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Green upgrades from homeowner carriers

greenhouseThe green movement continues across the nation – from recycling to solar panels, Americans are doing more and more to help protect the environment. For many homeowners, that includes plans to make their home more green with renovations.

Building materials that go into a green home are different from traditional building materials in that they are often recyclable and free of certain toxins that traditional building materials may contain. A standard homeowner’s policy would not necessarily offer coverage to replace or repair a home built with these sustainable materials with the same type of material, it would only pay to make repairs or to replace with traditional building materials.

The concept of green construction has been around for years. In recent years, green construction has taken on a whole new meaning as we look to minimize our impact on the natural environment, maximize energy efficiencies, reduce volatile emissions, and expand the use of alternative energy sources. In fact, going green has become a complex process of involving cutting-edge technologies and engineering milestones. The commercial side of the insurance industry has kept up with the challenge for years while on the personal insurance side, they are just now coming around.

Some of the most trusted homeowner insurance carriers are now offer product enhancements that cater to environmentally friendly rebuilding. Chubb, for example, is now offering an endorsement called “Greenwise”. In the unfortunate event of a covered loss to your home, the Greenwise upgrade coverage offers you the option to replace damaged or destroyed items with environmentally friendly materials, low-impact processes, and ultra-efficient heating and cooling technology. In addition, you can choose to rebuild to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards or with ENERGY STAR rated products.

All product enhancements, as we know, come at a price. The cost of Greenwise coverage is a percentage surcharge to your premium. The surcharge is based on the amount of coverage you opt into. If you opt for 10% of your current replacement cost value, a 1% surcharge will apply. If you opt for 25% of your replacement cost value, a 2% surcharge will apply – and so on, and so forth.

I’ll leave you with some green words of wisdom from the 26th President of the United States . . .

“I recognize the right and duty of this generation to develop and use the natural resources of our land; but I do not recognize the right to waste them, or to rob, by wasteful use, the generations that come after us.”

– Theodore Roosevelt


About the Author

Catie Smith is a Senior Client Service Manager at William Gallagher Associates (WGA) in the Private Client Group. She is responsible for managing high net worth accounts and helps design risk management programs for specialty clients. For more information on WGA’s Private Client Group, click here.

617.646.0280 | CSmith@wgains.com | Connect with Catie on LinkedIn

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