Author Topic: Can't get my hobbit house insured :(  (Read 1391 times)

kbranca

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Can't get my hobbit house insured :(
« on: December 19, 2018, 10:19:50 PM »
Hello,  We just bought a lovely little undergound reinforced concrete dome house.  Passed inspections with flying colors, and super well-designed and built.  But no one wants to insure us because it's off-grid, alternative structure, and owner-built.  The previous owner was actually insured by State Farm, so we tried to get a policy through them, but they said their underwriting procedures are much stricter now and we will probably be declined. 

We actually feel ok about self-insuring the actual property structure.  We have enough assets to cover a total loss of the property.  And the risks are low in our opinion, as it's pure concrete and totally underground, so wind/fire are not a huge concern for us. 

What freaks us out is not having liability insurance to protect us in case of slip/falls/dog bites/ etc.  We hope to rent out our home on airbnb from time to time, do homeswapping, and have lots of friends/guests over for non-business reasons as well. 

 If we can't get a typical homeowners insurance policy, what can we do about the liaibility aspect?  Any ideas?  Thanks!

innkeeper77

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Re: Can't get my hobbit house insured :(
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2018, 10:42:46 PM »
I would recommend talking to an insurance agent about an umbrella liability policy, making sure it is one that will cover you in your home in the absence of home insurance. You MAY even find that with the right umbrella policy you could reduce your auto liability to state minimums and let the umbrella cover the rest. (I am NOT a licensed agent, check with your specific policies and location, and verify with your agent)

sammybiker

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Re: Can't get my hobbit house insured :(
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2018, 05:05:13 AM »
Was going to say the same thing as @innkeeper77  and go check out umbrella insurance and see if that will bridge the gap on liability.

theoverlook

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Re: Can't get my hobbit house insured :(
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2018, 06:45:28 AM »
A third vote for umbrella liability. You might also look into renter's insurance. I know you're not renting, but the coverage might be appropriate for what you're looking for.

merula

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Re: Can't get my hobbit house insured :(
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2018, 08:48:40 AM »
Insurance professional here. Umbrella policies are meant to sit OVER other policies, not substitute for them. It would be very weird for a carrier to agree to cover your liability with an umbrella when you don't have an underlying policy, as that's just not what the Umbrella is meant to do.

Do you have any other properties that ARE insured? If so, and if the liability isn't strictly tied to the property (mine isn't, but state regulations play a big part in what is covered), then you would have liability coverage at the Hobbit House or any other location.

My best advice would be to find an independent insurance agent and lay out your situation. An independent agent is one that works with multiple different carriers (unlike State Farm or Allstate, which work with just one), and they can often do a lot more for weird situations like yours because they have a wider variety of options.

Oh! You said "we". Do you mean that you and a partner bought/built the house? Is there any chance that the property is in the name of only one of you, so that the other could get renter's insurance to cover liability and a small amount of personal property?

kbranca

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Re: Can't get my hobbit house insured :(
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2018, 09:05:01 AM »
thanks Merula for your very imformed response!  the hobbit house is owned by both my husband and I, and we do have home insurance on our current home, although it's in a different state than the hobbit house and we'll be ending our home insurance when we sell this home in a few months. 

i will find an individual agent who can hopefully piece together the right coverage for us.  Thanks again!

SwordGuy

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Re: Can't get my hobbit house insured :(
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2018, 01:02:50 PM »
I'm guessing you bought this for cash?

tralfamadorian

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Re: Can't get my hobbit house insured :(
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2018, 03:07:24 PM »
Insurance professional here. Umbrella policies are meant to sit OVER other policies, not substitute for them. It would be very weird for a carrier to agree to cover your liability with an umbrella when you don't have an underlying policy, as that's just not what the Umbrella is meant to do.

+1

My carrier confirmed that all properties, residence and autos had adequate insurance before allowing us to sign up for a new umbrella policy.

Rural

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Re: Can't get my hobbit house insured :(
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2018, 03:16:21 PM »
We were able to insure our earth sheltered house through Progressive after State Farm turned us down. Liability was our big concern, too.