Mobile home communities are residential areas that provide land and utility for mobile homeowners. These mobile home parks rent the spaces available specifically for manufactured or trailer homes. Owners of these parks will want to have a suitable commercial insurance policy to protect the various risks involved in owning, managing, and running a mobile home park.
Owning a mobile home park is a growing industry, especially because manufactured homes are now offering state-of-the-art housing options at an otherwise affordable price as compared to traditional homeownership. Most insurance companies offer liability coverage for a multitude of events and happenings at the park, like traffic accidents, trees falling on homes, dog bites– even extreme cases like carbon monoxide poisoning.
While it isn’t required by law to have this type of insurance, it’s still smart to have the protection that a mobile home community insurance policy provides. Here’s a quick discussion of mobile home community insurance—what it is, why it’s important, what it covers, and other plans, prices, and claims information.
What Is A Mobile Home?
It’s a misconception to think of mobile homes are your typical RV or trailer parked in a patch of land along with other campers. Modern mobile homes– legally referred to as manufactured homes– are factory-built homes that are moved to a different location and permanently installed with a masonry foundation. These homes also adhere to U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development code standards.
It is estimated that more than 17.5 million people in the U.S. live in this type of home. Manufactured housing makes up about 15% of housing in rural areas and 3% in urban areas. In general, mobile homes have a few distinct characteristics:
- They are built in factories
- They rest on a permanent, but movable chassis
- They are at least 320 square feet in size
- They are transported as an entire unit to its permanent site for installation
- They are constructed according to HUD code building specifications
These homes are energy efficient due to being built in a controlled environment. They can be endlessly customized to whatever suits your taste. Solid wood cabinetry? Sheetrock walls? Arched doorways? If you can think of it, chances are they probably can build it.
What Is A Mobile Home Community?
Mobile home communities– also known as mobile home parks– are residential development areas designed to house mobile or manufactured homes. These mobile home parks rent out the spaces available in exchange for monthly rent for the lot.
Renters are provided with land to place their homes and the community provides amenities for residents, like water and electric utilities. These charges are typically included in the monthly rent.
Owning a mobile home park can be a great investment in areas where there are a growing number of mobile homeowners. However, managing it can be quite a tedious job. Add to that the various risks involved in running a mobile home park business and you’ll probably get overwhelmed– fast.
Running a mobile home community business imposes a lot of risks and there is a multitude of things you must take into account, like premises liability, security, property exposure, workers compensation, crime, and commercial auto exposure. Having insurance for your mobile home park business takes away one of the anxieties to prevent you from devastating financial loss in the event of a lawsuit.
What Is Mobile Home Community Insurance?
As an owner, you are subject to liability for the things that happen on your business property. Residents can file claims against your business in the event of electrocutions, traffic accidents, sewer backups into their homes, or decayed trees falling.
While you are not responsible for covering the homes and other personal property owned by the residents at your park, you would also want insurance coverage for any other business property in the park such as offices, storage buildings, fences, utility poles, park maintenance equipment, and a lot of other park-owned properties. You’ll also need general liability insurance for common areas on your property like laundry facilities, swimming pool, playground, and community clubhouses. It will come in handy when you are faced with a lawsuit should someone get injured at one of these common areas.
Residents are also not the only people whose safety you should worry about. As a business, you need to protect your park employees against physical injury. A workers’ compensation coverage will cover your employee’s medical expenses and lost wages in case they get injured while on the job. The workers’ compensation insurance is also beneficial even if you don’t have park employees. Volunteers and uninsured contractors may also benefit from this coverage.
Other business property that you might need to be covered:
- Central office buildings and their contents
- Electrical distribution equipment
- Homes inside your property leased out to tenants
- Outbuildings for storage and equipment
- Roads, walkways, fences, and signs
- Underground utility lines and pedestals
Renting land area to mobile homeowners means you must have insurance that is identical to a landlord’s insurance. As property owner and lessor, it is your responsibility to cover the areas where people live in. Most insurance companies provide the following coverage for mobile home community insurance policies:
- Loss of rental space income
- Park-owned mobile homes that are held for sale/rent
- Government-sanctioned demolition and increased cost of construction
- Outdoor property
- Liability for common areas including tennis courts, shuffleboard courts, gyms, and lakes.
- Business directors and their officers
- Removal of abandoned homes
- Liability for Common Areas
- Employee dishonesty like theft, etc.
- Equipment breakdown
- General and excess liability
There are many liability risks you’ll encounter as a mobile home community owner, that’s why it is a smart investment to have protection from these risks. There could be lots of people on your property at any given time which could put you at an even higher risk of liability lawsuits. The good news is that standard mobile home community insurance comes with commercial property liability insurance making sure you are covered from most of the risks involved. You are also covered from the legal fees, court costs, medical treatment, and other financial damage that you might face related to any accidents and misfortunes that happened on your property.
Insurance plans and prices
There are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to the cost of a standard mobile home community insurance. It is recommended that you speak with multiple insurance providers to discuss your specific needs and what you want out of your policy, the price, and ensure that you have everything you want. In general, the policy for small to medium-sized mobile home parks ranges from $50 to $100 per month based on location, size, revenue, number of employees, and how long it’s been a mobile home park.
The amenities in your park that you want to be covered are also a big factor before the insurance company decides on how much they want to charge you. These can include:
- Swimming pools
- Tennis courts
- Park-owned personal property
- Number of paved, partially paved, and unpaved roads
- Number of total sites, and availability
- Property qualification as a retirement community
- Level of handicapped accessibility in the park
- The lighting of public areas
- Use of city water and sewage
- Pet policies
Some insurance providers also cover the loss of rental revenue due to damaged property, so make sure to look out for that.
Depending on what kind of damage or liability you’re facing, an insurance claim might help relieve some of the financial stress. Here are some general steps you can take to file a claim:
- Call the police if a crime was committed. Call 911 if someone was injured. It’s not a requirement to have a police report to file for an insurance claim, but it helps act as a piece of supporting information.
- Document everything from the scene of the incident and gather relevant information from everyone involved. Data like personal information, insurance policy numbers, and photos are very useful.
- Contact your insurance agent provider once you’ve had all your necessary files and information.
- Now it’s time to file your insurance claim. Most companies have online options to file your claim or through a mobile app. You can also phone agents, or simply send the claims form via email or fax.
Owning and running a mobile home community is, after all, a business. As a business owner, you’ll want to protect yourself, your business, and your clients to ensure that everybody is happy.
After all, the premiums you will pay are probably only a fraction of the costs it might take to repair or rebuild parts or all of your property in case of damages. Or the financial cost of medical expenses you need to pay to someone who becomes injured while on your property– be it through negligence or an accident.
As always, insurance policies vary from company to company. Gather multiple quotes from multiple providers and do your research to make sure that you are choosing the right insurance that’s fit for your business and personal needs.