Things to Know About Home Insurance for Those Living ‘Off the Grid’

Understanding Off-Grid Home Insurance

Living off the grid is a term coined to describe a home that is able to run without dependency on outside companies and services. The homeowners are fully in charge of handling their basic necessities, including water, heat, power, and sewage. Some people choose to relocate from the city to the wilderness or remote areas to begin this lifestyle. Often, homeowners purchase properties in these areas as a getaway place, especially during the holiday season, to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

It is important to note that calculating the premiums for homeowners insurance for these types of homes may be slightly different from the norm. Off the grid living may seem like a challenge, but the pros far outweigh the cons for homeowners that no longer desire modern conveniences or want to lower their carbon footprint.

Costs of Living Off the Grid

This type of living isn’t as simple or cheap as it may seem, which often comes as a surprise to many people. The homeowner must do adequate research on the total cost of living before embarking on this journey. Of course, producing your power, water, and sewer system significantly reduces or cancels your utility bills, but it requires a hefty start-up cost for the best setup.

Power Source

There are limited options for creating your power system, which are wind turbines or solar panels. Some people may choose to set it up themselves, but it is safer and the best option to have them installed by a professional, be it legally required or not. Setting up either of these energy systems involves working with high-voltage electrical wiring, so it is best handled by experts in the field.

Sewage

Setting up a personal system for sewage disposal will include a septic tank, and possibly a waterless composting toilet for a clean job. Septic tanks are sold at an exorbitant fee; however, investing in this system saves running costs.

Water

Creating a water system generally requires wells, pumps, and pressure tanks. The estimated cost of all the items needed for a personal water system can run well into tens of thousands of dollars. This further emphasizes that this type of living isn’t cheap or as easy as it may seem.

Heat

Off the grid heating systems often use solar energy as a heat source. Geothermal heat pumps also serve this purpose by using the boiling temperature of the deep earth to regulate cold weather above the surface. Geothermal pumps are very expensive, costing up to $20,000 or more. Other common and pocket-friendly options include propane, wood-burning stoves, and fireplaces. The problem with these cheap setups is that they present as fire hazards, which will amount to significantly high or costly insurance premiums.

How to Ensure Affordable Home insurance for Off the Grid Homes

  • Hire Professionals

DIY setups for your solar panels, wind turbines, water, or sewage systems are detrimental to your insurance cost. The provider company takes into account all the details of the house, and novice wiring work will most likely be a red flag. Besides, it is safer to hire a professional to install your electrical equipment because this type of power requires high voltage wiring.

  • Rent Out Your Property

For people that purchase off the grid homes for seasonal living, a financially-savvy decision would be to rent it out when unoccupied. Off the grid homes that are rarely deserted may ease the fear of the insurance company, attracting a lower premium rate. Leaving the home unoccupied for several months increases the risk of theft, burglary, and property destruction.

  • Install Safety Equipment

Purchasing a home close to a fire station or setting up fire alarms and emergency tools may reduce insurance costs. Insurance providers consider all the potential hazards in a home before providing estimates. A homeowner that uses the solar system or geothermal pumps is likely to pay less than those using stoves, firewood, and coal. Using these clean energy sources may attract discounts from some providers.

When you’re looking to protect your property, contact your insurance professionals at American Premier Insurance. Our dedicated experts are ready to assist you with all your home insurance needs in Phoenix, Tucson, and beyond.