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Fireman's Fund Offers Insurance Discount to Energy Star Buildings

Fireman's Fund Insurance Company is offering a 5 percent discount to policyholders with Energy Star buildings in the latest expansion of the firm's green insurance coverage.

Just last week, Fireman's Fund introduced several new endorsements for policyholders who have made energy efficiency and other environmental upgrades to their property.

The new offerings include Green Financial Incentive Coverage for policyholders who paid for green improvements to their property with help from a tax incentive, financial grant or a similar benefit -- but then suffered a loss to that upgrade and are obligated to refund the incentive they received.

The expanded coverage and the discount for Energy Star buildings come as Fireman's Fund approaches the fourth anniversary of the launch of its green building insurance for commercial properties.

Fireman's Fund was the first carrier to broadly offer such coverage in the U.S. commercial marketplace. The firm followed that 2006 debut with the introduction of green insurance for homeowners in July 2008 and the establishment later the same year of its Green RiskAdvisor program.

The company's green insurance for commercial property includes offerings that cover:

  • Certified green buildings.
  • Green renovations and upgrades to existing buildings.
  • Rebuilding traditional structures to green standards following a loss.
  • Rebuilding certified buildings to the next highest certification level following a loss.
  • Any post-loss upgrade to real and personal property that "more efficiently uses energy or water, improves human health or reduces the impact on the environment."

The firm's discount for Energy Star buildings is "groundbreaking in its recognition of the greater value and lower risks of energy efficient buildings,"  Alyssa Quarforth, program manager for Energy Star Commercial Properties at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said in statement announcing the program yesterday.

She added the discount provides "another tangible financial benefit to owners and operators of top-performing buildings, in addition to the reduced energy costs that they are already realizing."

The Energy Star program estimates that the buildings that have earned its label as a result of efficiency measures generally use 35 percent less energy and emit 35 percent less carbon dioxide than average buildings. There are now more than 10,000 Energy Star buildings in the United States. The program provides free online sources to help property owners and managers improve the energy efficiency of their buildings.

Through its Green RiskAdvisor program, Fireman's Fund consultants can help customers benchmark energy and water use with Energy Star's Portfolio Manager and assist them in using the insurance company's tools to manage environmental risks.

Image of the Skypark Office Plaza in San Diego, an Energy Star building, courtesy of Arden Realty via Energy Star.

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