Home Split In Half On Highway | What Would You Do?

We had agreed with a mover to pay for the move-in of a new resident’s house into our community. But the home broke in half on the highway, and the mover now says we owe him full price for the move and that it is not his fault the home split in half.

We figure his insurance should cover his costs for getting the home moved half way to our park. We feel we only have to pay for a complete move that results in the home actually making it into our park and being properly blocked and tied-down.

But the mover feels we owe him for the move based on his ‘best efforts’ and that it’s not his fault the home split in half.

Anybody have experience with this issue?



Your home, he agreed to move it and you need to paid the fees for his effort. My assumption it had a roof over or some change in the original configuration from the factory and thus a failure or was damaged in a prior move. We have had a home in bad condition and had split in two but we notice floor was also not level from side to side and home was given to the mover and five miles down the street it was in two pieces. The million dollar plus liability coverage movers have is general needed to be on the highways and provide coverage for damage THEY CAUSE not for the home itself–that is part of coverage you needed.

A few clarification questions:

  1. who OWNs the home?
  2. Did you hire the mover?
  3. Did you get a liability insurance certificate from this mover when you came to an agreement?

very odd situation, but seems like insurance should cover this and he should understand that your contract with him was to have it delivered and setup in your park and that did not happen.


I know Frank had this happen to him. Maybe he has insight.

Yes, I had this happen. Around 2001 in Ft. Worth, Texas. Scared the heck out me. I got a call from a State Trooper telling me that my home had broken in half and was shutting down a lane of the highway and I would be held liable for any accidents if I did not get it out of there immediately. I fortunately found a guy with a special rig that was designed for such disasters, and he basically put two railroad rails under it, jacked them up, put wheels on them. and pulled the home to the dump.

The big difference between this case and mine was that I owned the home (not a tenant) and paying for the move was the least of my worries (I had to write off the home that I had just bought, as well as a $3,000 bill for the specialty mover plus dump fee). I happily paid the mover the $1,000 or so he charged, as I was just happy I had not killed someone. After that happened, I never again bought a home that was not already up on wheels and ready to move. I also have the move contract checked by our insurance agent (Kurt Kelley) to make sure we are covered.

In this case, my biggest concern would be potential litigation from the tenant who lost his home.

I would not want to go to court with the mover on this case, as the mover may claim that you should have verified that the home was safe to move (or a similar argument) and then sue you for mental anguish (or a similar argument) claiming you could have killed them or others. You also need to keep them happy as your prime witness if the tenant who lost the home sues you.

I would request that the mover get a letter from their insurance company refusing to pay. If they provide that letter then I would pay the movers costs.

I heard about this the other day, Jefferson. It sounds like a great opportunity for full lawyer employment.

Just for the sake of knowing your negotiation stance, here’s what I’d tell the mover if he was my client:

  1. never move a home you think might collapse during a move. You’ll almost always be held responsible for it even if the home owner told you he wouldn’t hold you responsible and begged you to do it for him;
  2. you’ll be responsible for moving something off the highway and to storage that you started moving. The DPS won’t care who else is involved - you are the mover, you are the professional, it’s your problem;
  3. simple home collapse isn’t going to be covered under your Cargo Insurance policy - they’ll exclude that, so your only hope to have your cargo insurance cover the damages is that the cause of loss is something other than “that old cruddy home just collapsed” and
  4. Getting paid for that move is the least of your worries now - you were an ill advised to ever move it to being with. And if there’s an auto wreck caused by the debris of the home on the road, you will likely be resonponsible for that.

If I recall right, Jefferson, you and your team didn’t own the home or hire the transporter. You were just working to get a new home owning tenant into your park. The home owner hired the mover and you simply agreed to pay part of the moving cost. It that’s all correct, you are in a strong legal situation and really don’t owe anyone anything, nor are you likely liable for any ensuing accidents problems - though as the one deep pocket with anything to do with it, you’d most likely be pulled into any litigation that happens. If you want to pay the mover because he’s a great guy and you want to use him again in the future, that’s a business decision for you. However, contractually speaking, he didn’t finish his part of the contract so he breached it - you didn’t.

Hope that helps,

Thanks for everyone’s input.

We did NOT own the home. The tenant purchased the home. Our promotion was that we’d move-in homes for free to fill our lots. Tenants would do their own utility hookups and skirting.

We DID hire the mover. He’s an experienced guy who says he’s only had this happen one other time, and that he’s moved over 300 homes. He says he inspected the home and it looked fine to him.



Good luck Jefferson. I’d say the lesson learned from this may be to let the tenant pick the mover?

What’s the way around this? It’ll happen again at some time.

My Husband and I have been the proud (well not so proud) owners of a Mobile Home that split in half while being transported.

We had hired a Licensed Mobile Home Mover to transport the Mobile Home to the dump.

It actually was a ‘condemned’ Mobile Home that needed to leave the MHP.

The Mobile Home split in half on the neighborhood, paved, city street in front of the MHP.

Initially, the Mobile Home Mover took both ‘halves’ back to the MHP.

The Mobile Home Mover ended up moving ‘half’ of the Mobile Home to the dump.

The other ‘half’ of the Mobile Home was demolished onsite at the MHP.

We paid the Mobile Home Mover the entire ‘Moving Fee’.

In addition we paid someone else an additional fee to demolish the other half of the Mobile Home.

KurtKelley’s comments are great in reference to what he would tell the Mobile Home Mover:
“1) never move a home you think might collapse during a move.
2) you’ll be responsible for moving something off the highway and to storage that you started moving.
3) simple home collapse isn’t going to be covered under your Cargo Insurance policy - they’ll exclude that
4) Getting paid for that move is the least of your worries now”

Jefferson, you indicated that you hired the Mover.

Since you hired the Mover, you are probably liable for ‘some’ amount of the move as the Mover did do some work.

However, as KurtKelley indicated that the moving expense is probably the least of anyone’s worries.

We wish you the very best!

Jefferson–I suggest letting the tenant select the mover and you reimburse the tenant with either cash or a rent concession.

Jefferson - though you hired the mover, you don’t own the home. Therefore, I think the both the home owner and the mover are going to be targets of the state to get the refuse removed before they bother with you. And should someone allege negligence on your part in this role, your general liability insurance or hired/non-owned auto liability coverage should protect you / pay anything you get stuck with.

Thanks, Kurt! That was really helpful, particularly since we may be moving some iffy homes (or deciding whether they can be moved or need to be on-site demolished.