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

Tiny house insurance in Iowa 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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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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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: Sep 15, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Tiny homes in Iowa could be damaged by typical home risks and perils as well as by theft and when towing the home on the road
  • Contents inside an Iowa tiny home may not be covered by typical insurance products and may need to be insured through a renter’s insurance policy
  • Tiny home certifications obtained through the construction process could play a major role in parking place options and insurance options after the home is fully built


When living frugally in a tiny house in Iowa, buying insurance is not always at the front of your mind.

After all, one of the primary factors that make the tiny home lifestyle so appealing to some Iowans is the fact that you likely will substantially reduce housing expenses through this lifestyle transition.

However, while many of your housing expenses will likely decrease after you get settled into your new Iowa tiny home, there are some aspects of housing expenses that should not be eliminated, such as insurance on your shelter.

Many people have a blissful outlook about their future living situation when preparing to relocate into a tiny home.

Those who have already made this transition in Iowa talk about how much less stress they have and how they are more financially secure. Use our free quote tool above to make sure you are covered with the best rates for the coverage you need!

Nonetheless, damage to your tiny home and even the theft of the home or its contents could send your Iowa tiny house dream into a downward spiral, and you need to insure yourself against loss every step of the way.

Insuring Your Tiny House on Wheels in Iowa

Tiny home insurance in Iowa should be purchased as soon as you begin buying supplies and even before the actual construction work begins.

The risk for loss on your tiny house continues when you hook your trailer up to a tow hitch and transport the structure on the open road in Iowa.

With so many risks for your tiny home, you must thoroughly explore all tiny house insurance options available.

Coverage during Construction

Iowa has recently reduced its minimum square footage requirements for residential properties to 500 square feet, which is a true benefit for individuals who want to enjoy tiny home living in this state.

There are also other building requirements and codes in Iowa that you will need to comply with, and you need to become familiar with them before you starting building an Iowa tiny house on your own.

Many people who build their own tiny house will hire a licensed electrical contractor to certify that aspect of the project was completed properly, and many will also take additional steps to comply with the NOAH tiny house certification process.

Regardless of how you go about building your tiny home, remember that theft and damage of your supplies and work completed up to this point can be devastating, and you should buy ample insurance at this stage to reduce your exposure to financial loss.

Some people who want to enjoy the tiny house lifestyle in Iowa are not skilled in the areas of construction and craftsmanship, and the good news is that you can hire a contractor in Iowa to build the home for you.

Contract builders should have their own insurance that covers incidents that happen during the construction process, so you do not need to buy your own coverage at this stage.

You may want to hire a contract builder in Iowa that has the RVIA certification. If your home is built by a certified Iowa builder, you may be able to insure it with RV insurance and receive collision, liability, and contents coverage during towing. Having this additional option could potentially help you to save money in some cases.

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Coverage during Towing

Iowa has towing laws for RVs and other related dwellings. The tiny home should be 13.5 feet tall or less and 8.5 feet wide or less.

Furthermore, there are requirements regarding the maximum weight as well as the use of a safety chain, a breakaway switch, and more.

Many Iowa tiny homeowners will not have the RVIA certification associated with their shelter, and there are two ways to insure your home while it is being towed throughout this state.

The easiest option may be to contact your current auto insurance company and ask for a short-term trip endorsement. Because this could be expensive, comparing insurance rates with at least three to four different insurance companies may be wise.

Buying an inland marine policy is another tiny house insurance option for towing your shelter through the state. In fact, it is an option for any type of mobile dwelling that is located on land.

Many tiny homeowners in Iowa also need to purchase a separate renter’s policy to provide coverage for the contents of the home.

Verify that you have the following coverage to reduce your exposure to financial loss:

  • liability
  • collision
  • contents coverage

Coverage while Parked in Iowa

Before you know it, your new tiny house will be parked in a desirable Iowa location and perhaps even on your own land.

At this stage in the process, you must insure the home with a long-term coverage option, such as manufactured home insurance or a tiny homeowner coverage plan.

Manufactured home insurance often works well because a tiny house is similar in design and manufacturing process as a mobile home.

If you opt to buy a special tiny home insurance policy in Iowa, understand that this type of coverage is not protective during the towing process or if the home is stolen.

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Protecting Yourself from Loss on Your Iowa Tiny Home

As you can see, Iowa tiny homes could be damaged or destroyed in many ways at each stage of the process, and this could be financially devastating for you to deal with when you are living a frugal lifestyle.

Keeping your tiny home fully insured through every stage is critical, and you can easily compare rates for different types of coverage available to you if you want to save money on your tiny house insurance in Iowa.

Before you finalize your tiny home plans, spend time comparing online quotes for the different types of insurance you may need at each stage. You can compare rates for free now with our free quote tool below! 

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