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

Tiny house insurance in Oregon has minimum coverage requirements of 25/20/15. Obtaining temporary move permits in Oregon, bundling your insurance, and buying pre-built tiny homes can save you money on tiny house insurance.

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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...

  • There are two distinct types of tiny houses: mobile and permanent
  • Insurance needs vary based on the type of tiny house in question
  • A mobile tiny home, commonly called a tiny house on wheels, must be compliant with ordinances and codes when used as a permanent residence
  • Finding the right kind of coverage for a tiny house on wheels can be slightly difficult
  • Bundling home and auto insurance can offer the greatest savings

Tiny houses have grown in popularity across all segments of society, but they are especially popular with people seeking a more reclusive existence.

Some people like having the ability to travel from location to location as the seasons change, while others simply want to downsize for greater financial freedom.

In either case, tiny houses are a growing trend and can constitute a relatively sizable investment. As a result, it is imperative that you find the right insurance coverage to protect that asset.

Compare car insurance quotes today to find the coverage you need at the best rate. Enter your zip code into our free rate tool above.

The Key to Defining Your Tiny House in Oregon

Unfortunately, it appears as if the call for tiny homes has risen faster than the insurance industry’s ability to define specific coverage for them.

In fact, it may be difficult to find coverage unless you are quite clear about how you intend to use your tiny home. Will you be moving around periodically, or will you affix it to a permanent foundation?

As far as insurance laws are concerned, there is a distinct difference between a dwelling and a camper, so this is where your quest for the right type and amount of coverage begins.

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A Quick Look at Categories of Vehicles in Oregon

One of the main problems you may face in Oregon is the fact that the Department of Transportation doesn’t list tiny houses on wheels as a vehicle, per se.

A quick perusal of their defined vehicle types shows the following:

Surprisingly, nowhere on that list will you see tiny houses on wheels as a category.

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This fact, alone, may make it nearly impossible to find auto insurance unless you can clearly categorize your tiny house on wheels.

Bear in mind that each state establishes its own insurance laws, consequently, you’ll often find your tiny house in what amounts to a no-fly zone.

Although mobile, you will be using it as a residence, but that tiny house will also be parked for extended periods of time, if not permanently. So which is it? Is your tiny house on wheels a vehicle trailer or is it a residential structure?

If you can clearly define the intended use of your tiny house, it may be easier to find an insurer willing to underwrite a policy for you.

A Tiny House on Wheels Is Meant to Be Mobile

For a moment, take another look at the premise that tiny homes are growing in popularity because of their ability to be moved about as the need arises.

Not only are tiny houses less expensive simply because they are tiny, but equally important are the demographics of the tiny home culture.

Many retirees find tiny homes attractive because they can be easily relocated. With children and grandchildren having flown the nest, tiny homes provide the perfect solution when seeking ways to spend greater amounts of time with each of the children and their families.

You don’t want to be an inconvenience to your children by staying with them, so why not take your retirement tiny home along with you for the ride? That tiny house registered in Oregon was meant to be mobile after all!

DIY Self-Build Versus Manufactured Tiny Houses

When comparing rates among a variety of insurance companies, there is one consistency you will quickly encounter. Most insurance companies will be reluctant to insure DIY self-build tiny houses of any kind.

Insurance underwriters will rarely cover self-builds unless every step of construction was overseen by a licensed professional, regardless of the following:

  • whether mobile on a trailer bed or stationary on a fixed foundation
  • whether you are seeking auto insurance or homeowners insurance

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A Few Key Issues Easily Resolved

First and foremost, it is imperative that you find adequate insurance to protect your investment. There are a few key workarounds which might enable you to save a significant amount of money on insurance. Consider:

  • Temporary move permits in Oregon if trailers are listed on your car insurance policy.
  • Bundling homeowners and car insurance for multi-policy discounts.
  • Buying pre-manufactured tiny houses on wheels which can be easily certified and insured.

Also, some of the nation’s largest insurance companies are responding to the tiny home trend and have begun selling policies designed to meet the needs of insured drivers that frequently tow tiny houses on wheels.

Geico advertises their tiny house auto insurance coverage and other insurers are following suit.

Insuring Your Tiny House in Oregon May Be Tricky but Not Impossible

Having said all of the above, it may seem like an exercise in futility to even consider trying to find adequate coverage for your tiny house in Oregon.

However, don’t let this information dissuade you. Great insurance coverage is available.

You just need to do a bit of comparison shopping to find the best coverage at the most affordable rates.

Meeting Oregon’s Minimum Coverage Laws

It is also important to be aware of the bare minimum coverages you should carry according to Oregon law. In Oregon, a driver must carry at least:

  • Bodily Injury (BI) – $25,000 per person with at least $50,000 per accident for multiple people.
  • Property Damage (PD) – $20,000 per accident.
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – $15,000 per person.
  • Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI) – $25,000/$50,000 per person/accident.

As mentioned above, Oregon is a fault state with some features of a no-fault state, namely, PIP coverage. However, it is also important to understand that a tiny house that is not considered insurable can be a liability if you are found at fault.

Although you aren’t required to actually insure that tiny home, it is in your best interest to protect what constitutes a major investment.

Tiny houses in Oregon do cost less than traditional homesteads and with the right insurance company, they can be cheaper to insure as well.

Compare car insurance quotes today to find the best option for your needs. Enter your zip code into our free rate comparison tool below to get started.

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