his comments section! He’s a wonderful guy who is passionate about tiny living and helping in any way he can. Thanks Alek for letting us share your experience!

 

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10 Responses to Insurance For Tiny Houses In Transit

  1. Bob August 18, 2014 at 10:04 am #

    REALLY? Fairfield, Iowa. Just down the road from us. I’m grew up in Keokuk but now in WDM. Did notice on the Tiny House map page there is a community in Fairfield. Been interested in Tiny Houses and the small house movement for a few years now. Was a sleeper interest hiding in the back of my mind since childhood.

  2. Jay October 25, 2014 at 11:18 am #

    Did you try to insure it as a trailer hauling a “shed” on it?

  3. Malcolm January 26, 2015 at 10:26 pm #

    Wait it’s an RV technically, so why wouldn’t RV insurance cover the RV while it’s in transit ? It’s made on wheels and to RIVA specs so that it can be transported and fall under RV insurance policy…does RV insurance not active while it’s being transported ? This does not make sense !

    • Gabriella January 27, 2015 at 8:42 am #

      Hi there Malcolm! Actually, Alek’s tiny house is not an RV technically. It was self built and not built by an RVIA certified builder, so as far as RV insurance companies are concerned, it does not qualify. If someone buys a tiny from an RVIA certified builder, then one can get RV insurance which, yes, will apply during transit.

  4. Malcolm January 27, 2015 at 8:51 am #

    Ah, ok, now this poses a dilemma…I want to build one myself, and have plans to transport it fairly often…can’t afford to pay someone else to build it. Surely you can have a tiny house RVIA inspected, certified, and qualify for RV insurance ? Really only a tiny made by an RVIA certified builder can qualify ? Even if you follow all the RVIA codes/guidlines ?

    • Gabriella January 28, 2015 at 2:11 pm #

      Welcome to the common dilemma of tiny housers in this day and age. Though things are changing for the positive for us all and very quickly, as of today, only certified RVIA builders can produce RVIA tiny houses. There is no RVIA entity that inspects self built tiny houses. Plus, it is extremely difficult to receive RVIA certification and even seasoned pro builders are turned down.

  5. Malcolm January 28, 2015 at 2:30 pm #

    Yeah thanks I’ve been investigating this, and getting full insurance coverage for a self made Tiny does seem to be a big issue that many are still struggling with…it’s insane that these RVIA people have cornered the market on what is deemed a “safely” constructed mobile dwelling. Indeed this is a difficult block to such a powerful DIY movement ! There are apparently ‘other than RVIA’ standards that can be obtained, but I haven’t found them yet, and it’s of course up to each insurance company whether they will acknowledge…All I can see to do at the moment is to build in the best way possible, with architect approved structural designs, and follow electrical and plumbing codes, having all the work documented and inspected, and hope that I can find proper coverage.

  6. David Hall February 11, 2015 at 5:26 pm #

    Gabriella, Hi I have a towing related question. Sorry if it doesn’t fit the topic of this conversation. I just built a tiny home that weighs about 6,000 pounds and I plan on towing it with an F 250 3/4 ton pickup truck. I have a break controller. The trailer has brakes and 4 tires. In your opinion, is it necessary to install sway bars?

  7. David Hall February 11, 2015 at 5:27 pm #

    sorry, Brake Controller

    • Stephani July 6, 2015 at 1:29 pm #

      David,

      I have towed mine no more than 45 miles and I would recommend a sway bar. Because of how tall and big my house is, 18 foot long and 13 foot tall it gets hit with winds well. Everything that I have read says that a sway bar makes a big difference.

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