Understanding how the insurance industry works
Every state is different. So, it must be understood that the states have insurance departments that, in effect, control all of the insurance for the structures within that state.
In most states, rates will be established by the state unless opted out by the insurance company itself.
For instance, Texas has an address for every property. That address is in a state-controlled database, and that property is evaluated and assigned a rating. An insurance company that wants to insure in Texas subscribes to its rates. So the insurance company looks up the rate for that property and charges accordingly. Some will charge more, some will charge less depending on the rating of that structure.
But most states have exemptions that allow an insurance company to set the rates. And some companies set their own rates for structures that they insure, without respect to the state rates. Allstate Insurance is one that sets its own rates. I am sure that in some states they will use state rates, but in most states they do not.
Special rates for concrete structures
Some states have rates for all-concrete houses. Idaho is one. If the home is structurally all-concrete – floors, outside walls, roof – they have a vastly reduced rate over a house that has concrete walls but a wood roof.
In Idaho, if you tell your local insurance agent that you want the all-concrete house rate, s/he will ask the state for it, and you will get the best rate you can be given.
Texas is not one of those states that has a special rate for all-concrete houses. The best rate in Texas is for a house with all-brick outside walls, but not wood and brick. But they are still rated with a wood roof. That is the lowest rate that Texas has and it is a fairly good one. If the insurance companies use that rate, it will probably be the best you will get in Texas. Sometimes you must encourage the insurance company to look for a better rate.
So what does that mean?
That means that in most states you must either personally contact your state’s insurance rating department or have your agent do it to get the all-concrete rating. The fact that you can do that is not something generally known by most insurance agents.
Exception: some insurance companies do their own rating. So if you call the small, little-known company it probably will use the state rate, but some of the big companies, such as Allstate, in most areas do their own rating. I suggest you talk to the company that does its own rating.
Don’t forget: Monolithic Domes are still a secret!
And because they’re still a secret, ask your local insurance agent to check with headquarters for a special all-concrete rate. State Farm Instance once told me that their national level knew about Monolithic Domes and the lower-premium rate they deserve. But their local offices did not have that information, and they had no way of informing every agent at every location.
One of the disadvantages of being a secret is that the world does not know about the Monolithic Dome’s safety features. But after Hurricane Katrina, State Farm headquarters called me. State Farm suggested that I tell folks planning on building a church that the insurance rate for a Monolithic Dome is vastly reduced. State Farm was extremely concerned about the huge premiums they had to charge to cover traditional structures in case of a hurricane such as Katrina.
State Farm did a sample rate on a sample church in Louisiana. For a Monolithic Dome church they would charge $8,000 for the insurance. At present, if it was a same-size structure made of metal, they would charge $80,000. They were concerned that $80,000 was almost confiscatory or make the churches go without insurance.
I wish I could make it easier for you. I suggest that you make a copy of this article for your insurance agent. That should help you get the most reasonable rate. You may have to do some of the work yourself. You may have to call the state and/or find the insurance companies that do not rely on state rates.
Here’s another suggestion: Read about the insurance-shopping experience of one Monolithic Dome home owner.