In response to your insurance question, I have a stated value policy. I state how much I want it insured for and they tell me how much to pay. Ask around, not all insurance companies will do it and some have strange clauses in case of complete loss (eg, you only get a percentage or something). The difference between how much I paid for the house and replacement value was $700k, I did not want to pay insurance on the replacement value... So I pay insurance for $50k more then my mortgage, nice and simple and cheap that way.
As far as your solid masonry walls, that is pretty normal. Mine is 18" thick brick with plaster direct on brick on the inside. Yes, the wall gets warm in the summer and cool in the winter but it isn't as bad as you might think. A lot of heat gain/loss in a house is through air infiltration which those solid masonry walls pretty much eliminate except around windows, followed by the roof/attic for heat loss and windows for heat gain. Insulate the attic for the winter and have blinds to reflect the summer heat and it helps a great deal with utilities.
I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.