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This home policy add-on provides extra money on your claim to rebuild or repair your home in an eco-friendly way, regardless of whether your home was green-certified to begin with. And while a greener home means savings on utility bills and taxes, not many carriers offer this coverage, and those that do limit what’s covered or how they pay the claim.
Green home insurance extends your standard homeowners coverage so you can use environmentally friendly materials and building practices on repairs or rebuilding. The coverage can also be used to purchase energy-efficient appliances and materials to replace those that are damaged beyond repair in your claim.
When you make your claim for a covered event, your green updates add-on coverage automatically kicks in, adding either a set dollar amount or percentage to your existing homeowners payout, sometimes with a dollar amount cap.
For example, one insurer might add up to $25,000 in extra payout available for green updates, while another will increase your overall policy payout limit by 10% up to a certain amount.
Not everyone will want to pay extra to go green, but some policies can cost as little as $70 a year per $1 million insured. And while most coverage will have a cap on how much more you’ll be allowed to spend, some of the green products and materials covered include:
Every carrier has different rules about what is and isn’t covered, but you’ll want to ask about the following coverage considerations before purchasing a policy:
The siding on Pam’s home is destroyed during a winter storm. With her green updates coverage, she gets an additional 10% over her policy’s repair maximum of $20,000 to use energy-efficient and eco-friendly siding materials.
And she can also have her installer use eco-friendly practices when removing and disposing of the old siding, such as recycling the old wooden shingles.
Adding green updates coverage to your homeowners or renters policy isn’t going to give you the green home of your dreams, but it can ensure that any repairs done will upgrade your home rather than simply fix the damage. The relatively low cost of this coverage makes it a no-brainer add-on for anyone committed to a green lifestyle. But with carrier options limited and different coverage levels available, it’s vital to do your homework and shop around for the policy that best meets your goals.
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