Insurers and regulators are addressing Green Building issues at breakneck speed. With state regulators approving new policy endorsements and insurers offering Green Building discounts, insuring properties that are “green” is here to stay.
On April 29, 2010, the Pennsylvania Insurance Department approved Travelers Insurance’s discounts on “green” homeowners’ products. In order to qualify for the discount, the residence must have the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (“LEED”) building certification. According to the press release, Travelers Home and Marine Insurance Company and TravCo Insurance Company will now offer “Green Home” coverage by way of a new endorsement with an additional rate that will extend coverage to pay for additional costs and expenses associated with green building alternatives, personal property green alternatives, and green methods to dispose of covered debris. Travelers Insurance will also offer a 5% “Green Discount” if the residence has a LEED Certification.
On May 31, 2010, Canadian insurance company The Co-operators announced that it would give insureds a 10% discount for eligible Canadian LEED-certified dwellings. In its press release, The Co-operators states that this move “is intended to encourage and reward environmentally responsible behaviour among its clients.” Not only are insurers encouraging their customers to build Green, but some are doing it themselves. Allstate, for example, just obtained LEED Gold certification for its data center located in Rochelle, Illinois.
By 2013, McGraw-Hill Construction estimates that today’s overall green building market will more than double, reaching between $96 -$140 billion for residential and nonresidential buildings. Insuring not only the “green” building, but also the professional services involved in designing and building them, and the materials that go into making a building “green” are also issues that are on insurers’ radar. Stay tuned for regular updates.