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Apr 302010
 

From Green Right Now Reports

The Pennsylvania Insurance Department has approved Travelers Insurance’s proposal to offer discounts on “green” homeowners’ policies, Insurance Commissioner Joel Ario announced today. The policy discount is based on having the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, building certification.

“The LEED certification is the most widely recognized environmental building standard in our country,” Ario said in a statement. “I am pleased to announce the approval of this type of insurance discount; a first for homeowners in Pennsylvania.”

The Travelers green building discount will provide incentives for greater energy efficiency and air quality. Since a LEED certification requires an extensive review of all building systems to ensure efficient operation, the decision to upgrade a building often reflects greater concern with issues that affect loss control.

Travelers Home and Marine Insurance Company and TravCo Insurance Company will now offer “green Home” coverage (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. The companies also will offer a five percent “green discount” if the residence has a LEED Certification.

State officials said the discounts will be effective June 20 for new policies and Aug. 26 for renewed policies. The coverage can include an agreement to pay a certain percentage above normal replacement costs to cover the additional costs of upgrading to green standards. Since the coverage does vary, policyholders should carefully consider their potential exposures.

“The Insurance Department intends to survey the major insurance companies headquartered in Pennsylvania to get a fuller understanding of their strategies related to climate change issues,” Ario said. “As sustainable buildings become more common, green insurance will become more popular and some of its features might become a standard part of property policies.”

Resources:

  • For more information about homeowners insurance, visit www.insurance.pa.gov or call the department’s toll-free, automated consumer hotline at (877) 881-6388, or either of the department’s Bureau of Consumer Services’ regional offices: Harrisburg at (717) 787-2317; or Philadelphia at (215) 560-2630.