Ultimately I would love to believe we are beyond wealthy, I mean we have lots of wealth the wealth of love and family, the wealth of health and jobs the wealth of faith and friendships…. The wealth of money well it’s all about what matters right? So like so many of our friends we find ourselves starting this journey with a mortgage, one we planned for, one we budgeted, one that worked. Followed by every great ( or not so great) mortgage though is …… ( insert drum roll here) INSURANCE!
We stressed about getting our mortgage I mean we bought land, lots of land that although priceless to us is worthless to the bank. So down the private lending hole we went. I mean we have a drilled well- modern, a septic – Modern, Wood Heat – in this area still pretty common place. But no power, no “back-up” heat, not finished…..” Shane I hope we can get a mortgage!” as I stress out and bite off every last one of my fingernails. The mortgage my friends was easy! ” You want to do what?”, ” Oh yes we have someone in mind”, ” Just sign here…, write a gazillion cheques, fill out this direct deposit form” Poof we have a mortgage.
That easy no-stress, no hassle mortgage needs that dreaded INSURANCE. And I get it we all want to know that our hard earned money is protected. So I called our current insurance company the one we have been devoted to for years, the one that insures our car, or rental unit, and our current residence. ” Hello, yes we just put in an offer on a new house and are in need of a new policy…. It’s off- grid”…..” CLICK”, Ok it wasn’t quite that bad they did say ” Sorry we don’t do insurance for off- grid”… and so the search continues. We did find a place that insures off-grid living OH YA!….” Just please fill out this 321,780 question survey and we will find the right policy for you.
It went fairly easy,
How big is the house?- 840 square feet main floor, 1/2 storey upstairs, full unfinished basement
How many bathrooms?- 1
How many bedrooms?- 3 ( kinda when they are finished)
Any decks?- nope stairs but currently no decks
Heat source?- Ummm strictly wood ” no back-up?” No ( and here you see it starts, and this I kind of can understand I mean if the fires go out we are at the very least out of water if the pipes don’t actually freeze and burst) ” You will have to pay a premium for that.” Alright the money I am saving by graciously making my dear husband slave away at cutting down, bucking up, splitting and dragging to the house my heat source that I will then force my poor poor over laboured kids to stack, will cover the “premium” of being able to create our own source of heat. ( side note, my husband does love doing the wood, so I’m not as evil as this sounds….don’t ask the kids though I’m am sure they feel over laboured I mean they did have to make lunch alone today)
Next question….. What are you doing for power? ( and this question well it sits funny with me, I mean it would be hard and we are not by any means planning on doing it, but it is quite , quite possible to live even happily with out power)…. Currently there is a generator we will use for our power needs until we get some solar and wind installed and running ( which we have been working on as long as I have been trying to find insurance , but that is another post),
So a generator is on site?- Yes
How many amps is your electrical panel?- 60 and here folks is where it all fell apart, I mean we are choosing to homestead, to live off our land, to work our land… most of that implies outside, we also first have to pay the outrageous price of gas to power our ” only when we will die with out it” generator and then produce our own power to meet our needs. The key word in that sentence is NEEDS. Contrary to what you may think Mr. Insurance needs does not equal- 17 T.V’s, state of the art surround sound, a computer for each body plus guest, and every other modern day “have to have” convenience, it doesn’t even need a dryer for your clothes.
And there you have my frustration, our Modern day world assumes we must have enough power available to run all the Modern day gadgets, even if we choice not to. The clash: we did find insurance to appease the lawyer and the lenders. With a clause that we must install 100 amp service with-in 90 days ( which is nuts if you can’t produce enough to require 100 amp service), We have only depreciated value of our contents which we had to pay additionally for, our house although insured for basic perils only ( think fire and smoke) is insured for a “basic “book rate not a replacement cost. We did however luck out we have enough liability if someone manages to electrocute themselves with our 60 amp service, or my husband falls a tree on them, they should be good for life.
We are choosing to live simpler and with less stuff we are paying more for less.