Calfornia’s Department of Insurance has approved the first green homeowners insurance policy in California, offered by Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co.
“I am very pleased today to announce that Californians will soon have another option for homeowners insurance — and an opportunity to make environmentally-friendly choices at the same time,” said Commissioner Steve Poizner. “I encourage all insurance companies to expand options for consumers. Innovative products like these are a win-win for consumers and the environment, lowering energy bills and cutting consumption.”
This coverage approved by Commissioner Poizner will be available August 1, and will enable California homeowners with conventional homes to rebuild to the latest environmental standards after a loss. The newly-approved policy will provide coverage for costs typically not covered in traditional homeowners policies, like green recertification fees and other additional expenses environmentally-conscious homeowners may incur when rebuilding.
Covered homes may rebuild following Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council. The policy provides up to $25,000 for a LEED-certified architect to oversee the rebuilding of the home, and the LEED application process. Additionally, the policy will allow a policyholder whose home has been partially damaged or completely destroyed to repair it with environmentally preferable materials such as:
-Energy Star-rated appliances, lighting, electronic equipment and roofing / insulation;
-An Energy Star upgrade of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems;
-Forest Stewardship Council (www.fcsus.org) certified wood for millwork, ceilings, siding and framing, including bamboo flooring;
-Non-toxic, low odor paints and carpeting;
-Water-saving plumbing fixtures;
-Elimination of ozone-depleting refrigerants and fire extinguishing agents, replaced with environmentally friendly alternatives; and
-Debris removed after damage to a home will be recycled and diverted from landfill.
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