6 On Your Side: Consumer Confidence, Manufactured & Tiny Home Insurance Tips

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(ABC 6 News) – No doubt manufactured and tiny homes are significantly cheaper than traditional homes – but there’s often a surprise after the purchase.

Consumer Reports breaks down the cost differences and reveals ways to get a lower premium.

Lisa Gill writes for Consumer Reports and she lives in a tiny home, and loves not having a mortgage. “What I pay for insurance every year is steep, but I’ve taken a few steps to lower my bill,” says Gill.

Tiny and manufactured homes are becoming a popular alternative, but it could be a costly trend. Home insurance prices can sometimes be double compared to a traditional home.

Why does it cost more to insure less home? The insurance industry points to greater susceptibility to wind, hail damage, tornadoes, fire, theft and vandalism compared with a traditional home.

But there could be more to it. Gill says, “Some consumer groups say insurance companies may be more likely to take advantage of ‘financially vulnerable’ people – charging them more money for fewer benefits. There also might be outdated discrimination from the days when mobile home parks were mostly located in poor and crime-ridden ZIP codes.”

There are only a handful of companies that insure manufactured homes. Less competition can also mean higher rates.

“When it’s time to shop around for a policy, consider working with a local independent agent, which can be more efficient than looking for yourself online,” says Gill.

Here are four other ways to save:

Make sure you have the highest possible credit score. Your credit history can determine premium rates.

Ask about “bundling,” meaning are there savings if you buy your home and car insurance from the same company.

Consider a higher deductible. Increasing the amount, you’ll first pay out of pocket before your insurance—from $500 or even $1,500 could save several hundred dollars off your premium.

Finally, pay the premium in full all at once. Doing so might save you between 5 -15%

Mention to your broker if you’ve installed fire or CO2 alarms and secure the home with anchor ties. These measures better protect your family and might save you more money with your policy.