Insuring Alternative Homes

Mark Moore graduated from Texas A&M University with a major in Agri-Business and minor in Economics. He has 25 years of banking and lending experience in all aspects, including home mortgages. He has done lending in Texas, New Mexico and Colorado and is currently Senior Vice President of Collegiate Peaks Bank in Salida, Colorado. Collegiate Peaks Bank is the largest home construction lender in the Upper Arkansas River Valley, where they try to make it easy for the borrower from construction to permanent. They place permanent mortgage financing with Affliliated Financial Group and Skyline Financial Group. They are the only bank in that region that will do financing on alternative housing. They currently have four offices, two in Chaffee County and two in the Denver area.

Questions and Answers

Q: Do you know of any insurance companies that will issue home insurance on an underground home? I have an underground home in Southwestern PA (owner/builder from the early '80's) and am in need of homeowners insurance.

Q: I am having a great deal of trouble insuring my strawbale home. Do you have any suggestions for companies who are willing to do this affordably?

A: (Gary Reed) You might try the following insurance companies. Some of our clients have had success with them insuring many types of "earth friendly" homes including strawbale.

Alton Weathers, Farm and City Insurance, 405-542-3163
Shank Insurance Agency, 972-938-2801
Susan Padgett, Netinsurance, 1-800-933-4011 ext. 28903
Rod Beavan, Sentry Insurance, 469-261-8064

Q: Can you get insurance for an earthship? If so can you recommend an insurance company and tell me a little bit about what coverage you are able to get.

A: (Gary Reed) I wish I could be more helpful but I'm a mortgage broker not an insurance broker.  Insurance for Earth Friendly homes of all types is becoming increasingly more difficult to obtain as a result of our current financial crisis.  The largest concentration of earthships of which I am aware is located near Taos, NM.  You might contact a realtor in that area who has handled some earthship transactions and who would be aware of insurance sources. I do have a client in WA who is obtaining insurance on an earth sheltered home and I recently completed a loan for an earth sheltered home here in Pagosa Springs.  They obtained insurance through a local agent but the company was Zurich, Inland Marine Declarations, Assurance Company of America, Administrative Office: 1400 American Lane, Schamburg, IL 60196.  That is all the contact info I have available.  You might contact them directly or through a local insurance agency broker.

Q: I am looking to purchase an existing berm home (concrete pods buried w southern exposure, passive solar hot water!! great home). One of the issues is getting homeowners insurance --- I can't imagine anything less flammable but insurers dont' get it. Any suggestion on providers?

A: (Kelly) I just posted an article about finding such insurance.


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