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Top 5 Most Missed Insurance Savings on Green Home Upgrades

Unawareness can be costly… Please, someone tell her the facts before she flushes!

Did you know most home owners are not aware that their green upgrades can affect their insurance?  Sadly, most insurance agents are also in the dark.  That is why you should be pro-active and take the savings opportunities into your own hands.

Truth is, in some ways, homes are like auto drivers – the safer the property the better insurance rate one should get.  Energy efficiency improvements will save you on your energy bills, so why not take an extra step and save on your insurance?

Here are top 5 ways to save real dough:

PLUMBING, HVAC, ELECTRICAL:  As homes age, they require maintenance, and at some point plumbing, HVAC, and Electrical will have to be updated. The newer infrastructure is often safer, healthier, and more energy efficient. Not only is this greener for your life, but greener in your pocket. Be sure to tell your agent about home infrastructure updates because it will give you a better rate on your policy.

SOLAR POWER/ENERGY STAR HOMES:  Often I get asked how and where to buy solar system insurance. I tell people that buying insurance specifically for your home solar system is like buying an auto insurance policy, and then buying a second insurance policy for your tires. It doesn’t make sense! Add the solar system to your home owner’s insurance policy because it is a part of your home. Additionally, your insurance company may have a discount or preferred rate for you if you have a solar powered home.

ROOF:Have you replaced a roof with a longer lasting, better looking and healthier material like ArmorLite? Even if you just installed solar shingles, or did an overall upgrade to the roof, any of these  can make an impact on your pocketbook. When you have your annual review with your insurance and financial professional, do brag about the new roof and ask for available discounts.

ECO REBUILD:If a home owner has the unfortunate calamity of a home fire (or other qualifying damage), then with this option the home can be reconstructed with eco-friendly materials.  Farmers Insurance has an option on home owner’s policies called Eco-Rebuild. For $1.50-$2.50/month, a person can elect to have their home rebuilt differently- rebuilt green!

HYBRID/ELECTRIC CAR:  This one has to do with your car.  Some companies like Farmers, offer discounts on auto insurance for alternative fuel vehicles.  Not sure about that Toyota Prius these days, sticking gas pedals does not exactly qualify as a low risk transportation vehicle. 🙂

If you have completed any of the upgrades mentioned here make sure to be pro-active and call your insurance agent with the news.  Take advantage of these savings, it can add up to hundreds of dollars a year.

P.S. If you have any questions, simply leave us a note in the comments or shoot us an e-mail through the contact section.

Author Profile: – Thomas Amaral. Tommy, as friends call him, has a long standing passion for parks, open space, and community recreation. One of his largest goals is to advocate and encourage others to be good stewards of their communities.

He is a licensed Insurance Professional in California with an office in Palo Alto, and represents his clients through Farmers Insurance Group. Tommy specializes in partnering with green minded homeowners and individuals, who strive to lead healthy, safe, and secure lifestyles.  You can contact him  by following this link:

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Zach June 5, 2010, 9:07 pm

    These are some awesome things to know! I didn’t know how many “green” upgrades will bring rates down, great post!

  • home owner insurance axis July 29, 2010, 12:55 am

    Thanks for telling us about some of these often overlooked discounts. You’re right — I bet a lot of agents don’t even know some of these things!

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