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Tiny House Insurance

by Krystian Sip,  Sep 22 2021

Over the last few years, tiny homes have gained significant popularity. What makes a house a tiny house? Dwellings between 150-400 square feet are generally considered tiny houses.

From people enjoying living in tiny, comfortable spaces, environmentalists, to business magnates like Elon Musk, tiny homes are praised for their low cost, convenience, low carbon footprint, and the savings that come from living in one. It is estimated that between 2000 to 5000 tiny houses are sold per year, with the demand constantly increasing. In 2021 the Casita model (the house model which Elon Musk decided to call “home”), developed by Boxabl, is believed to have a waitlist of 47,000 customers wanting over 100,000 units in total.

What types of tiny homes are out there?

Tiny houses can be divided into two main types: on wheels and stationary, and there are pros and cons to both.

Tiny homes on wheels

Mobile tiny homes are a perfect option for people who want to be able to change their location at any time, without having to leave comfort behind them.

Having a house on wheels is perfect if you would like to move closer to loved ones, your professional life demands you to relocate, you want to live a nomadic life, or you’re simply ready for a change of scenery. 

Before deciding to opt for a mobile tiny home, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

A mobile home needs to meet some size and shape criteria. 

  • It must fit on a trailer frame.
  • The width of the tiny home can not exceed 8.5 feet
  • Up to 40 feet long
  • No taller than 13.5 feet

There’s a possibility of going over these particular dimensions but this will call for additional oversized load permits etc.

Stationary tiny homes

Stationary tiny homes on the other hand, certainly offer more freedom when it comes to the possible shapes and sizes.

Whether you would like to live in a hobbit-hut, your own miniature castle, a fancy glass dodecahedron or just your standard shaped home (but smaller), the only thing stopping you is your imagination.

The price of building a tiny home

The cost of tiny homes can differ greatly, depending on the project and appliances you decide to include. Some tiny homes can be built for as little as $10,000. More luxurious, custom homes can cost as much as $150,000.

The average price for a tiny home however, is usually somewhere around $60,000.

Tiny homes are a great option for people hesitating, when it comes to getting a binding mortgage. They can save up and pay cash for their dream home, which in turn lets them live a mortgage-free life.

Pre-built home models tend to cost less than their custom made counterparts.

If you decide to build the tiny home on a foundation, the cost will increase by around $4-7 per square foot.

How much does it really cost to live in a tiny home?

Building a cheap home would be a pointless project, if high costs of living out weighed the initial gain. But then again, if the second richest man in the world lives in a tiny home, can it really be a money saving initiative?

It turns out, you do not need to be Tesla’s CEO to live a comfortable carefree life in a tiny home.

The main expense, living in a tiny house is the rent. 

For those not owning their own piece of land, the cost of parking their mobile tiny home, or renting the land for a stationary home, usually falls between $700-1000 per month. This cost can be avoided entirely, if you decide to save up some more money and purchase the land your home is standing on.

Other costs to consider are food and utilities.

Compared to your current grocery bill, you should expect your expenses to rise by about 10-15%. A tiny house, leaves you with tiny storage, making buying in bulk for extra savings more challenging.

Your electricity usage will decrease significantly. Depending on how cold your winters are and how hot your summers are (Heating and AC) you can expect your electrical bill to be anywhere between around $30-200 per month, as compared to the standard $400-600, when living in a regular sized home.

The cost of internet remains the same as usual, ranging from $20 to $120 depending on your plan.

Depending on the amount of appliances powered by propane (stove, propane powered water heater etc.), your estimated expenses should be somewhere around $10-20. You can save an additional $5-10 for refilling your propane tank instead of replacing it.

If you rent a parking space in an RV camp, water should be included in the rent. Otherwise, you can expect to pay around $10 month for this crucial resource.

The majority of the expenses mentioned above, can be further decreased by approaching a more green lifestyle. Solar panels can help you with lowering your electricity bill. To save on water and sewage you can also choose to opt for a compost toilet.

Depending on your state and the type of your mobile home, you might sometimes be expected to pay a Local Property Tax or a State Tax.

Insuring your tiny home

The last expense to consider is home insurance. Insurance of a tiny home usually falls somewhere between $50-150 monthly. The process of getting insurance for your tiny home can be complicated, especially if you decide to build your dream home without the necessary certifications, or with the help of an uncertified builder. 

The fact whether your tiny home is mobile or stationary will have an impact on the type of insurance policy you might be looking for. It is best to contact an agent specializing in tiny home insurance, who will be able to advise you on the best course of action in your individual situation.

Gabi Insurance agents are here to help you find the best coverage or if you need to discuss your options. Contact your licensed Gabi agent at:

www.gabi.com

Editorial content on Gabi.com is reviewed by a licensed insurance agent. It is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal or financial advice.
Written by
Jessie Jordan
Jessie is a Marketing Specialist at Gabi. As a licensed insurance agent, she has been helping Gabi customers buy and understand auto, home, renters, landlord, and umbrella insurance in a digestible way since she joined the Gabi team in 2020. Before joining Gabi she was a globally recognized Senior Account Executive for UPS- trusted with advising top brands on how to grow and streamline their business.
Reviewed by
Robbie Boddy
Robbie is the Vice President, Head of Sales & Customer Experience at Gabi. As a licensed insurance agent, he has more than 15 years of experience in the insurance industry, joining Gabi after working with Liberty Mutual as the Assistant Vice President and Site Leader, Direct Sales and Innovation. Robbie is a member of the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters society and has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Grand Canyon University.
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