Fireman's Fund Launches ''Green'' Homeowners Insurance

Fireman's Fund is offering this insurance product to homeowners who own green homes or who want to upgrade their residences with green features after a loss using environmental safety and efficiency standards. If a home is completely destroyed, it can be rebuilt to green standards, certified as having Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design status (LEED).

"We believe this is a trend-setting insurance solution for homeowners who are interested in the many benefits of 'going green' at home," said Donald Soss, chief underwriting officer for Fireman's Fund Personal Insurance.

Homeowners whose residences are already green will be offered a 5 percent discount on this coverage, applied to the homeowner premium.

A green home uses less energy, water, and natural resources, and creates less waste. Studies have shown that residents have better overall health and productivity as a result of reduced exposure to mold, mildew, and indoor toxins. According to the National Center for Healthy Housing, homeowners can expect substantial health gains by building green.

With this new coverage, homeowners will be able to rebuild and replace with green alternatives 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-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.

• Debris removed after damage to a home will be recycled and diverted from landfill.

The green homeowners insurance is now approved for homeowners in 26 states, with most other states expected to offer the coverage by year-end.

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