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Old 03-18-2009, 01:39 PM
 
Location: Interior AK
4,729 posts, read 9,078,832 times
Reputation: 3368

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While my new house isn't technically in the bush, we will be way out in the middle of nowhere. There is not zoning, regulations, permits, inspections, law enforcement or fire/EMS services in my area (unincorporated burough). I'm having a seriously hard time finding any insurance company that will grant me a policy, not even liability-only. They either laugh at me and flat-out refuse, or they want to charge me a small fortune in premiums with high deductibles and minimal coverage... and that's just for liability, not even comprehensive/personal.

Have any of you who live in the bush or at the end of the road run into this situation? Is insurance just not even worth it up there if you don't have a mortgage? Being without liability insurance does scare me a bit, you never know when some idiot will try to sue you... but maybe that's not as common up there? Has anyone found a company that will cover these types of properties for reason rates with reasonable conditions?
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Old 03-18-2009, 11:30 PM
 
Location: Haines, AK
1,121 posts, read 4,145,050 times
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Default good luck

Good luck on your search, I suspect it's not going to be either easy or simple.

I recently had a run-in with USAA Insurance on a simple homeowners policy. The town I live in has fire service (volunteer, ISA rating 5, middle of the range), the house is only 300 feet from a hydrant, and I've already insured a house less than 1/4 mile away for over a year. Since I took out that policy USAA instituted a computer-based "geo-coding" system that has apparently classified ALL of this area as a "brush fire hazard area".

What a crock of shyte, we get about 200 inches of rainfall here a year! It's a coastal rainforest, for cryin out loud! In actual fact, you'd need repeated napalm strikes to get the forest here to burn at all, and even then it'd be an uphill battle.

I suspect the REAL reason is that all of the insurance companies have taken huge losses in the stock market, and are getting exceedingly anxious to cut their exposure on the property and casualty side. USAA is a reciprocal insurance agency, the only stockholders are the policy holders, and they are all military officers and NCO's. They already have a built-in limitation towards the worst of the risk categories, since they're not forced to accept or insure the general public at large. To me, this hints heavily towards a company that's trying to cut their losses by just excluding anything at all out of the ordinary. Alaska is already a very small market, and I'm sure that they don't worry too much about losing it since it's not that big a portion of their business.
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Old 03-18-2009, 11:36 PM
 
Location: Interior AK
4,729 posts, read 9,078,832 times
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Ummm, gee... can you guess who I have all my insurance through? Double-darn!!

If they're whining about your place being a fire hazard... they're really going to love my place with only 12 inches of rain a year and completely surrounded by boreal forest!
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:33 AM
 
Location: Casa Grande, AZ
8,685 posts, read 15,085,608 times
Reputation: 10319
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissingAll4Seasons View Post
Ummm, gee... can you guess who I have all my insurance through? Double-darn!!

If they're whining about your place being a fire hazard... they're really going to love my place with only 12 inches of rain a year and completely surrounded by boreal forest!
Might be time to rethink insurance issue and is it worth it....water tank and pressure hose maybe....cheaper than....

Last edited by Grannysroost; 03-19-2009 at 12:33 AM.. Reason: if all else fails, evacuation plan....
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Old 03-19-2009, 01:57 AM
 
145 posts, read 519,157 times
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Hi,

Wow, does this hit close to home. We had a small amount of owner financing--a TINY amount. Suddenly, he wanted us to get house insurance. I checked all around and once they got done laughing they told me 'good luck.' I did find Rural Alaska who was some higher than the mainstream places...but not too bad.

I am totally disgusted with this whole process as no one wants to insure a cabin whose 'fascia' is not painted. God. I mean, really. Oh, and also, the 3 measly steps needed a railing.

Oh, and dogs. They don't like dogs.
Oh, and woodstoves, they really don't like those.

You could try these people...they insure all over the state. I don't have them (or anybody for that matter) so have no clue how they are. The woman was very nice though...which was a relief after the reception I received at the 'other' places.

Good luck to ya

Insurance or no insurance you are coming to the best place on Earth!


Rural Alaska Insurance Agency
Fairbanks
800-478-6050


Deb
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Old 03-19-2009, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Interior AK
4,729 posts, read 9,078,832 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grannysroost View Post
Might be time to rethink insurance issue and is it worth it....water tank and pressure hose maybe....cheaper than....
Either that or an excavated pond with a fire pump... it might take a few years for it to accumulate enough water from rain and snow for me to feel safe... but paying the excavator and buying the pump & hose is probably less expensive and safer in the long run.
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Old 03-19-2009, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Interior AK
4,729 posts, read 9,078,832 times
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Thanks for the tip Deb. I'm sure they are realy not going to like my house... plastered straw bale, living roof, heated with woodstove, solar hot water run through a collector on the back of the stove, composting toilet with graywater reclamation... so far from the definition of a "typical" home, and that's before I get dogs and livestock.
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Interior alaska
6,381 posts, read 12,861,372 times
Reputation: 3491
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissingAll4Seasons View Post
Thanks for the tip Deb. I'm sure they are realy not going to like my house... plastered straw bale, living roof, heated with woodstove, solar hot water run through a collector on the back of the stove, composting toilet with graywater reclamation... so far from the definition of a "typical" home, and that's before I get dogs and livestock.
Baker and Assoc. in Fairbanks does a lot of policies for houses off the fire system. They were by far cheapest when I got a policy for my house, if it burns, by the time the closest fire department could show up with advance notice of the fire, it will be pretty much time for breaking out the hot-dogs and marshmallows....
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Interior AK
4,729 posts, read 9,078,832 times
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Thanks Starlite - I'll check them out, too.
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
17,824 posts, read 21,246,083 times
Reputation: 6523
State Farm and Allstate like to sign people up at a reasonable rate, then the following year increase the premiums by 25%+ even if you file no claim. Magoon is right about the dogs. If you own an Akita, German Shepard, Pitbull, Husky (Alaskan or Siberian), or a Mastiff, you better not tell your insurance carrier or they will increase your rates.

As far as earthquake insurance is concerned, expect to pay double the full coverage premiums and a very high deductable (15% or more of the value of the home). So if you are paying $750/year for full comprehensive home insurance, add on another $750/year for earthquake insurance and you have to cough up the first 15% of your home's value before you see a penny of that insurance money.
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