It might seem a little silly to worry about home insurance on Mars now, but we’re startlingly close to settling the Red Planet. Organizations like Space X are starting to make concrete plans on just how to make our space-colonizing dreams come true. While housing on Mars sounds amazing to some, it won’t exactly be cheap. So, rebuilding your home or space dome or celestial biome every time there’s a galactic disaster may make some space explorers second-guess relocating…if they don’t have the right coverage. But what is the proper insurance coverage for a home on Mars? Here are some of our ideas.
What risks would my home face on Mars?
First, you’ll need to know what you’re up against on Mars. A lot of the reason we’ve held off on space colonization is because of the hostile environment. Mars, while less risky than other planets, still has a lot of environmental factors to worry about, such as:
Earth’s atmosphere protects us from a lot of cosmic dangers, not the least of which is radiation (especially from the Sun). In space, astronauts can be exposed to up to 10 times the radiation we experience on Earth, even when protected by a station’s magnetic shield. Mars’s atmosphere is a lot thinner than Earth’s. So, whatever you live in will need to be able to withstand and protect you from the planet’s natural radiation levels.
Scientists have figured out that our best bet for colonizing Mars would be to build near the poles. On Earth, that would mean being extremely cold. However, Martian summers are usually about 288 Earth days long and the high temperatures only get to about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Sounds pretty nice, right?
Well, that’s only until you realize that temperatures plummet to about minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit at night and in Martian winter. So, temperature regulation is also going to be an important part of your home’s structure.
Dust storms & Space debris
We’ve talked a bit about how your home insurance might cover a stray meteorite hitting your home on Earth. But as we’ve said, Mars’s atmosphere is a lot thinner than Earth’s. Therefore, it probably won’t offer the protection of burning up most of the meteor upon entry to the planet. Not only will your Martian dwelling have to withstand the potential force of larger space debris, but the planet also happens to be full of toxic dust. So, your home will need to be durable enough to protect you from that too.
Of course, your neighbor may be the odd space vandal who decides to do a little breaking and entering. But what about other-worldly intruders? Before scientists determined that we could colonize Mars, they have noted that life has already survived on the planet. The odd galactic visitor may just pop in on a planet that was uninhabited just a few years prior. Or there may just be a secret society of life that we’ve missed. Whether they’re hostile as a whole or not, your Martian home will need to be secure, from break-ins and to the ground in case of a sci-fi-like hover beam.
Scientists have obviously prepared as much as they can for these risks and many others. However, we’re in the business of insurance, which means accounting for Murphy’s Law: Whatever can go wrong, will. So, if humans are going to become a permanent fixture on the Martian landscape, how can we prepare for the fallout if things go wrong?
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What type of home insurance would I need on Mars?
We’ll start with the basics. If someone falls and breaks a leg because they tripped over a stray piece of metorite rubble, general liability insurance can help you take care of their trip to the med-bay. This type of coverage may also help you fly out any lawyers that need to defend you in Martian court if the injured person sues you.
With all of the dangers you can face on Mars, you’ll need a sturdy home to begin with. Harsh Martian conditions like radiation and toxic dust storms can easily wear down your dwelling’s structure. So, you’ll need a sturdy property damage policy to help you repair or replace any part of your home that protects you from the elements.
Make sure that you insure your home for the right amount, though. Let’s say that your house’s airlock springs a leak. That leak then lets in all sorts of Martian gas and toxic dust that makes your biome uninhabitable. If you insure your dwelling for its market value, that might not be the true amount of coverage you would need to rebuild your home.
However, if you insure your home for its replacement value, you could have help returning your dwelling back to normal. Your coverage could help you cover the shipping costs of building materials from Earth, of building robots, and of hazardous waste cleanup for the harmful materials that weren’t supposed to make it inside of your dome.
You would also have to take a look at your declarations page to make sure such damages were covered since, typically, homeowners insurance policies only cover perils like:
- Smoke damage
- Falling objects
- Damage caused by the weight of snow, sleet, or ice
- Certain types of water damage
- Damage caused by vehicles or aircraft.
A home insurance policy for Mars may look a little different and cover a bit more, but you can never be too sure.
Additional Living Expenses
If tragedy does befall your biome and you’re waiting for it to be rebuilt, you’ll need a place to stay in the meantime. If you have additional living expense coverage for your house on Mars, your carrier may be able to help you stay in a spacious (pun intended) hotel on the planet or fly you back down to Earth until your dwelling is rebuilt.
With all of the dangers we’ve mentioned before, regulation systems for your home are going to be a necessity. Equipment breakdown coverage is usually reserved for businesses, but with all of the machinery that will have to go into regulating temperature and air pressure, the insurance industry might have to make an exception. This type of coverage could help you repair or replace normal, around-the-Martian-house equipment like air pressure regulators, radiation absorbers, heavy-duty carbon monoxide filters, gravity regulators, and more!
We’d like to say that that’s the only coverage you’d need to cover your home on Mars, but space is full of the unknown! There’s no telling what types of risks and dangers you could encounter once you’re up in the great beyond. What we can do right now is help you save money on great home insurance here on Earth. Give us a call today, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with one of our home insurance professionals to start getting affordable rates on the homeowners insurance coverage you need. (We’ll worry about the Mars thing a little later on.)