A Tiny House Fire

About a week ago a friend of Dee Williams, Kim Langston had her nearly completed tiny house burn down. Dee wrote to the tiny house blogging community to see if we could help in any way and to let you know about it.

Dee says: The house was in the construction phase, and while it wasn’t quite complete, it was close enough that she felt certain she’d be living in it by September or October. It was completely destroyed in the fire and Kim didn’t have insurance to cover the loss.

tiny house fire

Dee continues: I’ve been so racked by this incident, it is so sad. And its brought up a couple of things for me: one is that I’d like to learn more about what sort of insurance options are out there for little hand-built structures. Houses on wheels or built on the ground. I’ve done some searching and it seems there may be some tools but the loopholes are intense; you aren’t insured, for example, if the structure is on the highway or not insured if you don’t personally own the property where it sits.

If you have insurance, or have heard of an option for these structures, could you please contact me at PAD.DeeWilliams@gmail.com. Once I have information pulled together, I’ll offer it back to our tiny house community so we can all understand what’s available. If we discover that traditional insurance is not available, it may be time to start our own Cooperative such as an organization that will help cover catastrophic loss.

Dee also told us that Kim and her friends are pulling together a Kickstarter or Indigogo fund that will help her pay down the debt she incurred through the fire and maybe even help support the dream of re-building.

If you’d like to help Kim get a jump on those fund raising efforts you can donate money through PayPal. I personally am going to donate and will also report on the official fund raising story when that kicks off.

A lot of you have been asking what caused the fire? I have just found out it was a barn fire behind where the tiny house was being constructed.

Here is a photo of the home before the fire.

tiny house

96 Comments A Tiny House Fire

  1. Deni

    What about mobile home insurance? I have a Motor Home & got insurance from Progressive for $398 / year. Maybe they offer insurance for these, too. I’m so sorry to hear this. Maybe this will help.

    Reply
  2. Mary

    Oh no! How sad! First idea: have it added to the farm policy as an out building. Farm Bureau should be able to write this from the moment it is a building of any sort. Second idea: if it were an RV, then homeowners’ insurance should cover it while it’s parked at the house. So sorry for her loss.

    Reply
  3. Sandy

    What a tragedy. On all levels. According to some fellow little canned ham trailer enthusiasts, the following companies underwrite theirs. I am of the impression that, although I have not personally verified, these companies understand “our world”. No clue on caveats and stipulations. Hope it helps.

    Foremost
    Poliseek
    BancorpSouth Insurance

    Reply
  4. Karl Davidson

    I, too, am sorry for your loss, BUT, you were so, so lucky, as it was just some overpriced building materials and trailer. I’m a 40+ year advocate of affordable housing with considerable experience in nearly every aspect of the process here, and “avoiding the ‘MAN’” and thereby avoiding any loss of my freedom to do whatever I want. Just a few folks on this thread have very politely hit on a few topics that should be explored more extensively. For the record, I am a far cry from being “one of the ‘Suits’” out there. There are at least two areas of thinking(or lack of) in this movement that have prominent, and potentially deadly consequences.
    1)Avoiding codes. 2)Anybody can do this; anything you don’t know how to do or are completely unaware that it’s a critical step in the process. [this is not an arts and craft project that you'll correct your mistakes on the next one]
    There are reasons for codes and insurance that is obtainable on everything you might decide to do, BUT; yeah, you got to meet certain criteria, be it get your contractor’s license or have a lic. contractor(who pays for and has insur. to cover your job) do parts or all of your job.
    Everywhere we go and everything we do out in world; we’re probably protected from others’ stupidity or lack of responsibility; by codes and insurance. Shopping, entertainment, schools, church, all commercial and government buildings; this list is endless.
    Many permanent structures will be rejected for insurance if they appear to be poorly maintained (even if it just needs some paint).
    Everything that you don’t know here, can kill you. That’s really not the worst that can happen;..?.? really?….really.
    The worst is the injury or loss of life of another person(s) or whole family when your uninsurable house crushes their car, your best friend’s husband is paralyzed from falling off your roof while doing you a favor. This list is also endless. It’s sad when it happens to you; it’s a tragedy when it happens to other people; and, it’s a minor incident or learning experience when it’s a trailer and lumber.
    I support being off the grid, but I’m even a stronger proponent of self responsibility. That comes into play even off the grid. Don’t kill a visitor sleeping on the floor, with mainly CO2 to breathe.

    Reply
  5. Monique Noriega

    Hello,
    So sorry to hear of your loss. I don’t know if this would apply or not but…my husband and I were looking into buying an office trailer, the kind used on construction sites. It was 10′x20′ and on wheels. Because it was on wheels it was actually classified as a “vehicle” not as a building. We ended up renting one but maybe you can check with the companies that insure mobile buildings to see what they have to say. Hope this helps.

    Reply
  6. sam

    Moving forward, get a 100+ people to kick in a thousand dollars each into a secured trust fund. Then there’s $100,000.00+ sitting in a fund waiting to help aid in such incidences. Hire someone to manage the fund, you would each pay a small fee for the work this person does for you.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>