Author Topic: How is legally living "off the grid" possible?  (Read 5584 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline SardonicSmile

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 139
How is legally living "off the grid" possible?
« on: December 15, 2009, 06:00:44 AM »
What about property taxes, insurance, and permits? I'm sure there are workarounds, but I just have no idea what they are.

Offline MountainDon

  • Administrator
  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 15,778
  • Gender: Male
  • Jemez Mountains, NM; that's pronounced HEY-mess
    • My 15.75 x 30 Jemez Cabin
Re: How is legally living "off the grid" possible?
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2009, 06:42:24 AM »
"Off the grid", to me, simply means not connected to the electrical company power lines.

"Off the radar", on the other hand, is another matter altogether and does involve the bending if not the outright breaking of rules and regulations. That can be very difficult in some places.


Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time and money to fix it?

Offline Dallas2build

  • Junior Member
  • **
  • Posts: 61
  • Gender: Male
Re: How is legally living "off the grid" possible?
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2009, 01:05:37 PM »
The term has a loose meaning.  To many including myself "off the grid" would mean off of public utilities.  No electricity, cable, garbage pick up, public water or sewer, etc...  Some in the survivalist community use the term "off the grid" as Mountain Don described it off of the radar, or hidden from any government entity.

I would think "off the radar" would be near impossible unless you are willing to bend a few laws.  For example trespassing is the first one that comes to mind because you wouldn't want to have any record of land ownership. 

Offline MountainDon

  • Administrator
  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 15,778
  • Gender: Male
  • Jemez Mountains, NM; that's pronounced HEY-mess
    • My 15.75 x 30 Jemez Cabin
Re: How is legally living "off the grid" possible?
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2009, 01:52:50 PM »
Thinking more about this I did a Google, "what does off grid mean?"

Mother Earth News says: Usually when people say they are living “off the grid” they mean that, very simply, their home doesn’t get its electricity from the power lines. Instead, they’re living without electricity, or generating their own. However, the term is sometimes used to mean something broader. “Living off the grid” can imply that you’re self-sufficient in other ways, too: For example, you may be getting your water from a well, and heating your home with a woodstove. Being completely off grid would make you completely independent of the utility companies!

Wisegeek says: The term “off the grid” describes a structure which is not connected to the electrical grid or other public utilities. People most commonly use this term to describe an autonomous house, a house which is capable of functioning all on its own, although technically buildings and other structures can be off the grid as well. The term is also used to describe a particular lifestyle which is embodied by autonomous structures.

Wikipedia says: The term “off the grid” describes a structure which is not connected to the electrical grid or other public utilities. People most commonly use this term to describe an autonomous house, a house which is capable of functioning all on its own. The term is also used to describe a particular lifestyle which is embodied by autonomous structures.

???

So what do other public utilities include? Water, sewer, natural gas are the obvious ones that come to mind. Telephone land line. But what about cell phone service? Propane is a somewhat fuzzy area. Propane is not a public utility, but it does take the place of one. To me if you use propane, no matter how it gets to you, that is just like having a utility connection.


Our cabin is off grid, no power company. We still rely on propane for cooking and refrigeration. That sort of irks me as we're still paying "the man" for energy. I would like more panels and more or larger batteries so we could use an electric refrigerator. However cooking presents a problem. Gas or some kind or a wood stove are the alternatives that come to mind. Well, a microwave can do some cooking and we do use that off our solar electric.

The definition does raise a good question. I'll start a poll and see what sort of a consnsus we can arrive at.




Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time and money to fix it?

Offline glenn kangiser

  • The Troglodyte
  • Administrator
  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 24,678
  • Gender: Male
  • Central California Sierras- Home of Yosemite NP
    • Underground Cabin
Re: How is legally living "off the grid" possible?
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2009, 05:47:44 PM »
"Off the grid", to me, simply means not connected to the electrical company power lines.

"Off the radar", on the other hand, is another matter altogether and does involve the bending if not the outright breaking of rules and regulations. That can be very difficult in some places.




... however I hold that those rules and regulations are against our God given rights to feed and shelter our families... [waiting]

I realize I may have to fight for these rights some day and it is a decision that each person has to make.  In many areas it would likely not be possible to try what I am doing.

The state requires that we hook to the grid if it is available since off grid power is so unreliable.  They are the ones who are always broke down - have a look here.  

http://www.pge.com/myhome/customerservice/energystatus/outagemap/.  

The grid is on my property going to my neighbors house -about 400 feet to the pole.  I tell them to stick their grid where the sun doesn't shine.



"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

Glenn's Underground Cabin  http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=151.0

Please put your area in your sig line so we can assist with location specific answers.

Offline RainDog

  • No Edits, Plus Post Approval Required
  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 551
  • Gender: Male
Re: How is legally living "off the grid" possible?
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2009, 05:57:37 PM »

 Glenn,

 The state requires you to connect to the grid? What's their rationale for that?

 I could understand that if, say, you were operating a public facility or something, but a private residence? Amazing.
NE OK

Offline glenn kangiser

  • The Troglodyte
  • Administrator
  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 24,678
  • Gender: Male
  • Central California Sierras- Home of Yosemite NP
    • Underground Cabin
Re: How is legally living "off the grid" possible?
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2009, 06:11:56 PM »
The false reason --- "Off grid is too unreliable, so if you won't look out for your self, the state will do it for you." quoting the lady at the building department.

The real reason:    More inspections, more permits, more fees, more taxes to support their parasitic lifestyle, forced connection to their cronies at the power company - the number one group to report you to them.  They have no other visible means of support - vagrants....control, control ... I won't comply --- I'm outa control... [waiting]
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

Glenn's Underground Cabin  http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=151.0

Please put your area in your sig line so we can assist with location specific answers.

Offline glenn kangiser

  • The Troglodyte
  • Administrator
  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 24,678
  • Gender: Male
  • Central California Sierras- Home of Yosemite NP
    • Underground Cabin
Re: How is legally living "off the grid" possible?
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2009, 06:19:32 PM »
Note that all rebate programs in the state require that you be grid tied also.  If you are out of control, then no free money for you.... [noidea'
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

Glenn's Underground Cabin  http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=151.0

Please put your area in your sig line so we can assist with location specific answers.

Offline Virginia Gent

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 145
  • Gender: Male
Re: How is legally living "off the grid" possible?
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2009, 09:12:49 PM »
You all should take a look at a website called http://teamlaw.net/
For starters you must approach this website with an open mind and be willing to read what they have to say and look into the proof they present.

I'll give you the cliff notes though. Basically, they say that most people in America have been tricked into entering multiple contracts with, what they classify as two Corporate entities they label as Corp. US & Corp STATE (STATE being whatever state you live in). They claim, and provide their proof, that the government of the United States created a corporation back in 1871 under The District of Colombia Organic Act of 1871. This corporation then assumed the responsibilities of the government of the United States, thus allowing them to do things that we all, today, notice as being highly unconstitutional; they can do this because they have gotten you contract certain "rights" to them. Then, between the years 1962 & 1972, the states created their own corporations to get you to do the same thing; hence why they can "make" you get permits, licenses, pay property taxes, and so forth.

It seems ludicrous, but just look at what they have to say before you brush it off as crazy talk. Understanding the Law is hard and time consuming, but I have personally found the Charter for the creation of what is known as Corp. VIRGINIA ... which is our State Constitution surprisingly enough.
“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”
~Thomas Jefferson~

Offline glenn kangiser

  • The Troglodyte
  • Administrator
  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 24,678
  • Gender: Male
  • Central California Sierras- Home of Yosemite NP
    • Underground Cabin
Re: How is legally living "off the grid" possible?
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2009, 07:38:59 AM »
State can also be any government - even federal - such as "Enemy of the State."

I suggest reading

http://mises.org/easaran/chap3.asp    

"Anatomy of the State" for a better understanding of State - what it is and what it does also.

Exerpts from it's endnotes:

Quote
[42] Amidst the flux of expansion or contraction, the State always makes sure that it seizes and retains certain crucial "command posts" of the economy and society. Among these command posts are a monopoly of violence, monopoly of the ultimate judicial power, the channels of communication and transportation (post office, roads, rivers, air routes), irrigated water in Oriental despotisms, and education?to mold the opinions of its future citizens. In the modern economy, money is the critical command post.

[43] This parasitic process of "catching up" has been almost openly proclaimed by Karl Marx, who conceded that socialism must be established through seizure of capital previously accumulated under capitalism.

[44] Certainly, one indispensable ingredient of such a solution must be the sundering of the alliance of intellectual and State, through the creation of centers of intellectual inquiry and education, which will be independent of State power. Christopher Dawson notes that the great intellectual movements of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment were achieved by working outside of, and sometimes against, the entrenched universities. These academia of the new ideas were established by independent patrons. See Christopher Dawson, The Crisis of Western Education (New York: Sheed and Ward, 1961).

Note how the last paragraph can refer to cronyism perpetrated through the good ol' boy network of college requirements to get state jobs then being sure that each permit requirement includes trips to crony engineers, testing agencies, sewer experts etc.  The line of cronies with their hand in your pockets starts at state and the Marxist policies Rothbard talks about.

Just an interesting thought on how we got where we are and why it is so hard to get to where we would like to be, I think.  [waiting]
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

Glenn's Underground Cabin  http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=151.0

Please put your area in your sig line so we can assist with location specific answers.

Offline poppy

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 840
  • Gender: Male
  • Southern Ohio, Back to my home town
Re: How is legally living "off the grid" possible?
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2009, 08:34:36 AM »
The Old School Amish used to be off-the-grid, but today they use propane in their homes and have land line phones in their businesses.

The Amish saw mill that I use has a gasoline engine on their band saw mill, so they are buying fuel from the "man" as Don says.

My neighbor who I have mentioned is totally off-the-grid still has a hook up to the electric utility so he can sell back energy once the rates are better.  He says it's not worth it right now.

His most interesting off-the-grid set up is for satelite TV; something called Free Air, I think.

Offline Squirl

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,153
Re: How is legally living "off the grid" possible?
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2009, 09:04:18 AM »
Along with what poppy said, most areas or states with Amish population have clauses that allow for religious exemption from certain parts of the building code such as electricity.

I have seen a few homes offered for sale in upstate NY where I am building that are completely offgrid and recently built.  I have had a few acquaintances that were building, that it was over $30,000 to put a power line in so they went solar. Every home that was legally built with building inspectors, it was wired exactly the same as a grid tied house with a power line coming from a shed with batteries instead of a power company line. 

The difficulty comes in with the inspectors and code.  They are all different.

Offline ScottA

  • No Edits
  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,182
  • Gender: Male
Re: How is legally living "off the grid" possible?
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2009, 09:21:15 AM »
I don't think you can beat the taxes but if you build in the right area you can avoid the rest if you're willing to live that way.

Offline glenn kangiser

  • The Troglodyte
  • Administrator
  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 24,678
  • Gender: Male
  • Central California Sierras- Home of Yosemite NP
    • Underground Cabin
Re: How is legally living "off the grid" possible?
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2009, 09:54:38 AM »
At a minimum you will have the land taxes.  An off radar house may not be taxed as it is unknown to them and you do not have to turn yourself in or allow the assessor onto your property ever if you so choose.  Assessor access to your property is ONLY with owner permission.  They cannot even get a court warrant to allow them onto your property.  A building inspector can only legally get a warrant if you are harming someone else outside of your property.  

This is not legal advice - just information as I recall it from reading or self experience, all possibly subject to exceptions.  

That may not stop them from entering illegally if you don't know your rights, enforce them and post your property especially with the land use fee notice and no trespassing sign.

http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=151.msg672#msg672

No guarantees as to what illegal means may be used by them even if you do take all precautions.

Take care to get along well with your neighbors.  Get reasonably remote property out of public sight.  Gate your property.  Post the signs.  Make them guilty of trespassing and liable for your collection of the land use fee in small claims court.  Get their names.  Invoice them personally for the $5000.  Get drivers license and address info.  Get positive ID.  You do not know them from Adam.  It is your right to know exactly who your accuser and the trespasser is.  Don't roll over or be intimidated by them.  Don't assault them or do anything stupid either though.  

An off duty Sheriff was recently caught trespassing here (in this county) taking pictures for the Board of Supervisors.  He was the husband of a Supervisor.  He did get in trouble and the Sheriffs office officially announced that their officers would no longer be involved in questionable trespassing activity for the supervisors.  The point - even the Sheriff is not above trespassing and land use fee violations.

The state - county etc, is not supposed to pick up the tab since they made the personal decision to trespass.  
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

Glenn's Underground Cabin  http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=151.0

Please put your area in your sig line so we can assist with location specific answers.

Offline StinkerBell

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,290
  • Gender: Female
  • CountryPlans member
Re: How is legally living "off the grid" possible?
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2009, 10:13:01 AM »
I would like to add on to glenns last comment.

You need to either build into the a mountain side,a cave. Or make sure the area is highly treed.

I have been with the hubs in the county office and they were able to look via satellite at a piece of property we were considering buying. They were able with a few calculations state what was built without permits and what part of a building was in a no build buffer zone. They were only a few feet off with thier calculations. And the pictures were incredible. 

Property with a large upper tree canopy the satellite can not penatrate to see if there are buildings under or get very good calcualtions.

Offline waggin

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 310
  • Gender: Male
  • Foothills above Pugetropolis, WA
Re: How is legally living "off the grid" possible?
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2009, 02:12:40 PM »
I would like to add on to glenns last comment.

You need to either build into the a mountain side,a cave. Or make sure the area is highly treed.

I have been with the hubs in the county office and they were able to look via satellite at a piece of property we were considering buying. They were able with a few calculations state what was built without permits and what part of a building was in a no build buffer zone. They were only a few feet off with thier calculations. And the pictures were incredible. 

Property with a large upper tree canopy the satellite can not penatrate to see if there are buildings under or get very good calcualtions.

LIDAR is used by some municipalities now, and it DOES penetrate the tree canopy.  A separate map can be created for vegetation and actual ground topography with resolution of less than one foot.  Like most things these days, it's getting harder & harder to have any secrets.

http://74.125.155.132/search?q=cache:AVPpKZE3SuUJ:earthdata.com/pdfs/FCT_Lidar-Educational_11-07.pdf+lidar+mapping&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

http://www.gisdevelopment.net/technology/tm/tm002pf.htm

It just means that a little more creativity will be required.   ;D
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy. (Red Green)

Offline StinkerBell

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,290
  • Gender: Female
  • CountryPlans member
Re: How is legally living "off the grid" possible?
« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2009, 02:15:48 PM »
At first I thought you were callin me a LIAR.... ::)

Not surprised by a new OS that can do that. Realy it's time to do what glenn has done.  Go caveman!

« Last Edit: December 16, 2009, 04:41:08 PM by StinkerBell »

Offline glenn kangiser

  • The Troglodyte
  • Administrator
  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 24,678
  • Gender: Male
  • Central California Sierras- Home of Yosemite NP
    • Underground Cabin
Re: How is legally living "off the grid" possible?
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2009, 04:23:11 PM »
Thanks, Stink.  I am pretty sure I am exposing myself too much for that [noidea' .......

 but I think they know that I will give them a bit more trouble than they would like and they are not standing on firm ground on their part regarding the posted laws I will hassle them back with.   [waiting]

"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

Glenn's Underground Cabin  http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=151.0

Please put your area in your sig line so we can assist with location specific answers.

pagan

  • Guest
Re: How is legally living "off the grid" possible?
« Reply #18 on: December 17, 2009, 05:04:28 AM »
You need to find out what your local codes will allow and how fanatical your inspectors are at forcing you to adhere to them. The greatest hurdle will most likely be your local inspectors. If you’re fortunate, like I am, and live in a town with no building codes or zones and an unintrusive select board, then you can live pretty much however you want. We have a small solar electric system, wood cook stove, no running water and a compost toilet. Most towns would never allow this as we’d be violating many “safety” codes.

Off radar is far more difficult. If you have a job, you’re a blip. Bank accounts, credit cards, debit cards, car loans, mortgages, and utility bills all make your blip larger. I knew a guy who built his own little cabin in a state park. He’d use different trails to get in and out and would always carry personal belongings with him when he left. One day while he was walking back to his cabin he was accosted by two armed men. After questioning him they determined he was just a hiker and let him go on his way. Later he found out that his cabin was spotted during a helicopter sweep looking for marijuana plants. He is very off radar, no credit cards, loans, bank accounts, and works for cash, however he pays a price for his lifestyle.

Offline Squirl

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,153
Re: How is legally living "off the grid" possible?
« Reply #19 on: December 17, 2009, 08:22:51 AM »
Since you asked about permits, insurance, and taxes, I assume you are still looking to be part of society. I am going to tailor my responses more towards living not connected to public utilities than nobody knows you are there. 

Taxes
The homes I described in my earlier response usually sell for less and appraise for less.  Most people see it as a drawback not to have unlimited power.  They want to be able to turn on a switch and have the power flow no matter how much it costs.  Most people like to use a lot of power. Also with other utilities, the more you are connected the more of a convenience it is for people so they are willing to pay more.  They don't have to truck in their fossil fuel.  They don't have to chop or store wood.  They don't have to clean a stove.  They don't have have someone pump their septic tank. They don't have to worry about cleaning a well. The more people have to think about their lifestyle or work, the less they are willing to pay.   So property taxes are usually lower for offgrid houses.  I remember one house was 1000 sq. ft with 2 car garage and 10 acres for under $80,000 and was less than a year old.

Insurance,
 I don't have a lot of experience with this.  I would love to hear from someone if insurers even ask if your house gets power from the grid or not.  I would assume that a large wind turbine in the back yard might make them worry it will fall over cost them some money.  I assume more factors would effect your rates than your power source. (flooding, roofing material)  I also have the assumption the rates would be a little higher if they asked.

Permits.
This can be a whole topic in an of itself.  It depends is the best answer.  Location, inspector, code enforcement.
The best person to ask about NEC code compliance of DC systems would be MtnDon.
 One of the problems you may run into is if you have to use a licensed electrician to do the work for you.  Most of the qualified ones for off grid systems are charging a fortune right now because of the massive tax credits and grants for green energy systems.  I (and I'm sure others) would be happy to be more willing to tailor our responses, if you share more of what you are trying to get done and how you are trying to get there.  There are dozens of off grid options.

Offline StinkerBell

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,290
  • Gender: Female
  • CountryPlans member
Re: How is legally living "off the grid" possible?
« Reply #20 on: December 17, 2009, 08:49:23 AM »
I would like to add a few more things to your list that people may want to consider.

Insurance, if you are able to get insurance for a home that has no permit or off grid utility, be careful and read the fine print. You may discover all though you are paying for insurance at a higher premium you may not be really insured. Most insurance companies will not insure a home off the grid because they are not properly permitted and therefore will probably burn down and if you are off grid you probably do not have a fire hydrant of fire department close by. Insurance companies don't like this high risk. Be better if you take the premium every year and place it into a savings account in case you may need to draw on it do to issues.

Resale, Good luck. You have to disclose if you are not permitted and if your buyer does not have cash on hand they will not be able to get a home loan.

Permits...We happened to be in limbo on a build we have done on our property in Kettle Falls. We have the Well in and permitted and approved, we have our septic in, permitted and approved, we have power to a power pole nest to our building permitted and approved. Hehad a building permit but was not able to finish the inside, we did extend it but with our move to Texas we have surrendered the idea that we have to reapply if we want too.

Offline StinkerBell

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,290
  • Gender: Female
  • CountryPlans member
Re: How is legally living "off the grid" possible?
« Reply #21 on: December 17, 2009, 08:52:21 AM »
The kicker is we do not have a certificate of occupancy and do have a few more weeks of finsihing the project to do.
BUT, because we do not have the final sign off the taxes are still at raw land value.

Do we finsih and not tell, how would they know? or if we like it like it is, can we make it work? It is intersting at best because the county knows we have the building, they know we have power, well and septic. Not like they can see what we have disclosed, yet my taxes are at raw land value cause I am not finished.

Offline MountainDon

  • Administrator
  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 15,778
  • Gender: Male
  • Jemez Mountains, NM; that's pronounced HEY-mess
    • My 15.75 x 30 Jemez Cabin
Re: How is legally living "off the grid" possible?
« Reply #22 on: December 17, 2009, 09:07:56 AM »
Depends how good they are at record keeping.

We have an addition to the house that I built some 15 years ago. Somehow the final on that never got done. The taxes never took a jump to cover that part.


We just paid the county the first half of the mountain property. $50.95 as recreational vacant land. It took the county three years to adjust the taxes on my neighbor up there. He never had any permits and never had any problems with the county. We've followed in his footsteps. I don't think one department "talks" to the other.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time and money to fix it?

Offline poppy

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 840
  • Gender: Male
  • Southern Ohio, Back to my home town
Re: How is legally living "off the grid" possible?
« Reply #23 on: December 17, 2009, 09:14:29 AM »
On the subject of insurance; this is what my agent told me.

I can't get insurance without being connected to the electric grid.  Even though I may only heat with wood, an electric system, like baseboard heaters, must be in place.

Makes me wonder if I need insurance.  ???

Offline LeoinSA

  • Junior Member
  • **
  • Posts: 67
Re: How is legally living "off the grid" possible?
« Reply #24 on: December 17, 2009, 03:09:11 PM »

Makes me wonder if I need insurance.  ???

I've always looked at insurance as just that - to make sure that if I lose something I can't afford to lose I've got at least partial payback.  I'll explain.

Car insurance is a necessary evil because of the litigation happy society we live in.  My car is paid for.  It's mine, not the bank's.  I insure it for replacement purposes so that if I screw up of if some drunk whacks me I can get another vehicle to make it back and forth to my office to continue t produce income.  When I actually need and buy a PU I'll try to pay cash and only buy what I need, not some tricked out super whoopie ad-mans dream.  Because that one won't be necessary for me to earn a living, I'll only insure it for liability so if I whack a drunk I'll have a bit of protection from him (or his insurance company) suing me directly.  The value of the truck - not enough to make it worthwhile - IMO.

My current house.  It's got a mortgage so I'm paying to 1) protect my equity (what little there is) and 2) keep from being sued by the mortgage company should some calamity befall me one day.

When I build out in the country I do plan to build with cash and not carry any mortgage - Lord willing and if'n the creeks don't rise - and IMO I will not need house insurance.  Sumptin bad happens - well the political correct phrase is poop occurs.  I'll do my damnedest to make sure the solor panels are wired correctly, the wood stove is properly installed and the lightening rods are connected to the proper sized ground wires - etcetera and etcetera.  I'll try to get a policy to protect myself and property from some fool injuring hisownself and then suing me.

Bottom line for me - and YMMV - insurance is a necessary evil to protect yourself from the rest of society.  I'm a big kid and I'll take responsibility for the rest.