the insurance maze

One of the things that’s been very frustrating has been the process of trying to get the cabin insured against loss. I had no idea that his would be such a major ordeal… I mean, it’s not like we’re located in the Alaska wilderness! Nonetheless, I’m now on my fifth insurance agency, and hoping that Farmers’ will be the one that finally offers us coverage.

As I’ve learned, our cabin is too small, too remote, too far from a fire hydrant, in the wrong state, and on the wrong kind of foundation. I’m glad we didn’t try to get a mortgage on the place because we would have never met the insurance requirement (not to mention the inspection, but that’s a separate issue). If you’re reading out there, I’d love to know whether you have insurance on your remote cabin and, if so, from whom?


Where does water come from?

In recent weeks, many people would say that water comes from Hurricane Sandy: in waves over beaches and homes along the northeast cost, or in sideways through cracks in windows, roofs, and walls. Although we hunkered down for the storm in our Maryland home, we worried about the cabin the whole time. Could it withstand 90 MPH winds? Would the trees give out and topple on our roof (which is precarious at best)?

Five days after the storm, we arrived to find the cabin in fine working shape other than a loss of water. Which was curious, since our water system is spring-fed, meaning it comes directly out of the ground. Macguyver/George (the previous owner) built a cistern across the road that captures spring water from the hillside and funnels it into a second cistern under the house. An inspection revealed that our problem was some cracking of the roadside collection site, which looks like this:


But how do you fix a crack that’s under running water? Jen had the brilliant idea to try pool cement, which you mix up into a putty consistency and hold in place one messy handful at a time. Several ruined pairs of work gloves later, the water was once again running into our water lines. I still can’t figure out how 10 inches of rain caused a cement cistern to crack, but mother nature is a tricky gal. We got the water on again just in time to close the place up for the winter. Karma, man.