Have you ever thought about how to help the environment and your wallet? One of the best ways to save money is through a green home discount from your homeowners insurance company.
The green home discount can be between five and ten percent off your home insurance premium, simply for using products and construction methods that are more environmentally friendly. This is especially significant when you combine it with other available discounts, like the paperless discount, good credit discount, and customer loyalty discount.
So what does your insurance company consider “going green”? Green materials are those that are more energy efficient, last longer, are used from materials that were produced in a sustainable manner, or are recycled products. Your insurer will be most interested in the ways you have made your appliances, insulation, roof, heating and cooling systems, windows, siding, and/or plumbing system green. These components of your home will have the greatest impact on helping the environment and saving you money.
Your insurer wants to reward you for going green. As a green homeowner, your dwelling is made of sustainable products that last longer and are safer. Your utility bills are lower and your property value is higher. According to one insurance company, “Green building reduces risk and energy efficiency raises a building’s economic value.” Since the green products are stronger, your overall risk of incurring a loss is lower.
Steps to Take
If you are thinking about going green, your insurance carrier will require you to have the proper documentation in order to prove that you have made environmentally-friendly improvements to your home. Newly constructed homes and major renovations need to be certified by the Leadership Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) organization. The LEED rating are based on various methods and materials used during the building process. Some carriers may also use Energy Star or Green Point ratings.
Take the LEED documentation, bills paid to contractors and for materials, and pictures of the work to your insurance agent. They will assess whether or not you qualify for the green home discount.
There are other ways to go green with your insurance policy:
Standard Home Insurance Policy
You can buy a homeowners insurance policy that has provisions which allow you to repair or rebuild with green materials after a loss. The insurance company will require that you purchase additional insurance before the loss in order to cover the added expenses of upgrading to a green home.
This “green-rebuild” policy is relatively inexpensive. It will only cost two to three percent more than your standard policy. According to Ron Reitz, president of the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters, “If your home requires more coverage, the difference in premiums to go from $200,000 to $500,000 worth of coverage is approximately $30 more, but the coverage is exponential and well worth it.”
If you bought a home that already had certain environmentally-friendly upgrades, be sure to let your insurance company know right away. If you ever experience a loss, the claim payment will factor in the additional costs of replacing or repairing the green materials.
Green Home Insurance Policy
Green homeowners insurance policies are available for new homes that have been LEED-certified as green or energy efficient. This includes an allowance for rebuilding with green materials after you home has been damaged. Some policies have a maximum spending limit for green materials and processes. Depending upon the policy, the insurer may allow you to use even better green materials and technology than what was used previously in your home.
Speak to An Agent
Set up an appointment to talk with your independent insurance agent today. They will have knowledge and experience in insuring green homes, and will be able to help you qualify for a discount. They may also recommend upgrading your insurance to protect your green investment.
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