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Geodesic Dome Insurance

 
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Hey, sorry if this is the wrong topic - couldn't find a proper one.  I'm looking for fellow dome owners (living space) to find out who you use for homeowners insurance.  We live in an American Ingenuity wood frame with concrete panel dome,and our insurance recently dropped us due to "unusual construction" although they've insured us for seven years prior. Seeking out new quotes we're seeing astronomical numbers (in the 3k range) even though we explain to them we've never instigated a claim in the 20 years the dome has been in existence.  We live in Florida and have survived every hurricane, including a large maple tree that landed and only caused minimal damage (fixed by us).

I hope to hear from some other dome owners about how you deal with insurers that don't understand why we're the best investment!!

Thanks-
Jessica and Luke
 
steward
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I don't have personal experience with this myself, but I believe that geodesic dome building companies may be a good place to start asking around for insurance companies.
 
pollinator
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Not to sound like a antagonist, but do you have to have it?

I have a few houses, but because I am a farmer, and two I do not live in, instead of being a cheap $500 a year for homeowners insurance, it would be $1400 a year...for each house. That is $4200 a year just in insurance premiums. So I just do not have insurance, but I own my houses outright, so no insurance required.

In the last ten years alone since I have three houses, I have saved $42,000 dollars. Here we have building companies that have kit houses, and some of their designs are as low as $30,000. So the reality is, I have saved enough money not having insurance to pay for a replacement home myself. I am self-insured in other words.

If you have to have it, my reply is useless, but sometimes people do not think of alternatives. I am super-frugal and think outside the box, so I mention it; for you, and for others where self-insurance might make sense.
 
Jessica Wright
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It's really great to hear this from you Travis, as that'e exactly what we've (somewhat reluctantly) decided to do. We are trained that insurance is a necessary evil, but in truth we are very unlikely to use it. Our only fears are a fire,  or some other unlikely scenario,  such as a small plane crashing down.... But that's how the insurance gets you- feeding on your fears, no matter how unlikely. As it stands,  we are both able bodied and one of us (my better half) built this dome so barring complete devastation we can probably take care of any issues without looking to an insurer. Do you think it's worth the trouble to seek out insurance for fire only, which is the situation that would likely be most devastating and out of our control?
 
Travis Johnson
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Jessica Wright wrote:It's really great to hear this from you Travis, as that'e exactly what we've (somewhat reluctantly) decided to do. We are trained that insurance is a necessary evil, but in truth we are very unlikely to use it. Our only fears are a fire,  or some other unlikely scenario,  such as a small plane crashing down.... But that's how the insurance gets you- feeding on your fears, no matter how unlikely. As it stands,  we are both able bodied and one of us (my better half) built this dome so barring complete devastation we can probably take care of any issues without looking to an insurer. Do you think it's worth the trouble to seek out insurance for fire only, which is the situation that would likely be most devastating and out of our control?



Jessica, I am not really the person to ask. I really HATE insurance, BUT I also am okay with taking risks...risks others would not really take.

It is easy to look back on 10 years of no problems and state that I did well because of it. I have, but had my home burned in the second year, it would have been a losing proposition.

For you, I might really research how fires start in Florida and then invest in your home to prevent them. For instance, I would think electrical fires would be a big contributor to fires, so what if you invested in arc fault protection in your load box. Or what if you installed GFCI's as the first outlet in your circuits? They would greatly reduce your chance of fire, and would cost less than one month of expensive home owners insurance.

Again, I do not know your circumstance, but being without insurance does not mean risky business. Figure out wat your greatest loss potential is (and it seems as if it is fire) and thus invest yourself in ways to minimize that risk.

Note: I say "in Florida" because in Maine, woodstoves cause the most fires. I do have a woodstove, but use it infrequently, and am really careful with it. But also keep in mind, I have (3) houses, so if one burns, I can go to another. Two are currently up for sale, so if they do sell, well I will really have to be cautious.
 
Travis Johnson
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One way I am really careful against fire, is having a Green Switch. It is hard to retrofit on an existing house, but if installed, it allows me to kill 90% of the electricity in my home when I am not there. This is huge because with that switch off, 90% of electrical fires cannot happen in my house. The well pump cannot come on either and flood my house from a busted washing machine hose. A lot of risks are eliminated with that one switch.

It does not mean those things will not happen, but when I am home, I can smell smoke better, or see flooding, etc. Again, I cannot eliminate all risk of loss, but I can eliminate some of it. My Green Switch really helps with that, and gives me peace of mind when I am not home.

For instance, "Did I leave the oven on before we left for that out of state trip?" Nope, the green switch was off. I can even have the wife take a picture of the green switch off with her phone, so she need not worry. She just looks at her phone, sees the switch was thrown, and there is little to worry about while we are gone.
 
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Hi Jessica. I just saw your post after searching google for dome house forums. We bought a geodesic dome house in February 2019. We also encountered a lot of difficulty in finding any agency to insure us. Luckily we have a family member who is a broker and he was able to shop around until he found firms that would insure us.

I feel your frustration because the dome house is supposed to stand up to wind and impacts (trees) better than traditional houses, but because of the “unique” construction, insurance companies have no way to formulate the risk and coverage for the home. It’s just a technicality, unfortunately.

If you are still looking for coverage, shoot me an email and maybe we can get you in touch with the folks that insure us. Laurencromwell28@gmail.com
 
Jessica Wright
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Thanks for the reply Lauren! It was such a pain that we ended up just canceling our insurance policy. We may send you a message in the future because we're planning on setting up the dome for Airbnb and we'll need insurance for sure then.
 
gardener
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There appears to be a bias against homesteaders in general.....insurance wise.  I just got my bill in and it took a giant leap upward.  I paid it. But, I have begun looking for options on coverage.  I live in a traditional 70s ranch.  I do have 2 fireplaces....one with an insert. I have a wood stove in addition. I also have solar in addition to commercial electric.  The problems came when an insurance inspector dropped by.  The only areas of concern he identified were the fireplaces and a pile of brush (I had a large tree taken down and was still cleaning it up).
 
pollinator
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John F Dean wrote:There appears to be a bias against homesteaders in general.....insurance wise.  I just got my bill in and it took a giant leap upward.  I paid it. But, I have begun looking for options on coverage.  I live in a traditional 70s ranch.  I do have 2 fireplaces....one with an insert. I have a wood stove in addition. I also have solar in addition to commercial electric.  The problems came when an insurance inspector dropped by.  The only areas of concern he identified were the fireplaces and a pile of brush (I had a large tree taken down and was still cleaning it up).



Yes. my barn is only insured against fire if it has no straw in it...
 
pollinator
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Our home burned down 5 years ago. We had great insurance.  We live very rurally and our local volunteer fire department only saves basements.

I cannot speak for others but we were shocked by the amount of money it took to replace what we had.  Even the items in your kitchen, or your clothes. Books, appliances big and small, Furniture even if it’s not expensive furniture..Most of us have accumulated things over time...spreading out that cost. Trying to replace the basics all at once is an incredible cost.  And we did not have expensive items.

I now pay $800 a year for insurance on our new home.  In 20 years that would not pay to replace the home that was re built for me, much less the items in the home. And ours is not at all a big home in our area.

I agree that insurance is expensive and I hate paying the bill. But, when you have lost everything that you own; and don’t even have a toothbrush to use it’s pretty tough to start over.

You could certainly buy a dwelling for little.  Or build one. But you couldn’t fill it full of sheets and towels, beds,  pots and pans and all those small items we use every day.
 
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Hi, We have a Geodesic Dome home in the San Bernardino Mountains in California. We have the state offered Cal Fire insurance, Florida may offer something similar. Our entire geographic area is a wild fire risk, so all are having difficulty getting insured, not just domes. We went through Allstate to get a “wrap around policy” that covers us for all else.   Check to see if your state offers disaster coverage.
 
pollinator
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Or what if you installed GFCI's as the first outlet in your circuits?


What are these items?
 
John C Daley
pollinator
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Found them

ground fault circuit interrupter outlets (GFCIs)
From this site I learned that electrocutions are down 83% since 1970's when they were introduced
all the  benefits of them
gift
 
Justin Rhodes 45 minute video tour of wheaton labs basecamp
will be released to subscribers in: soon!
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