You probably know “going green” can cut your energy and fuel costs, saving you money. You may also know there are tax credits and rebates for green upgrades to your home, car or business. But did you know you can save money through eco-insurance?
In our continuing quest to find discounts most people don’t know about, we’ve come up with 6 you may want to check out this Earth Day:
1) Drive less? Pay less.
If you drive less than the average Joe, you may want to sign up for a Pay-As-You-Drive (PAYD) program like Progressive Insurance offers. A sensor installed in your car tracks how far and fast you drive – then rewards you with discounts for driving less and driving well. (Don’t worry, they won’t charge you if you drive more than Joe.)
Estimates show PAYD participants drive at least 10% less. And if 30% of US drivers drove 10% less, we’d save about 55 million tons of CO2 over 10 years!
2) Green vehicle discounts
Some companies offer lower rates for environmentally-friendly vehicles – not just cars, but boats and yachts too. Travelers Insurance gives a discount of up to 10% if you own or lease a hybrid or electric vehicle. And if your car uses an alternative energy source like biodiesel, natural gas or hydrogen, you could get a discount for that, too.
Some insurance policies also offer additional coverage that lets you upgrade to a hybrid vehicle after a total loss. (In the event of a 5 yacht pile-up, for instance.)
3) Eco buildings save energy and premiums
Many insurance companies offer discounts for green homes – but they aren’t all the same. Travelers offers up to a 5% discount if your home is certified by Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED). Other companies offer discounts for green building materials like Energy Star windows, doors and roofs. (Mylo’s agents can help you find discounts for your unique home improvements.)
Insurance companies especially like green construction techniques that are also storm-resistant! If your home is in a catastrophe-prone area, you may be able to offset insurance costs with upgrades like storm-resistant window shutters. So you can feel safe in your beautiful coastal home (ignore our envy) and save money too.
4) Even-more-green-than-average homes
“Tiny homes” are not only trendy, they’re also good for your wallet. If you can squeeze your lifestyle into one, you’ll reduce your insurance costs too (it’s simple: less square footage means less cost to you).
Even some unconventional building methods can earn you savings. For example, insurance companies tend to like straw bale homes because they are sprayed with flame-retardant material and are very durable in storms. (Big Bad Wolf coverage may be extra.)
5) Insure the money you expect to save
Good news for time travelers! You can insure the savings you expect to make from energy-efficient upgrades or renewable energy production. For instance, a power outage could dash your greenest hopes. But you can purchase coverage that compensates you the cost of purchasing electricity from another source, the cost of getting back online - and even lost income.
Businesses can also insure their expected savings from energy efficiency projects. When you get a project proposal, it should include an energy savings estimate. These policies will pay you if your savings underperform by a certain percentage (you can often get a check if you fall short by a mere 10% - that's not even an epic fail!)
6) Specialty business coverages you may not know about
Some companies offer optional additional coverage that leave the world a little greener after a covered loss to a building. CNA’s EcoCare Property Upgrade Endorsement will pay a business extra to rebuild with green structures or materials. It even covers green roofs, recycling costs, green architects, building certifications and business income for the extra time it may take.
And some coverages are interesting but only useful to some industries: Perishable Food Reduction products are devices provided by some insurance companies to monitor the temperature and condition of produce, reducing unnecessary waste. Then there’s Global Weather Insurance, insurance against negative publicity related to green buildings and more.
Think your industry doesn’t have a specialized green coverage? You might be surprised!
If you’re living the green life or have plans to in the future, call a friendly licensed Mylo advisor to make sure you’re getting the most savings back from the good-for-the-planet things you do!