Tiny House Insurance

When we embarked upon our tiny house adventure, home owner’s insurance for our tiny house seemed like an improbable hope. Fortunately, there have been new and major developments in this department. We would like to introduce you to Darrell Grenz of Darrell Grenz Insurance in Portland, OR. He has become our new best friend because he was created an insurance policy that covers hOMe, our outbuildings, and gives us liability protection. The concept of insurance isn’t for everyone but for those of us that like that peace of mind, it’s Christmas in May!

 

Darrell took some time out of his exceedingly busy schedule to answer some questions for us.

 

What does this new tiny house policy cover?

 

The “Tiny Home” policy is a HO3 Special Form Homeowners Policy that is customized for tiny dwellings that are built on trailers. The coverages that are available within this policy include:
Coverage A = Main Tiny Home Dwelling, Coverage B = Separate Structures, Coverage C = Personal Property, Coverage D = Loss of Use, Coverage E = Personal Liability, and Coverage F = Medical Payments to Others. All coverages are available but, not required on this program. However based on the overall value many of the applications are coming in under the minimum premium so they are being included in the quotes.

What does the policy not cover? 

Earth movement and theft of the dwelling are excluded. Theft of personal property is covered.

What if people don’t own their own land or they move their house often?

 

The policies are based on the fire protection class at each premises location so if they move the tiny home we will need to re-rate the policy based on the current protection class.

You bring up a great point about renting or borrowing space where they park their tiny homes. In this situation it’s very critical that the tiny home insured acquires the optional personal liability from us because if they are negligent for any reason (for example they cause a fire that damages other property on the land where their tiny home is parked) they would have liability protection.

We were able to get insurance on our ancillary units. Is this available to others as well? 

The separate structures coverage is available on this program as long they aren’t used for commercial use. The premium is based on the values and building construction variables just as the main dwelling.

We were also able to get a liability policy. Anything people need to know about that? 

See above, the price for the personal liability is $100/100k of coverage.

What US states does it cover?

Currently the Tiny Home Insurance Program through Lloyds of London is available in Oregon, Washington, California, Utah, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Colorado and Nevada. As more policies are established we hope to take it national.

To bind coverage and keep the underwriting cost down: 


– We need to know the fire protection class (call the local fire dept)
– Name of contractor or self-built
– Electrical inspection report

Other points:


– The average annual premiums are coming in at $495.
– Premium can be paid-in full or financed (monthly payments)
– We recommend that we have your auto insurance within our agency so we can better understanding of possible gaps when towing/moving your tiny home.
– We offer discounts with other policies including non-owner auto policies for people that don’t own vehicles but, borrow other people’s vehicle or occasionally rent
– This Tiny Home Insurance Program will be expanding in the future to cover “Tiny Home Parks/Communities” and Tiny Home construction policies as currently the policy only covers the finish dwelling at the premises location.
– The more policies we get on the books the better it will be for expansion to other states.

To reach Darrell, contact him at

5651 N. Lombard St.

Portland, OR 97203

(503) 206-6736 Office

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37 Responses to Tiny House Insurance

  1. Raelynn May 6, 2014 at 10:39 am #

    Fantastic information! Thanks for sharing.

    • Faith Hazelwood May 11, 2017 at 11:31 pm #

      I can’t get a hold of Darrell to insure my tiny house. I’ve been trying to get him for a year. He always says he will get me a quote but doesn’t. I live in SC with my homemade Tiny House. Please help me. I would love to have an insurance policy. If you know of any Tiny House insurance companies that would like my money, please call me 803-297-6805. Thanks,
      Faith Hazelwood

  2. Dirty Hippie Inc. May 6, 2014 at 4:52 pm #

    this is great news. I hope they will cover tiny houses in Maine soon!

  3. André May 6, 2014 at 5:08 pm #

    I’ll definitely start looking into it here in New-Brunswick, Canada! Thanks!!

  4. Ryder May 6, 2014 at 10:39 pm #

    Let’s hear it for the free market! – A vastly under-appreciated thing in this world… and yet there it is, quietly, continually, seeing to our needs.

    And Tiny House people… especially California… it is the state that prevents you from living in a tiny home legally. You have to break the law, or else live how *others* instruct you to. California is not an especially progressive state, when it comes to freedom.

    Well done, Darrell Grenz Insurance Agency!

    • Gabriella May 7, 2014 at 8:21 pm #

      Woop woop!!

  5. Chris Cordova May 7, 2014 at 8:07 pm #

    Guys! This is huge! Get it to Tennessee and I guarantee the movement will grow! The push in Nashville is for sustainability, affordable housing, and innovation. Tiny houses meet ALL criteria. Keep up the good work

    • Gabriella May 7, 2014 at 8:18 pm #

      I know!! SUPER exciting!! Since we signed up just a few weeks ago they’ve already added 2 more states. Don’t worry..he’s making his way to you! 😉

  6. scott masse May 8, 2014 at 8:59 pm #

    I am an insurance agent that has been investigating this issue as well. I am glad to hear the industry is making progress. Hopefully, I can write the policies here in New England soon.

    I’ll be reaching out to the agent in this story. Thanks for the great info!

    • Gabriella May 10, 2014 at 12:14 pm #

      Thanks for writing Scott! Yes, I hope that you guys will connect. And PLEASE let me know if you are able to provide similar coverage in the NE. There are loads of people there waiting for insurance. 🙂

  7. Jay June 10, 2014 at 12:52 pm #

    What about Florida

    • Gabriella June 14, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

      Not quite yet but I think it’s just a matter of time. 🙂

      • Mark November 19, 2016 at 7:32 am #

        Foremost Insurance recently began insuring Tiny Homes in FL.
        http://www.foremost.com

        • Dean L. Scott April 14, 2017 at 7:55 am #

          Mark I tried to get insurance with them but I am renting out on Airbnb and they do not permit that.

  8. madelaine June 14, 2014 at 7:25 pm #

    Wow! What great information! I am fifth generation born and raised in Portland and I am working on building a tiny home on wheels as well. Any tips on how to get the process started so I can get to the point of obtaining insurance through this great sounding company? For example, can I just simply start remodeling and building my tiny home or are there things that need to be in place before I dive in and sink my savings? Thanks so much for the informational article!

    • Gabriella June 16, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

      Great question! One of the things they asked us was who signed off on our electrical. So, you may want to get someone to do that before you cover your walls. I would also take a lot of photos to document your building practices. Other than that nothing comes to mind but it would be a good idea to connect with the insurance broker. 🙂

  9. Craig Smith July 3, 2014 at 4:56 pm #

    I’m really excited about the possibility of living off grid.

    One thing I want to do is live in the forest like yourselves. If there was ever a forest fire you could hook up a truck and evacuate the area with everything in your home.

    Thank you for showing your wonderful home and hopefully I can get started on mine.

    Craig

  10. Jon August 19, 2014 at 7:27 am #

    Does Darrell have an email address?

    • Gabriella August 19, 2014 at 7:05 pm #

      Hi Jon! I believe he prefers to be reached by phone: (503) 206-6736

      • Lawrence Read January 1, 2016 at 1:06 am #

        I’ve called several times, went to his website filled oit his forms and I have yet to hear from him. I even ordeted bis tiny stickers its been almost 3 months and nothing I don’t understand why.

        • Lawrence Read January 1, 2016 at 1:08 am #

          Sorry for the typo’s

        • Gabriella January 2, 2016 at 9:36 am #

          I’m so sorry to hear that Lawrence! Yeah, I have heard that it can be quite hard to get a hold of him. I have sent him a personal email with your email address. Hopefully he gets in touch!

          • Lawrence Read January 3, 2016 at 7:09 am #

            Thank you Gabriella I really appreciate your help.
            I hope he contacts me.
            I did just received the “tiny” stickers so maybe there’s hope.
            I am still in the building process with my tiny, (shell with some of the windows installed & waiting for the rest before siding), but I’d like to get my ducks in a row to make sure I have zero problems insuring my home once completed.
            Again thank you and happy new year.

        • Dean April 14, 2017 at 7:57 am #

          I filled out the online application a year ago and never received any reply whatsoever.

          Disappointing.

          And we’re in the early stages of developing an entire tiny home community in Pierce County Washington.

          I’m calling again momentarily and I hope it goes better.

  11. Malissa Shepherd October 16, 2014 at 9:38 pm #

    Thank you for being awesome Gabriela! Nine times out of ten, it’s either you or Andrew answering my questions and guiding me through the process. Darrell is a busy fellow and I’ve made a few calls to him but we can’t seem to connect. I have not found any info regarding self-built homes and insurability specifics. I’ve heard from a few builders that no builder certification means uninsurable, but I feel like they’re just giving me the hard sell. Can I build it myself, and have a tiny house HO3? Also, has anyone filed a tiny insurance claim yet ?

    • Gabriella October 20, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

      So happy to help Malissa! For the Lloyd’s of London insurance option that Darrell offers, you do NOT need to have it build by a professional builder (perhaps those builders you have spoken with don’t know about this insurance option?). The one piece is that you need to get your electrical signed off by an electrician (but that should be easy and it’s a great idea anyways). We haven’t had to file a claim yet and don’t know if anyone else has. Lloyd’s is pretty established though so I would assume they would hold their end of the deal. The big thing with Lloyd’s though is your current location. Currently the insurance is only being offered in western states. Another piece is that the policy doesn’t cover earth movement (meaning damage from while it’s in transit). It does however cover theft, fire. Not sure about flooding. We have found the policy to be extremely reasonable and are super grateful for what Darrell has done to get this going.

      • Stephani July 6, 2015 at 1:41 pm #

        I am trying to get through to Darrell. My issue is that I am currently in nebraska and am moving to Texas next month but can not locate insurance for those two states. Anyone have any ideas?

        • Ellen October 11, 2016 at 9:11 am #

          dont assume younwill get coverage. I cant in Louisiana and it sucks! b

          • Gabriella October 12, 2016 at 9:36 pm #

            Ellen, try tinyhome.insure! 🙂

  12. Laz December 18, 2015 at 10:50 am #

    Thanks so much for the important info!

    Most smart tiny home builders find out about insurance well before we even start building. Correct insurance is a critical part of “dreaming big, and building small”
    This movement has the possibility to literally explode across the nation, as many are fed up with rising home costs, and no end in site. They also love the idea of personally designing and even helping to build their own places.
    Laz Reinhardt
    River City Tiny Homes, Sacramento

  13. Nicole M. March 23, 2016 at 3:49 pm #

    Be very careful about assuming that these so-called tiny house insurers, specifically Darrell Grenz Insurance in Portland. My daughter, who lives in a tiny house on my property, has requested from Mr. Grenz a quote, and she has followed up for the last 3 weeks with tons of emails and phone messages. He has yet to respond to a SINGLE message or email. Very disturbing.

    • Gabriella March 24, 2016 at 11:05 am #

      Hi Nicole M. He is slow to respond sometimes but I assure you he’s around and happy to help.

    • Ellen October 11, 2016 at 9:10 am #
    • Dean April 14, 2017 at 8:01 am #

      I filled out the online application a year ago and never received any reply whatsoever.

      Disappointing.

      And we’re in the early stages of developing an entire tiny home community in Pierce County Washington.

      I’m calling again momentarily and I hope it goes better.

  14. Aria May 19, 2016 at 3:31 pm #

    Theft of the tiny house is excluded? No thanks. My tiny house is far more likely to be stolen than to burn down.

  15. David August 23, 2016 at 7:06 pm #

    Why would you not cover theft of the tiny house? Is there optional coverage that can be purchased?

  16. Ellen October 11, 2016 at 9:08 am #

    I am so disappointed that my tiny home is NOT covered in Louisiana. That completely sucks. I followed all building codes and find out I would have to pay an outrageuos amout of insurance for little coverage!! I sure hooe this changes SOON as I’m about to move in witout insurance. So much for living simple. wish i had known

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