Americans worried about rising home insurance premiums are investing in natural disaster-proof dome homes to protect them from extreme weather.
Manufacturers of fire-resistant domes say their sales have doubled this year after weather-related disasters destroyed properties and raised home insurance premiums in 2022.
According to Census data, more than 3.3 million homeowners were forced to evacuate their properties in 2022 due to weather emergencies. Average home cover now ranges from $2,777 a year, according to comparison site Insurance.com.
But dome buildings promise protection from such crises because the large surface area of the structure makes it easier to withstand extreme heat and cold. And that means air often circles around a dome shape, with no flat surface to exert force on.
They are also made from materials like steel and aluminum that are more resilient to fires and storms. Some are even wood-framed but built in a way to minimize damage from hurricanes or floods.
Americans are turning to natural disaster-proof dome homes to protect them from extreme weather. Photo: A Natural Space Dome home in Illinois listed on Zillow for $474,900
The buildings are intentionally dome-shaped because the large surface area of the structure makes it easier to resist extreme heat and cold. Photo: A Natural Space Dome home in Illinois listed on Zillow for $474,900
A typical dome home will set a buyer back as little as $300,000. However, depending on the region and manufacturer, the cost can be as high as $900,000.
Currently, a 4,018-square-foot dome home is selling for $474,900 on Zillow. There are four bedrooms, five bathrooms, dining room and kitchen.
Its structure is metallic and it sits on a square base with the ability to rotate.
‘Unlike others plagued by water problems, its construction, split-cedar shingles, copper cap and shipbuilder-operated manufacturing company all contribute to virtually no leaks,’ the ad said.
Dennis Odin Johnson, who runs Minnesota-based manufacturer Natural Space Domes, said he will sell 40 structures this year — twice as many as in 2022.
He told the New York Times that his customers aren’t particularly wealthy, but they want something that lasts. They are looking for something different.’
When a customer purchases from Natural Spaces Dome, they are given a pre-assembled structure.
These are shipped directly to their land via national trucking lines, according to its website.
It comes with a host of accessories like skylights, interior panels and insulation.
When a customer purchases from Natural Spaces Dome, they are given a pre-assembled structure that is shipped to them. Photo: A Natural Space Dome home in Illinois listed on Zillow for $474,900
It comes with a host of accessories like skylights, interior panels and insulation. Photo: A Natural Space Dome home in Illinois listed on Zillow for $474,900
Dennis Odin Johnson, who runs Minnesota-based manufacturer Natural Spaces Domes, said he expects sales to double in 2022. Image: A natural space dome home in Illinois listed on Zillow for $474,900
The popularity of such structures exposed America’s home insurance crisis, with an increasing number of properties destroyed by extreme weather.
Earlier this year, State Farm, California’s largest home insurer, announced it would stop selling coverage throughout the state.
California has long been one of the worst hit states by wildfires, Yosemite National Park is currently experiencing fires.
But recently, extreme weather has increasingly plagued the state. Eastern Kentucky was ravaged by storms last summer, causing homeowners’ flood insurance premiums to quadruple in some areas.
And in Florida, six insurers filed for bankruptcy after several hurricanes wiped out property there.
For a dome home, owners need to seek their insurance from a specialized provider as mainstream companies do not cover them.
Provider Park Model Home Insurance says on its website that coverage costs will vary depending on the home’s location, age and square-footage.
The popularity of such structures comes as more Americans struggle to secure home insurance. Photo: Dome House, a natural space in Utah, advertised on its Facebook page
Dome house converts say they don’t ‘blink in the wind.’ Photo: Dome House, a natural space in Utah, advertised on its Facebook page
Across the country, more than half a million people had to evacuate their properties last year — never to return, according to U.S. Census figures. Such owners have been called ‘indigenous climate refugees’.
It highlighted the structural defects of many American properties. Additional features required to solidify them will ultimately add costs that buyers are unwilling to pay.
Among the investors in a dome house is horse veterinarian Dr. Max Begue who was inspired to make the move after losing his home near New Orleans to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
He told the New York Times: ‘It doesn’t blink in the air. It sways a little – I like it more. But I think that’s part of his strength.’
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