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Green houses may get home insurance discounts

Making your home more energy efficient may help you save money on your utility bills, but did you know that it may also help you lower your home insurance premiums? Some of the nation’s leading home insurers offer discounts on LEED-certified houses. Some also offer “green” coverage to pay for the additional costs and expenses associated with green buildings including, professional fees, waste reduction and recycling costs, certification fees, etc. If you have a LEED-certified home or are thinking of owning one, check home insurance quotes in your state to see if you can qualify for a discount.

How to get an insurance discount for your green home

Green insurance

With an increasing number of federal and state incentives available to build green homes, more insurers are offering green insurance coverage options for their policyholders. Some policies define green certification according to LEED standards, while others use Green Globes standards. Before you obtain home insurance quotes, find out which green standards were used when your home was built or renovated. LEED standards are the ones most commonly used. Green homes are not necessarily better risks, so make sure you consider other factors that could affect your home insurance rates.

LEED certification

The U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit trade group, created the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) standards for green commercial and residential buildings in 2000. The structures are rated on energy-efficiency, water efficiency, indoor air quality, environmentally sensitive site development, recycled and reclaimed building materials and other sustainable attributes. After the construction or renovation is completed, LEED-certified professionals rate the building. The four levels of approval are certified, silver, gold and platinum.

Sustainable practices

Not all states offer discounts for green houses. Pennsylvania recently approved insurers’ plans to offer a 5 percent discount on LEED-certified homes. The policy can also include an agreement to cover the additional costs of upgrading to green standards, after a loss. For example, your insurance company could reimburse you for rebuilding with sustainable materials, such as bamboo, replacing appliances with energy-efficient ones rated by the federal Energy Star program and using paints made from zero VOC (volatile organic compound). Some insurers will also cover some of the costs of having debris from your home recycled and having your home certified (or re-certified) green.

As sustainable buildings become more common, some green insurance coverage might become a standard part of homeowners insurance policies, experts say. Whether you are buying your first home, upgrading to a new one, or buying a green home, it is critical that you assess your insurance needs. Once you have determined the best coverage for your family’s needs, you’re ready to obtain home insurance quotes. Call agents in your local area, contact several insurance companies directly or use to instantly get competitive insurance quotes from the nation’s leading insurance providers. Take the time to protect you and your family today.