Green Real Estate: The relatively new features and continually evolving features of green buildings that required new insurance coverages include:
- Vegetative roofs (can include $100,000’s of trees and shrubbery) which often had limits of $1,000 per tree/plant and total of $25,000
- Alternative energy systems and alternative water systems
- Operational risks such as green cleaning programs, integrated pest management processes
- Post-loss practices such as diverting debris to recycling, flushing out the building with fresh air, and commissioning repaired or replaced systems
- Rebuilding to LEED standards in place at the time of the loss (not those in place at the time of the original construction or those required by local code) and budget protection for design and recertification fees)
The first carrier to address these exposures was Fireman’s Fund, who introduced a suite of coverages. In so doing, they took a leap of faith, believing that green buildings are safer, cost less to operate, produce higher rental income for their owners (Green Building Fact Sheet, Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, September 2007).
Certified Green Building Coverage
If your property is already green-certified, and suffers a covered loss, we’ll protect your investment with broad coverage for your vegetated roof, alternative water system and green power generating equipment.
We’ll even cover the cost to hire a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®)-accredited professional to oversee the repairs. Plus, we’ll reimburse you for loss of income incurred through the use of alternative power generating equipment.
Green Upgrade Coverage
Lets you replace standard systems and materials with green ones if you have a loss.
We’ll cover the cost to rebuild and replace with specified green alternatives such as:
- Non-toxic paints and carpeting
- Energy-Star® rated electrical equipment
- Roof and insulation materials
- Energy-efficient lighting systems
- Water efficient interior plumbing
And, in the event of a covered total loss, we will pay the cost to rebuild, from top to bottom, as a green certified building.
Building Commissioning Expenses Coverage
Following a covered loss, Fireman’s Fund will cover the cost to hire a commissioning engineer to ensure that your building systems (HVAC, electric and plumbing) operate at peak performance and in alignment with one another.
Plus, we will pay for the engineer to run a test and balance on your HVAC system, including heat, ventilation, and air conditioning — whether or not it was directly involved in the loss.