While building or owning a tiny house is an exciting endeavor, it's essential to also consider the less glamorous aspects, such as insurance. Insurance provides the necessary protection for your tiny house, just as it would for a traditional home. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the specific considerations for insuring your tiny house
Understanding Tiny House Insurance:
Before diving into the insurance landscape in Europe, let's understand the basics of tiny house insurance. Tiny house insurance is a specialized form of coverage designed to protect these unique, compact dwellings. It encompasses several key components:
Vehicle or Home Insurance: Depending on the classification of your tiny house, you may need to insure it as a vehicle or a home. If your tiny house is on wheels and registered as a trailer, it may fall under vehicle insurance regulations. Conversely, if it's permanently placed on a property, it's considered a home and should be insured accordingly.
Coverage for the Tiny House: This component covers the physical structure of your tiny house. It helps repair or replace your tiny house in case of damage or destruction due to covered perils, such as fire, theft, vandalism, or natural disasters.
Personal Property Coverage: Personal property coverage protects your belongings inside the tiny house, including furniture, appliances, and personal items. This coverage extends to losses caused by similar perils as mentioned above.
Liability Coverage: Liability coverage safeguards you in case of accidents that occur within or near your tiny house. It helps cover medical expenses and legal costs if someone is injured on your property or due to your negligence.
Additional Living Expenses: If your tiny house becomes uninhabitable due to a covered peril, this coverage assists with temporary housing and associated expenses.
Off-Premises Coverage: This coverage protects your personal property even when it's outside your tiny house, such as when traveling.
Now, let's explore how these components align with the insurance landscape in different European countries.
Scandinavia has embraced the tiny house movement to a certain extend, emphasizing sustainable living and minimalism. As a result, insurance options for tiny houses are available in these countries, but they may vary. Consider the following points when seeking tiny house insurance in Scandinavia:
Customization is Key: Tiny houses often vary in design and features. Some insurers in Scandinavia offer customizable policies to accommodate these differences. Ensure that your insurance policy aligns with your specific tiny house's features and value.
Local Regulations: Each Scandinavian country has its own building codes and regulations. Ensure that your tiny house complies with these standards to qualify for insurance coverage.
Sustainability Discount: Given the eco-friendly nature of tiny houses, some insurers may offer discounts to homeowners who use sustainable materials and practices in construction.
Climate Considerations: Scandinavia experiences harsh winters, so it's crucial to have coverage for weather-related damages. Ensure that your policy includes protection against snow and ice damage.
We recommend starting your research with your current insurance provider.
There are different insurance solutions in Sweden, for example, "villahemförsäkring" or "fritidshusförsäkring" for stationary tiny houses.
IF - “With us, you can have villa/vacation home insurance for houses that are on wheels. We will accept your tiny house if the hook and the wheels of the trailer have been removed, and the house is used as either a permanent residence or vacation home.”
Dina Försäkringar - “We can offer insurance for tiny houses to people who are already our customers and have their current housing insured with us. One requirement is that the house has a permanent location to stand on, and the insurance does not cover the house during transportation or moving.”
Folksam - “If you remove the wheels and securely anchor the house, then you can insure it with us. However, if you put the wheels back on and/or transport it, the insurance will not be active during this time.”
Hedvig - "If the tiny house can be classified as an "attefallshus" and is registered at the same address as a regular residential house, then we can offer home insurance for the tiny house as well, as an extension of the permanent living house."
Additionally, some companies also provide insurance for houses classified as campers / "husvagn", for example Länsförsäkringar.
Many insurance companies provide coverage for tiny houses, typically categorized as cabin insurance / "hytteforsikring". Gjensidige Forsikring is one such company that offers insurance for your tiny house. And also in Norway, the majority of insurance companies offer coverage for tiny houses on wheels similar to that used for caravans / "campingvogn".
In Finland, we are aware of one insurance company on Åland that provides campervan insurance for tiny houses on wheels: Ålands Ömsesidiga Försäkringsbolag
In Denmark you can also always try with any insurance company that offers campervan insurances. Sometimes you might need to convince them, since tiny houses on wheels are still not so common ;-). We got positive feedback about the company Topdanmark, but just try to reach out for others, too!
Also in Germany the choice of insurance for a Tiny House hinges largely on the home's mobility. Depending on whether you plan to travel with your Tiny House or have it permanently located, Germany offers different insurance options.
For mobile Tiny Houses, liability insurance is obligatory if the house falls under the classification of a caravan. If you anticipate frequent relocation of your Tiny House, motor vehicle liability insurance for the Tiny House is essential since car insurance does not encompass the house. Damage to the accommodation can be covered with traditional camping insurance policies. Some of these policies also extend to include contents insurance for your household belongings and specific liability coverage.
An example of an insurance company that insures the Tiny House as a caravan is HUK-Coburg.
Specific Tiny House insurance is only available for objects that:
Are permanently situated on (permanent) campgrounds
Are placed on private properties
Are situated in a Tiny House settlement
The status of the Tiny House as a primary residence (i.e., registered address) or occasional habitation, such as a vacation or weekend home, is irrelevant. To be eligible for permanent camping insurance, a Tiny House must lack a fixed concrete foundation and be transportable, regardless of the method.
However, Tiny Houses on the road are not covered by permanent camping Tiny House insurance. Movement-related risks are excluded, and the liability insurance provided only pertains to the pitch (stand liability).
Some providers offer specialized insurance packages tailored to Tiny Houses, allowing for comprehensive coverage of your diminutive dwelling. Tiny Houses are often situated in exposed areas or on campsites, leaving them susceptible to natural hazards like storms, hail, floods, heavy snow, as well as fire, lightning, or break-ins. Some providers even extend coverage to the entire household belongings within the Tiny House. An indispensable component of this coverage is comprehensive glass breakage insurance, encompassing external and internal glass breakage, regardless of the cause. Building liability insurance complements this comprehensive package. One such provider offering this extensive coverage is Vivema, but you will find many more like KVS, Oberösterreichische Versicherung AG, Verias or Zurich...
Austria has also seen a rise in tiny house living. Nevertheless, Tiny Houses are a relatively new phenomenon, and the insurance industry has not yet fully adapted to this development. Here are some considerations for insuring your tiny house in Austria:
Compliance with Regulations: Like Germany, Austria has strict building codes and zoning regulations. Ensure that your tiny house adheres to these standards to secure insurance coverage.
Comprehensive Coverage: Consider comprehensive coverage options that protect your tiny house against a wide range of risks, including natural disasters, theft, and vandalism.
Location Matters: The location of your tiny house in Austria can impact your insurance rates. Houses in areas prone to natural disasters may have higher premiums.
Experiences have revealed varying approaches among insurers depending on where you intend to place your Tiny House and which insurer you engage with. The solutions that have demonstrated relative reliability encompass:
Property owners hosting the Tiny House can consider augmenting their existing household insurance to incorporate coverage for the Tiny House as a separate risk.
The property's building insurer may be willing to integrate the Tiny House into the current building insurance policy.
Some insurers offer specialized "camper insurances" that can also extend coverage to Tiny Houses.
Tiny house living in Europe, offers unique insurance considerations. The key takeaway is to prioritize legal compliance, accurate valuation, and adequate liability coverage. Furthermore, customization and sustainability practices can impact your insurance options and premiums. To navigate the complex insurance landscape successfully, work with local insurers who understand the intricacies of tiny house living in your region.