Going Green is Good for the Planet and Insurance Rates!

Your first thought may be that the Green Movement and Insurance are not connected in any way.  But I propose to you that the insurance rates you pay today and will pay in the future are greatly impacted by how well we take care of our planet.

You have probably heard of the concept of the “carbon footprint”, i.e. the total set of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions caused directly and indirectly by an individual, organization, event or product.  The greener our daily habits, the less GHG’s we produce, which in turn slows or reverses global warming.  Hopefully, as people become more aware that they have a carbon footprint, they will make better decisions to control it.

Knowledge of how we are impacting our environment negatively is not just for tree-huggers and granola-eating hippies.  Scientific study has proven these effects, and the mainstream is now embracing these concepts.  It has been scientifically proven that as the planet heats up from all of these GHG’s being emitted, this causes more violent weather.  Hurricanes, drought and wildfires seem to be plaguing our continent more often and with more severity than ever before.  Just this morning I turned on the news for about 5 minutes, and in that time, I learned about a Category-5 Hurricane bearing down on the Baja Peninsula and a major wildfire that is threatening the city of Los Angeles.  A major contributor to the wildfire is drought.  All of these disasters are caused by global warming, which is caused by our GHG emissions.

Of course, it is easy to connect natural disasters with major damage.  And major damage means major insurance claims. And when an insurance company pays major claims, they will typically thereafter raise their rates dramatically across the country to make up for their losses, start adding exclusions or changing their coverage for certain risks, or simply go out of business and leave their clients in a lurch.

The only way to avoid these events or at least lessen the risk is for each person and organization to embrace the ideas that it all starts with us.  We choose whether our future and our children’s future is bleak or full of hope and promise.  Individually we must each decide whether to keep doing things the same, or to make a change for the better.  We must pressure our corporations and businesses to act ecologically responsibly in their production of goods and services.  We must pressure our politicians to create laws and ordinances that enforce good ecology practices both from businesses and individuals.

Here are some ways that your insurance rates can be affected by your green habits:

Some insurance carriers are now offering a discount if you have Solar Panels on your home.

Some auto insurance carriers are offering pay-as-you-drive insurance, giving discounts for those who drive less than average drivers.

Going paperless by allowing your insurance company to send you all documents and billing by email can also result in a discount.  Kari Fortin with Centurion Mortgage is just one example of a client who is taking advantage of this green discount.

In commercial insurance, there are a growing number of insurance carriers that offer insurance specifically for a “Green Building” that covers a range of green building features, including credits and discounts related to recycled materials, energy-efficient products, green roofs and business interruption.

Travelers Insurance, one of the carriers that Judge Fite Insurance represents, is providing eco-friendly coverage to small businesses that enables them to repair, rebuild, replace or upgrade to green building elements under it’s “Master Pac Green Endorsement”.

A great source for information about going green for businesses is www.GreenBiz.com.

For more information about insurance for you home, investments, vehicles, or business, contact Judge Fite Insurance Agency today atinsurance@judgefite.com or 214-446-2572.

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