Van Life Vs. Tiny Homes: Insurance Options Explained

Ah, van life and the vagabond experience. A dream come true! Think about it. You’re free to travel the province and pull up your stakes whenever you choose. You could wake up one morning by the Rockies and settle that evening in Kamloops, Banff, Vancouver, or anywhere that pulls at your strings. What a great life indeed!

And tiny homes are a great option too, with their modest size and even more modest price tags. You need a place to live and homes are expensive. So, van life or tiny homes: what’s it going to be?

There’s really no right or wrong answer to that. But if you consider either of these increasingly popular and romantic living options, it’s important to look at a variety of factors – insurance included. Let’s look closer at the types of insurance you may need for van life vs tiny homes in BC, to help you decide if this is a route you’d like to explore.

Van Life: A Closer Look

Van life is exactly that. It’s when you live in a van, which is often an RV or a Do-It-Yourself van conversion, in which you take a normal van and ‘convert’ it to a livable space, complete with a kitchen, bathroom and/or any customizations you choose.

The sky is truly the limit with van life and the many ways you can tailor your home-on-wheels, be it an RV or a custom van built to your specifications – and the same goes for the money you can spend. Here are some of the pros and cons:

Van Life Pros:

  • Mobile Freedom
  • (Usually) Cheaper Than Owning a Home
  • Very Customizable
  • Your Dog is Never Home Alone

Van Life Cons:

  • Little Space
  • Cramped Showering
  • Uncomfortable Toilets
  • Dumping and Filling Tanks
  • Ongoing Maintenance and Repairs
  • Provincial Residency Factors

Van Life: Insurance You May Need

Given the nature of vans and RVs, there are a variety of factors to consider. Generally speaking, some van lifers find it more convenient to register their van as a motorhome, insure it with ICBC, and then get coverage for the possessions with tenant insurance or home insurance.

That’s a very simplified explanation, however. At the very least, you’ll need:

  • Car Insurance
  • Home Insurance
  • Home Liability Coverage

Van Life: What Next?

Still dreaming about van life? You need to speak with an insurance team that knows van life and who can look out for your best interests. Get in touch with us, and we’ll help you achieve your dream.

Tiny Homes: A Closer Look

A tiny home is exactly as it sounds – it’s a tiny home, made from any variety of materials and construction methods. Tiny homes are usually 500 square feet or less. Like van life, tiny homes are highly customizable, and can cost anywhere from $25,000 to well over $100,000.

That’s just for the tiny home. You still need to place it somewhere – and that space needs to be zoned for tiny homes. If you own land, that’s a good option. You may even be able to build one on the water. But very often, tiny homes get built in RV parks. In BC, you can sometimes lease land for tiny homes, or simply rent a tiny home in an existing space.

So what are the pros and cons of tiny homes?

Tiny Home Pros:

  • Cheaper than a traditional home (especially in BC!)
  • Usually more space than a van or RV
  • Eco-friendly
  • Easy to clean
  • Can often be moved

Tiny Home Cons:

  • Zoning can be problematic (although this is improving)
  • Minimal storage
  • Cooking can be tricky
  • Composting toilets can be unpleasant
  • Low resale value

Tiny Homes: Insurance You’ll Need

Tiny homes might be tiny, but they’re still homes – and they still need insurance. As with van life, the tiny homes insurance you’ll need depends on a variety of factors. The fact that they’re stationary simplifies things a little, but at the very least, tiny homes should have home insurance. It’s advisable this home insurance plan covers:

Tiny Home Life: What’s Next?

Talk to us about Tiny Home Insurance. We’re often asked about this topic and it’s important to speak with an insurance team that understands tiny homes and the nuances of finding the right coverage for what you need.

Van Life Vs. Tiny Homes: What’s Better?

From an insurance perspective, generally speaking, there are usually fewer variables with tiny homes than van life. Provincial residency is also less of an issue than it would be if you were travelling in Canada for 6 months of the year.

Still, we get it. You want to have coffee by the Rockies and the spontaneity that van life allows. There is a certain appeal for that too.

In the end, van life vs tiny homes comes down to the lifestyle you want. You’ll need insurance either way, and a team that understands insurance for van life and tiny homes, and the factors at work.

Are you still reading? Let us help you find your answers. Contact us about insurance for van life or tiny homes today.