How to insure your yurt home

 Posted by at 7:08 pm  Yurt Yak
Dec 202010

On the insurance front I’m afraid I have sorta bad news and bad bad news.

Smile.  At least I don’t have really really bad news.

Small attempt at humor.  Very small.

I have spent the last year searching all over the country trying to find an insurance company that will write typical homeowner’s insurance for a yurt at a reasonable premium, to no avail.  In fact, I only found one insurance company that would write a homeowner’s policy on my yurt for any cost, and it had lousy coverage for extremely high premiums.  For $75,000 coverage on the yurt itself, $25,000 of coverage on the contents, and $25,000 of liability coverage ($25,000 to liability coverage might as well be no coverage at all.  If you ever get sued, that won’t cover hiring an attorney) was going to cost between $3000 and $4000 a year.  For comparison, on the same property with the same fire rating my previous house, the one that burned, had $138,000 of coverage on the structure, $90,000 of coverage on the contents, and either $500,000 or $1,000,000 in liability coverage, for a premium of about $900 a year.

Needless to say, I didn’t take their offer.

The only way I can think of to get regular homeowners insurance on a yurt is to not use the word “yurt” when you’re talking to the insurance company, and use one of the insurance companies that does not send an agent out to take pictures of the house, instead, writing the insurance over the phone and through e-mail.  Understand, I am not suggesting you lie, I am only suggesting you answer each question truthfully and briefly.


As I said, be truthful but be brief.  When you call them you want to ensure your home, not your yurt.  You will be asked about the foundation.  Answer slab, crawlspace, or whatever, but do not tell them about your round platform or your round deck.  You will be asked about the framing.  A yurt is, truthfully, a wood frame house, and that is what you tell them, not that the walls are wooden lattice.  You will be asked how big your house is.  The correct answer is not that it is 30 feet in diameter; it is that it is 706 square feet.  As I said, answer every question truthfully but briefly.

There are two questions you will probably be asked that may throw a monkey wrench into this plan.  You’ll be asked about siding and roofing material, and there is no way to truthfully fudge on your answer, but you can put as good a face on it as possible.  Do not call the side cover and top cover PVC, high tech canvas, or any other common name you may have heard it referred to as.  The side cover and top cover of the yurt, at least a yurt from Pacific Yurts, is technically (and truthfully) architectural fabric.  The fact that the term “architectural” is in there will not hurt a bit.

If you cannot get homeowners insurance, you have two other options.  The first is ensuring it as you would any outbuilding on your property, be it a barn, a garage, or a workshop, and then get contents insurance (commonly called “renters insurance”) on your belongings.  In all likelihood you will not be able to get enough coverage on the “outbuilding” to cover the cost of buying and erecting the yurt, but at least you’ll have some coverage.  For liability coverage you will have to pick up a personal umbrella policy with whatever limit you think is appropriate and that you can afford a premium on.

The last, and least attractive, option is to self insure on the structure and cover your contents and liability as in the previous example.

Insuring a yurt as a residence is difficult…but yurt living is worth it.  I’ve been in my Pacific Yurt for a year now (read about the first year HERE), and if I could go back and do the last year over I wouldn’t change a thing.

Well..maybe I’d cut that pine tree down before it fell.

I’m yurt-experienced, but not an “expert.  If you have any observations on the yurt section of (or any other section), please leave a comment…and if you have a question, please ask.  Either I’ll have the answer, I’ll get the answer, or another reader here will have an answer.

No observations?  No questions?  Leave a comment anyway…maybe about what you’d like added to or changed about JuicyMaters.  Or maybe even just to say “Hi!”

All about Bob the nutjob!

Bob is a N Georgia blogger, homesteader, yurt liver, self-sufficiency nutjob, pig farmer, political activist, politician baiter...and the best damn cook you know that doesn't make a living at it.He can be followed onTwitter. You can also "Like" our Facebook page.

  19 Responses to “How to insure your yurt home”

Comments (18) Pingbacks (1)
  1. Just submitted this page on a bing forum so a couple more people might check it out.

  2. We got a Nationwide farm policy on our 30′ yurt. We have it on 35 acres in Colorado. The policy covers the structure, contents and liability. We were able to get a farm policy because there is livestock on the acres (leased by a local rancher) and also wildlife (deer. elk, bear. etc.) We pay close to $800 a year. Hope that helps.

  3. That is great info…I hadn’t thought of that. I’ll be checking into it with my insurance company tomorrow.

    I appreciate it greatly…and I’m sure other folks that stop by will appreciate it as well. Thanks!

  4. Just got homeowners insurance for my 30′. In NM try Chavela Esparza @ 505-989-0767. Outside NM, try Colonial General.

  5. Ryan…thanks for the info. You have just given me…and many others…hope thy can solve one of the few problems involved in yurt living.

  6. I am in the process of finding yurt insurance now. I have found a wholesaler who says they can cover such a thing, but he only deals with brokers. It is tough going so far, but I am getting there. Found some others that people tell me cover yurts but they do not have any NY brokers. For the $20,000+ we paid for this thing, I will get it insured one way or another. Documenting the process as I go along if anyone is interested:

  7. I’ve come close on insurance…gotten a lot of promises from insurance folks who claimed to be able to write it, right up until it came time to actually bind the policy…then something always “came up”.

    Let us know if you have better luck…and keep coming back to visit JuicyMaters!

  8. Well I did find someone to insure the yurt and signed/paid the policy.. Was gonna tell you about it on your show tonight but you weren’t there! 😛

  9. Oh damn Jeff…sorry! I didn’t realize I had not updated that page!

    The show was put on hiatus (like that fancy showbiz term?…LOL)a few months back due to some technical difficulties I was having producing a quality show…if I can’t do it right and make it look good, I don’t want to do it and turn out something I’m not happy with.

    Sorry guy.

    The good news is that the show will be starting back up in the next 30-60 days. Until then, please keep coming back and enjoy the rest of the site. You might want to share the insurance info…company, etc…in the comments. I’m sure many readers would appreciate it…I know I would.

  10. @ Bob:
    Well, if you want that long story with who to contact, you can see it here:

    I also linked back to this post from there to give credit where credit is due. This post was helpful during my search!

    But short story is, my agent found a company who will provide fire and contents coverage (but no wind or snow load) and is pretty confident she can find anyone an agent in their state (she handles NY and a couple other states) who will use the same underwriter. Since she makes a small commission on referrals and was extremely diligent in helping me find a policy, I am leaving it at that so as to drum her up a little yurt insurance business for helping me get what seemed to be impossible to find. Now I can concentrate on my solar power setup! 🙂

    I will keep checking back here and can’t wait until the hiatus is over!

  11. Your website has been a great help so far!
    I have been looking into land in the Hudson Valley and my plan is to build a yurt instead of a cabin.
    I would love ANY direction in getting this process started. How do you begin to ask the right questions about building codes and insurance?
    Please help! I’m so excited to start this adventure, but really need direction as to where to get started!
    Please email me at [email protected]
    Thank you so much!

  12. @ Carly Clark:
    Hi Carly, I lived in the Hudson Valley for a long time, beautiful area! We have an ongoing thread about this here:

    I hope this helps! 🙂

  13. Hi Carly…thanks for the kind words about the site. Those are the words I love to hear, as JuicyMaters is intended to be THE go-to site on the internet regarding homesteading and yurts, but especially yurts, so your words mean a lot to me. They mean I MUST be doing something right!

    I don’t know exactly what info you are looking for, but there is a lot on the website. It can be a little hard to dig it out because my posts are usually one “story” in my entire yurt experience, and they usually don’t follow any particular order of things to be done. It seems I’m either writing to answer a question someone had that needed more than an answer in the comments, or I am writing about something random that struck me that needed saying that hadn’t been said yet…LOL.

    Because of that I am writing a how-to series of “guides” to making one’s yurt dreams happen. They will cover topics like dealing with the legal issues of building an “unusual” structure for a dwelling to site selection to yurt company selection to actual construction.

    Each guide, or report, will be released separately and will be available for a nominal charge, beginning in October, with a new guide coming out about every two weeks. They will lead you, step-by-step, through the process of achieving one’s yurt dream.

    There are two ways you can find out when a new guide is released. You can watch for an announcement in a blog post, or, to make sure you don’t miss it, you can sign up for our email list and you will be notified by email when there is a new release in the series. When you sign up to the list, you will receive a free copy of our guide to different alternative housing styles, which you don’t need as you have already decided on a yurt, but it gets you on the list for the Yurt Dream Guide series. Who knows…as a bonus you might actually enjoy the report!

    There are two ways to sign up for our email list. When you first come to JuicyMaters, if your computer has cleared your cookies since your last visit, you will first see a page offering the report in exchange for you signing up. If you elect to enter JuicyMaters without signing up, that’s OK…and you won’t see the report offering page again (unless you clear your cookies…then it shows up once on your next visit). If you decide later that you want to get it, either use the signup form in the right sidebar OR go to this URL and you will get the signup page again:

    Again, thanks for your kind words…and keep coming back!

  14. I just found out your blog and it. It has been written in 2010 so I don’t know if what is in it is still valid!
    I have a question regarding “property tax”. Is a yurt built as primary residence treated as real estate and prone to property tax?

  15. Well, this is two years later Veronique, but NO a yurt is not considered a permanent structure and so there is no property tax. You may have to fight it but they cannot tax you.

  16. Susan, there IS a “but” to go along with that.

    While a yurt is considered a temporary structure and thus not taxed (though the land and improvements like a well and septic system that add value WILL be taxed) it is also not, usually, an approved, permitted structure and can be subject to zoning authorities making you remove it. Be prepared for that possibility.

  17. Hi Bob,

    Ok in this post about insurance I read the whole thing cause like I said I’m looking to get into the Yurt life. But anyway I read where you had done a blog post about being in your Pacific Yurt for a year and that if I wanted to read about it I should go (HERE) well guess what Bob (HERE) takes you no where its leave you standing at the door with no key to open it… thank you forgot to make the word (HERE) a hyperlink so that that door would open…..LOL

  18. Thanks Patti…I’ll get it straightened out.


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