green home insurance
Green home insurance is available
in many different forms. Here we look at how these policies work, how to find a
good deal and how to lower premiums.
green home insurance?
The basic purpose of green home insurance is the
same as a conventional home insurance policy – both are designed to help you
cover the cost of damages caused by an insured event (subject to policy
exclusions). Buildings insurance covers the structure of your home as well as
its permanent fixtures and fittings, and may also incorporate outbuildings,
underground pipes and cables, and even glass in doors and windows. Contents
insurance meanwhile, covers the items you keep within a home such as your
furniture, carpet, electrical items, clothing and so on. Cover is usually
available either on a ‘new for old’ basis, meaning you receive a brand new
replacement for any damaged items; or on a ‘wear and tear’ basis meaning a
percentage of what you paid is deducted for depreciation.
However, there are also many aspects of green home
insurance that differ from regular policies. In fact there are even different
types of green home insurance available, such as:
neutral home insurance: Offered by the likes of the Environmental Transport
Association and RK Shipman, this allows you to offset your home’s emissions
which, on average, equate to six tonnes per household every year. The idea is
that the carbon dioxide (CO2) and harmful gases emitted by your home are
compensated for because the home insurance company provides financial
assistance to projects such as forest restoration, methane capture, energy
efficiency and the development of renewable energy.
green home insurance: While climate neutral home insurance is generally
offered by specialists, you may be able to benefit from green incentives from
conventional home insurance companies. These can include cover options such as
incentives for homeowners to install green appliances and equipment following
an insured event; rebuilding with environmentally sound materials; and
discounts to homeowners that improve the energy efficiency of their homes, such
as by installing loft insulation, solar panels and cavity wall insulation.
specialist green home insurance companies claim that they can offer more
competitive deals than conventional home insurers because they recognise homeowners
that take steps to reduce their carbon emissions are also less likely to make a
claim on their policy – for example, they are less likely to smoke, which
reduces the risk of home fires.
So is green home insurance the
right option for you?
you strongly believe in doing your bit for the environment then a green home
insurance policy could be tempting – however, there are some important factors
to consider before opting for one of these deals.
carbon neutral schemes, and cover that uses environmentally friendly building
products in the event that repairs are needed to your home, may be more
expensive than regular policies. Even though discounts may be available if you
have improved the energy efficiency of your home, the cost of these policies
may still outweigh those from conventional insurance companies.
should also consider the level of cover available. Cover options can vary
widely between companies regardless of green incentives and you should ensure
your policy offers suitable cover depending on your circumstances – for
example, is there cover for personal possessions that you take outside the
home, how much cover applies to garden contents, and so on.
it’s best to compare as many policies as possible before deciding on the right
deal for you. The leading comparison websites can compare quotes from as many as
65 home insurance companies ensuring you’re getting value for money. If you
find a deal from a conventional insurer is significantly cheaper than a policy
from a green home insurance company you could even use the money you save to
put towards a green project of your own choice.
How can you save money on green
you are willing to pay a little extra for a green home insurance policy then
it’s worth looking for additional ways to bring your premiums down, such as:
Buy online: Many home insurance
providers offer discounts to customers that take out policies online due to the
savings they make on overheads.
Combined policies: Taking out
buildings and contents insurance with the same provider could earn a discount.
Green incentives: Look for green
discounts – you may be rewarded for installing loft insulation, cavity wall
insulation and other energy saving features.
Increasing security: Most home
insurance providers offer discounts if you increase the security of your home
with burglar alarms, time-switch lights and security lighting. Five-lever
mortise locks on doors and key operated locks on windows could also earn
discounts from an insurer.
Increase your voluntary excess: The
excess is your contribution towards a claim – setting it at a higher level will
usually lower premiums although you should be careful to keep it at a level you
can comfortably afford.
- Prevention of fires: Smoke alarms, fire extinguishers and even quitting smoking could lower your home insurance premiums.
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