Insurance that offers coverage specifically for green commercial buildings has been introduced by Fireman's Fund, a major property and casualty insurer in the U.S. It is the first such coverage available, according to the company.
The new coverage is offered in response to commercial real estate's green building movement, and addresses, "the unique risks that are acquired with sustainable building practices," a company news release states. It protects buildings that are green certified as well as buildings and facilities whose owners want to capture green benefits. The coverage for LEED-certified buildings offers a discount due to lower risk factors, the company adds.
Conventional insurance policies cover the cost to restore a building to its original condition. The Fireman's Fund Green Building Replacement, Green Upgrade and Commissioning insurance will enable commercial property owners and managers to rebuild and replace with green alternatives such as:
Commission-Engineering inspection of HVAC and other systems
Water efficient interior plumbing
Non-toxic, low-odor paints and carpeting
Energy Star-rated electrical equipment
Interior lighting systems that meet LEED or Green Glove requirements
Energy Star-qualified roofing and insulation materials
Fireman's Fund worked closely with the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) LEED program and the Green Building Initiative’s Green Globe program to ensure that its coverage and upgrade options align with these two major certification processes, the company says. The coverage also will include payment for the green building certification application process administered by these organizations.
The sustainable building elements of covered buildings, such as alternate energy and water systems, are covered in the new insurance. In case of a total loss, the insurance will cover the cost of green building certification.
For buildings not yet certified, the company also offers an upgrade package that will cover replacement of damaged components, such as carpet, for example, with green certified product.