NOVATO, CA — Fireman's Fund Insurance Company, the first carrier to broadly offer green insurance to the U.S. commercial marketplace, is expanding its coverage of property owners' energy efficiency and other environmental upgrades.
"We've developed a deeper understanding of evolving green building construction and insurance issues and incorporated that into our new offerings to better meet our customers' needs," Stephen Bushnell, senior director of emerging industries at Fireman's Fund, said in a statement.
The company's new Green Financial Incentive Coverage protects policyholders who have received a tax incentive, a financial grant, loan, or a similar benefit that helped them pay for energy efficiency improvements to their property. If the policyholder suffers a loss or damage affecting those improvements and the institution that provided the incentive demands a refund, the coverage would take care of that repayment.
Fireman's Fund also is:
- Broadening eligibility for post-loss green upgrades to now include "all real and personal property that more efficiently uses energy or water, improves human health or reduces the impact on the environment." In the case of a loss, Fireman's Fund protects the customer's green investment with coverage that includes green power generating equipment, alternative water systems, and vegetated roofs.
- Consolidating coverage that had been available in four forms -- three commercial and one manufacturing -- into a single endorsement. The change makes the add on, which includes building commissioning, easier for customers to use it.
- Now allowing certified buildings covered by green insurance to be repaired or rebuilt to the next highest certification level in the event of a loss.
- Extending coverage that was originally provided for vegetated roofs on certified green buildings to vegetated swales and walls and other vegetation that reduces heat island effect. Also, the coverage for vegetated features can now be applied to traditional buildings.
- Expanding coverage to porous paving that allows water to drain into the ground and supports management of water flow.
The provisions are the first of their kind in the insurance industry. "The new green endorsements represent a significant enhancement and are much broader than what's currently available in the marketplace," said Bushnell.
Fireman's Fund, a member of the Allianz Group, introduced green insurance to the U.S. commercial marketplace in fall 2006. It started offering green insurance to homeowners in 2008. So far, about 1,500 commercial insurance policyholders have purchased the company's Green-Gard endorsements.
Image CC licensed by wikimedia user Alyson Hurt.