Curious if any of you have experience in requiring tenants to carry fire insurance on their homes. Reason being is my Dad has a couple parks and has had two instances where TOHs have burned to the ground (no one hurt and no liability) but once the Fire Department rolls up their hoses- the tenant is no where to be found. Leaves my Dad with a clean up bill of several thousand dollars. Any ideas on how to protect against this as a park owner?
Something I came across is many insurance companies will not insure a unit older than 30 years, which limits it to newer units than 1985 currently. This would create a problem for those community owners that have even older units, or allow them.
While I understand your Dads desire to not be responsible for the cost of clean up, a far bigger issue of collateral damage needs to be addressed. From my research, most mhc are regulated by the health departments, but not the fire departments. The reason seems to be many fire departments around them are volunteer.
When a community owner places units to maximize income, those units from a satellite view look like “sardines in a can” and the heat from one burning could damage the ones around it, plus cause physical injuries. If all the units are tenant owned, and “self insured” is allowed, is the community owner liable for damages because of his placement of the units?
@KurtKelley any suggestions?
I don’t think it is an insurance question as much as it is a legal question. The insurance is used to control risk levels, nothing more.
Here’s a couple of thoughts:
- Requiring tenants to carry mobile home owners insurance not only helps protect you against fire department clean up charges, but also home removal costs and times when a tenant’s negligence creates liability for the park;
- Requiring tenants to carry mobile home owners insurance is easier to do in low cost mobile home owners states such as those in upper Midwest, NE and West US. It’s much more of a present financial burden for mobile home owners in the SE, Coastal Atlantic, and South Central US where premiums are regularly $800 and above;
- There are carries that will insure older MH’s, but they generally will only do it on a “cash value” (not replacement cost) basis; and
- I’ve yet to have one of my parks suffer an instance where one home fire resulted in multiple home fires - not that it hasn’t, it’s just quite rare. I have seen tenant home fires result in melted siding of neighbors.
Thought some of you mhc owners might find this article important for your mhc.