What do I need for my tiny house insurance in California?

Tiny house insurance in California is required for construction, towing, and parked tiny homes. Obtain RVIA certification to qualify for RV and auto insurance and receive collision, liability, and contents coverage.

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UPDATED: Jun 2, 2022

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Written By: Laura BerryReviewed By: Joel OhmanUPDATED: Jun 2, 2022Fact Checked

Here's what you need to know...

  • While minimalism is often a primary goal for California tiny homeowners, the cost of an insurance premium on the home should still be factored into your budget.
  • You may need to buy different types of California tiny home insurance depending on the stage of the construction and usage process as well as on how you intend to use the home.
  • Shopping for the best rates available on different types of California tiny home coverage can help you to save money on this expense.

The tiny house trend in California is increasing in popularity. Many people are interested in leaving behind the high cost of a traditional home in this state and focusing on things that are more important in life through minimalism and even living off of the grid.

While your primary intention for buying a California tiny home on wheels may have been to move beyond the traditional or standard lifestyle and eliminate housing expenses as much as possible, you should still insure your home against losses.

Insuring a tiny home on wheels in California is necessary from the time you begin construction on it and through until the time it is attached permanently to a plot of land.

Several different types of insurance products may be needed throughout the entire tiny home building and usage process. Compare car insurance quotes to find the best provider for your situation. Enter your zip code above to get started.

Insuring Your Tiny House on Wheels in California

A tiny house in California is unique from a site-built home. It typically will not qualify for insurance from a traditional home insurance company, but it also is not necessarily an RV or a manufactured home.

Some of these homes are even constructed by the homeowner in a do-it-yourself process, which makes them a unique type of property to insure.

Coverage during Construction

There are two primary ways to construct a California tiny home on wheels, and this is to build the home yourself or to hire a professional building.

Whichever method you use to build the home, it should comply with NOAH certification standards. This could help you to more easily find insurance on your tiny home after the construction phase has been completed.

You also should only use professional electrician services to do the electrical work in the tiny house, and your electrician should be insured and should carefully document all of the work that he does.

If you decide to build the tiny home in California on your own, consider insuring your materials and the shell of the home if possible.

Remember that weather damage, theft, and more can occur before the construction phase is completed, and these types of events can create financial hardship for you.

Some people will use a professional builder to complete the construction phase of their tiny home, and you should carefully analyze the credentials and experience of different builders before you decide which one to hire.

Your builder should be fully insured, and the company should have an RVIA certification, which may make it easier for you to obtain RV insurance as a coverage option after the construction of your tiny home has been completed.

Coverage during Towing

The construction phase for a California tiny house may take a few months or longer to complete in some cases, but eventually, the work will be completed, and you will be ready to haul the home to a new location for your personal enjoyment.

Some people will tow the tiny home regularly to different locations, and they will use the tiny home as an RV as they explore different areas of the continent in comfort and style.

Others will tow the tiny home to a permanent location on a lovely plot of land, and they will use the structure as more of a manufactured home.

If your tiny home in California is RVIA certified, you will be able to get RV coverage as well as auto insurance for towing a vehicle. This coverage will need to be in place before you hook the home up to a trailer hitch.

Your RV policy should have the following:

If your tiny home does not have the RVIA certification, RV insurance is not usually an option available. However, you may still be able to obtain a trip endorsement on your auto coverage to insure the home while it is being towed to a new location.

Another insurance option that you can consider using when your tiny home is being towed to a new location is inland marine coverage paired with a renter’s policy.

Inland marine coverage is designed for any type of mobile home structure, so it works well for insuring tiny homes in California. Then, you can obtain a renter’s policy, which protects the contents inside your home against damage related to theft, fire, and many other events.

As you can see, there are several different options available to consider when you need insurance for the transportation of your tiny home to different locations or to a permanent location.

Savvy tiny homeowners will thoroughly compare all options in order to find the best possible deal on the transportation or towing coverage available.

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Coverage while Parked in California

While some tiny homes in California will be transported frequently to different locations, many people choose to settle down in a permanent location with their small home.

A traditional home insurance policy is not feasible for use with a tiny home, but there are special tiny home insurance providers that offer coverage on these types of properties.

Tiny home insurance usually provides you with benefits associated with damage to the structure of the home, and some of these policies also provide you with protection for the contents of the home.

However, liability insurance is not usually a component available in a tiny home insurance policy.

You may also consider getting a quote for a manufactured home insurance policy. Manufactured homes, like tiny homes, are not site-built, but they may be permanently attached to the ground.

Insurance on these homes is similar to insurance for personal property rather than real estate, and some of the coverage types and limits may be different than with a traditional home insurance policy.

Because there are so many different ways to insure a California tiny home, you should carefully examine all insurance options for construction, towing, and ownership.

Comparing rates and policy options is important if you want to protect your shelter and its contents properly. Enter your zip code below to compare rates quickly and easily with no obligation.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

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