Homeowners who choose to build or upgrade their homes to reduce their environmental impact are being recognized and rewarded for their efforts. The insurance industry in particular, will lower premiums on homes which occupy a smaller carbon footprint. In addition, insurers are recognizing that shifting climatic patterns cause fluctuations in risk and those with climate-friendly homes represent a lower risk and merit discounts.
Homeowners with energy-efficient homes depend less on fossil fuels for heat and air conditioning. Energy-efficient air conditioners and water heaters run less and break down less frequently, requiring fewer repairs. Many insurers now offer discounts for residential buildings constructed with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) or Energy Star certifications.
A few insurers offer a unique way to upgrade to Energy Star appliances by replacing standard appliances with environmentally-friendly appliances in the event of a loss which is covered by your policy. This "green" addendum to your policy will mean a slightly higher premium, but will mean a significant upgrade if you file a claim.
Rebuild with Toxin-free Resources
Opting for a green homeowner's policy also assure you that, if the need arises to replace a part or all of your residence, sustainable, toxin-free resources will be used in the rebuilding process, to reduce your environmental impact even further. Insurers are jumping on the "green bandwagon" because they realize that people who take steps to protect the planet are demographically in a lower risk for behavior which causes house fires and other home-related catastrophes..
5 Percent Premium Discount
In addition to upgrading to environmentally responsible appliances and building materials in the event of a loss, many insurers are offering up to a 5 percent discount on homes which are already green. Insurers reason that people living in green homes are more prolific, healthier and suffer less from allergies to molds and fungi. Homeowner's green insurance is becoming more popular and is currently available in 26 states.
As more home builders and homeowners look for ways to go green, insurers adapt policies to fit more situations. As an example, last year the Georgia's state insurance commissioner approved green homeowners insurance policies which cover approved solar panels and previously-used construction materials. Building healthier homes improves the health of their occupants and results in lower insurance costs across the board.