Hi there, my name is Mary. I live in a beautiful off grid home in rural New England. I'm hoping to connect with others who live off grid and have experience with what I'm going through. I'm looking for advice on insurance companies that provide homeowners insurance for us. Our house is new, build last year. Super energy efficient and fire proof, (it's an icf house)... But our insurance company won't insure us! They said " the location of the house is seasonal and road not passable during extreme weather."... I'm really pissed about this!! We live .9 mile from a street with other houses!! Our road certainly IS passable, as I drive it every morning to bring my children to school! Yes, we live in a DIRT road, but so does almost EVERYONE out here in the country.! So I don't know what to do. . I tried calling another company and they said they probably cancelled us because we were off grid but didn't want to say that. Does anyone have any suggestions for insurance? One company said they'd insure us, but it was like 2000 dollars which is absurd compared to the 800 bucks I was used to before we build this new house. Any ideas on who to call? Luckily we own the house, so we have a little time here without a mortgage company freaking out on us.
Is there a particular reason you need insurance? Could you save or invest that money and earn interest or dividends? I myself am trying to remove myself from what I call the "fear-based economy" of insurance, and looking for alternatives to insurance. I wonder what other ideas folks will have.
I did contemplate not having any. Im not too concerned about fire with the house, I guess I'm more worried about the solar system and lightening or something crazy happening to the system. It's a huge investment.
I'm not a homeowner's agent, but I am a homeowner's adjuster.
You're definitely right in wanting to insure your property. If it would be a financial problem for you to have the house destroyed, then you should take steps to prevent that problem.
As far as carriers, it's going to be hard for anyone to help across state lines. Even the national insurers are forced to behave differently from state to state, because they have to adapt to each state's laws. Nationwide Ohio and Nationwide Indiana are different, for example.
So the best I can tell you is, call lots of them. Call the small insurers, call the large insurers. Call independent agents, call captive agents. Call lots of them.
There's no way to predict who wants to insure a place like yours, but somebody does. Each year, they make plans. Some of them are saying, "You know what? We only want big houses in medium-sized towns. This year, we're going to give them better rates to attract more of them, and we'll use whatever excuse comes up to have fewer of other types." And other ones are saying, "Nobody wants to insure mobile homes this year, that means the rates are going to get sweeter, let's pursue mobile home owners." They all shift and churn. They add this type and drop that type. Somebody out there wants brand-new, eco-friendly houses. Not the first two places you tried, evidently, but somebody does. Keep calling till you find them.
Mary Carrot wrote:We put everything Into this place. I'd hate to lose everything if there was a tornado or something terrible.
Tyler Ludens wrote: I think tornadoes are rare in New England. What are the likely hazards, and are they likely to destroy your home?
Statistically, it's water from plumbing. Over the whole country, it's hail, but in the northeast, it's water from plumbing.
If a fitting on a pipe fails while you're away for the day, it can be astonishing damage in just a few hours. If you're away for the WEEK... well, if you're away for the week, you should turn off the water.
Thank you for the helpful info. I was feeling discouraged but this gives me hope. I do feel like it would be a good thing to have. They want everyone to be more energy efficient and have less carbon impact, etc., and then they penalize you for actually doing it. Frustrating. I have heard of water pipes being a big one for claims though. We actually put in a drain in our floor that connects to our foundation drainage that daylights out down the hill "just in case" we ever had a pipe go when not home. So that's good! Maybe I could tell them that and save myself some money! haha! But seriously, the house itself is pretty safe from a claims standpoint. We don't even have a furnace or fireplace. I guess I'm most concerned about the solar system, with lightening and wind.... I feel like the storms we get are wicked sometimes! I'm probably overly cautious. lol.
Thanks for the help, I'm going to look up those sites you provided!
If you don't find someone based on Redhawk's links, then be sure to call a "Multiple Lines" Agent. I'm not sure how they will be listed in the phone book but they are a company that sells for a lot of insurance companies, not exclusively for one company.
"road not passable during extreme weather" Are they referring to your driveway? A county road? or a private road? Or a road which you have easement rights?
Invasive plants are Earth's way of insisting we notice her medicines. Stephen Herrod Buhner
Everyone learns what works by learning what doesn't work. Stephen Herrod Buhner
Diego Footer on Permaculture Based Homesteads - from the Eat Your Dirt Summit