Insurers offer green rebuilds

Homeowners in the US are being given the opportunity rebuild damaged properties with a greener flavour.

Policyholders will have the choice to use wood from sustainable sources to rebuild their homes

Policyholders will have the choice to use wood from sustainable sources to rebuild their homes

Last autumn, Fireman's Fund Insurance Company announced that it would offer an upgrade to its policyholders in Southern California affected by the wildfires allowing them to rebuild properties with environmental improvements.

The firm now plans to extend the scheme to other states this year.

Lexington Insurance Company has also launched a policy giving homeowners the chance to replace damaged building materials or appliances with greener options, rather than like-for-like replacements.

Both companies offer to pay for improvements such as Energy Star-rated appliances and lighting fixtures, home insulation, low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints and water conservation measures.

Fireman's Fund, part of the Allianz Group, said its scheme "set a new standard for personal insurance" and also offered a total of $50,000 per policyholder to plant native vegetation around properties to risk the spread of wildfire.

Robert Courtemanche, president of personal insurance, said: "Family safety and health is of utmost importance, especially after the considerable loss Southern Californians have experienced.

"It is important to provide the best protection we can at this time when it is needed the most.

"We want to be part of the solution in rebuilding safer communities because it is the right thing to do."

Lexington Insurance's Upgrade to Green Residential policy covers homeowners for partial as well as total losses.

David Valzania, vice president of personal lines, said: "Upgrade to Green Residential was developed to help insureds rebuild their homes in an environmentally responsible way that reduces greenhouse gases and non-recyclable waste."

Kate Martin



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