While there are 20 million people who currently live in mobile homes, the overall trend is fewer new homes being manufactured. According to the Manufactured Housing Institute the overall trend is for fewer new homes being produced, though there are slight increases in certain areas.
This means that many of the mobile homes today are older which increases loss frequency especially with weather damage and that is leading to higher premiums for mobile homeowners.
For agents, all of this may translate into fewer carriers providing insurance for mobile homes. On the other hand, there are still several carriers who see this as an opportunity though they will need to find ways to keep the lines profitable while maintaining affordability for the homeowners.
It is also important for agents and carriers to continually educate mobile home owners on all the things they can do to mitigate losses. Much of this will revolve around simple upkeep of their homes and regular inspections as well as understanding that these ongoing steps can lessen damage when a storm does hit.
For agents who want to capitalize on this market, there are things that they can do such as focus their attention on specific mobile home parks, educate homeowners on maintenance and loss prevention and make sure homeowners understand their policies so they know what is covered and what is not.
Agents can also network in other complimentary fields such as real estate, manufactured home dealers and banks.
Mobile homes provide a low cost way for families to live the dream of owning their own home. For this reason, mobile homes are likely here to stay. For insurers this market can offer a lot of opportunity, but it is also filled with risk. Taking advantage of the opportunity while mitigating the risk is what will be required to maintain profitability in the long term.