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

Tiny house insurance in Illinois 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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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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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®

UPDATED: Jan 22, 2021

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Tiny house insurance will protect your home from unforeseen events
  • Illinois has allowed local organizations to regulate tiny houses
  • Since Illinois allows local governments to regulate tiny houses, regulations can be vastly different from county to county in the state

Outside of the city limits of Chicago, where tiny houses are banned, most tiny houses fall into a type of gray area. Municipalities of the state are responsible for regulating tiny houses, but many of them don’t have official rules on tiny houses.

Since the tiny house movement is relatively new, it is something that states like Illinois are working to catch up with.

People who live in tiny houses have to deal with various issues that may cause problems for them, but as long as they try to keep their tiny houses as legal as possible, they have a chance to overcome and make tiny house regulations better defined.

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Insuring your THOW in Illinois

One thing all tiny house owners should do to help themselves with their tiny houses in Illinois is insuring them.

By taking out insurance policies on the tiny house, owners can protect their house if something happens to it.

Insurance policies can cover construction, accidents while towing and even damage as a result of a natural disaster while the house is parked.

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Coverage during Construction

Covering your tiny house during the construction phase will help protect you from liability and can give you peace of mind for the materials you are using.

You can find the best construction coverage by shopping around to get quotes from various agents.

Using a Builder

If you are planning on building your tiny house, you may be thinking of hiring a builder.

In addition to the benefit of having a professionally built house, you will be able to have insurance that covers anything that could happen to your tiny house during the building process.

Illinois requires builders to be registered and licensed. Part of the licensing process is to obtain insurance so a reputable builder will always have insurance.

RVIA builders are also beneficial because they can create a tiny house that is actually an RV. There are many benefits that come with having an RV instead of just an uncertified tiny house.

Doing It Yourself

Since you may be trying to save money by living in a tiny house, one thing you can do to save a lot of money is doing the construction yourself.

While this is a good idea to save money upfront, you will need to consider the additional costs that come along with building the house.

In addition to purchasing plans to build, the materials and permits, you will also need to buy an insurance policy.

An insurance policy for the construction of your tiny house should include liability in case something happens to someone on your property and coverage for the expensive materials you’re using.

Coverage during Towing

Illinois allows tiny houses to be in campgrounds, mobile home parks, and private properties. Aside from that, the county has jurisdiction over where you can take your tiny house.

It is important that your tiny house is insured so you are protected while on the road with it.

Consider how often you will be on the road and what type of coverage you’ll need to account for the unexpected things that might happen to your tiny house.

Obtaining Insurance

The insurance you’re able to get for your tiny house will depend on the way your home was built and the regulations it meets in the area you’re in. If you are going to use your tiny house to travel often, you may consider a policy that covers more.

Here are some options to consider:

  • an RV policy
  • a trip endorsement
  • liability coverage
  • collision coverage
  • contents coverage

You may be able to get an RV policy for your tiny house if you had it built as an RVIA-certified home. You will need to prove that it is an RV, so make sure you get documentation from the builder you used.

An RV policy can help you save money, can give you more coverage, and will be seen as a more legitimate option.

You can still be covered if you did not choose to use an RVIA builder. You will simply need to get an endorsement on your insurance policy. This endorsement will cover cargo and anything you are towing. It is what will cover your tiny house.

At the minimum, you will need to have liability for towing, but having a collision policy will help protect your tiny house if it is damaged during an accident.

The Tow Vehicle

You will need to cover your tow vehicle in Illinois if you want to tow your tiny house. The tow vehicle just needs the state minimum liability which is up to $50,000 per incident for bodily injury and $20,000 for property damage.

A liability policy will not help you if you are in an accident, though, because it won’t cover any of the damages to your own vehicle.

Keep in mind you will need to expand your coverage beyond the state minimum to get the most protection possible.

Coverage while Parked in Illinois

Even though you cannot leave your tiny house parked permanently in Chicago, there are some areas of Illinois that may allow you to park under certain circumstances.

Aside from this, your tiny house will probably be parking in RV parks, mobile home parks and rented areas of land.

If you have your own land, you may want to check with your local government on whether or not it is legal to park your tiny house on the land.

You may need to meet certain requirements to be able to do this, but it is worth checking into because staying on your own land can help save money.

If you do find that you are allowed to legally live on the land in your tiny house, you will need a homeowner’s policy. The policy may only cover the land and liability while people are on your land, but it will protect you.

Renter’s insurance policies are slightly different in that they follow you where you go instead of staying in one location. You can use renter’s insurance for your tiny house when you are parked in different areas around Illinois.

The coverage will protect you from fire, theft or damage to your personal belongings, but will not cover the actual tiny house.

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Saving on Insurance

Racking up savings on insurance for your tiny house is all about knowing how to bundle.

Since Illinois does not limit the insurance you can bundle, talk with insurance agents to find out who can bundle your policies together. Tiny house living is all about saving money, right?

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