Mobile Home Insurance
In many ways, mobile home insurance has many similarities with homeowners insurance. However, there are some differences: both from the customer's point of view as well as the insurance company's.
Personal possessions (contents)
OK, so most types of home insurance has some sort of coverage for personal possessions, known as 'contents'. My personal experience in selling insurance is that most people don't have a clue what the replacement, (or actual cash value) of their stuff is - the important number depends on the sort of insurance coverage that you have. With condo insurance, you frequently need to figure this out yourself. there is no such thing as an 'average' amount. It's absolutely different for everyone.
A good exercise to do (I've done it myself), is to make an inventory of your stuff. You don't need to be exact, but the more accurate and thorough your inventory is, the better. Do it room by room: taking into consideration your furniture, electronics, decorations, accessories of every sort:, linens, clothes: everything. Use your best estimate on what it would cost to replace all this stuff with similar but new stuff - or the re-sale value of your stuff if your insurance is based on actual cash value. The odds are if you have a replacement cost policy, the amount it would cost to replace everything would probably surprise you. (it sure did for me - it turned out I was probably off by 50% before I did an inventory!)
There is one thing to consider about this though: if you have anything that is valuable because it is one of a kind, rare, or an antique, a standard home policy is likely not going to be able to properly capture its value.
For example, if you are a painter and you make money from your art, a standard replacement cost policy may literally only cover the cost of the materiel used to make your painting - such as the paint and the canvas! This is because the basic insurance may not be built to cover the added value of your creativity or actual resale value. In order to cover this sort of thing better, be sure to tell your insurance advisor - there may be a special rider (add-on) available, or perhaps a separate insurance policy (maybe even from another company) may be required. Either way, don't make an assumption the coverage automatically comes with the policy.
Don't under-insure your home!
In many cases, home insurers will make the determination themselves as to what the replacement value or actual cash value is for your home, and mandate that amount. However this is not always the case - especially for actual cash value situations - you may be expected to to set the value of your home. However when you are expected to set your home's value, beware of underestimating.
With a replacement cost policy, if it is found that while repairing or replacing a damaged building that is under-insured - if even only a portion of the total covered amount is utilized - you will not get full recovery of the replacement costs.
For example, if you insure your home for $30,000, but then it suffered damage and it ends up costing $60,000 to replace, you will be stuck with a $30,000 bill because you only insured 1/2 of its replacement value.
At the same time, if the home only had partial damage that cost $5000 in damage to repair, you would have to pay $2500 plus deductible. As only 1/2 of the replacement value was insured, so you will only get 1/2 of partial repair value covered as well.
Replacement Cost or Actual Cash Value?
This is a very big consideration. In most cases, a mobile home insurance policy will be based on actual cash value. What this means is that your home will be replaced or repaired to what would be considered a fair market value at the time it was insured and/or immediately before it was lost or damaged. This amount will rarely be enough to fully replace your home, but having some level of coverage is always better than none.
On the other hand, if you have an option to have a policy with replacement cost coverage, do give it serious consideration. This is more likely an option for late-model manufactured or module homes. In this coverage, the policy is generally designed with the intent to repair or replace your home up to the stated limit with 'like kind and quality'. In other words, if your 2 bedroom 1200 sq ft manufactured house burned down, it would generally be replaced (up to the maximum amount) with a similarly sized home - if the same design is no longer available, then generally it would be of contemporary design, with similar features.
As you own your home, there is the chance that you may cause - and be held responsible for - damage to your neighbor's property. This is because your neighbor or their insurance company may sue you if you're found liable for that damage. This is where liability coverage comes in very handy.
Of course liability coverage usually also protects you for things other than damaging a neighbor's property. It could also protect you and your guests as well. For example, if you have someone over to visit, and they slip and hurt themselves because your kitchen floor was wet after you washed it, that visitor could potentially sue you, as it would likely found to be your responsibility as the home's owner.