What You Need to Know About Tiny Houses and Insurance

More than a decade ago, a new movement began. One that emphasizes the philosophies of less is more, sustainability and financial freedom. The tiny house movement. Today you’ll find numerous TV shows, countless blogs and even a magazine dedicated to tiny house living. But even with its notoriety, living tiny is still a relatively new industry. Regulators, home insurers and builders continue to navigate the space. If you’re considering joining the tiny house movement, keep these considerations in mind.

Goals and Primary Use

What’s the motivation behind your desire to go tiny? Are you looking to right-size, live sustainably or eliminate debt? People have many reasons for living in a tiny house. Determining yours will help you stay on track as you go through the building process.

Also consider the primary use of your new home. Will it serve mainly as a vacation house for your family, a VRBO rented to others, or as your permanent residence. Your tiny home’s primary use will impact location, insurance and other considerations down the line.

The Build

While a traditional U.S. home averages more than 2,000 square feet, a tiny home’s footprint typically falls under 400 square feet. A tiny house can sit on a foundation or on wheels. The choice depends on your wants and lifestyle. For the adventurous, a home on wheels provides the advantage of portability. For those looking to live more simply, a foundation may prove the best choice. Your decision will impact the codes and zoning stipulations you must follow. So, keep these in mind when selecting your format.

You also have the choice of hiring a construction company to build your tiny house or DIY-ing it. Certain states, including Colorado, Florida, Texas, Wisconsin and California have dense populations of tiny house builders. There are also plenty of tiny house plans you can purchase online and build on your own.

Location

Finding a place to park your tiny home can prove challenging. If your home is on wheels, many states have regulations on how long you can stay in one place. Tiny homes on foundations face building codes and zoning issues. Full-time RV parks and rural locations offer some options but often come with their own challenges. For example, in a rural setting logistics like electricity and running water can put a wrench in your plans and increase the cost of building your tiny house.

Because of these challenges, a large percentage of tiny home owners live illegally. To stay above board, determine where your tiny house will reside before taking on your build. Think back to your goals and primary use. Do you want to commune with nature, live affordably in the city or be part of a tiny house community?

Insurance

Your tiny house is likely filled with a lot of love, dreams and aspirations. Don’t let it go unprotected. The considerations above play into insurance coverage for your tiny house. Obtaining tiny house insurance can prove tedious. However, there are several insurance companies that now provide tiny house coverage. Working with SelectQuote, we shop numerous insurance companies to find the best plan for you and your micro-dwelling. The right broker will help you decide between a tiny homeowner’s policy, RV coverage, inland marine and renter’s coverage, or auto coverage.

Living tiny has many benefits but certainly not a small amount of things to consider in the planning process. Look at the big picture when building your tiny house to avoid common pitfalls in this expanding movement.

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