Fireman's Fund Insurance Co. is broadening its commercial green insurance appetite to include public and private schools, colleges and universities, and trade and vocational schools.
With Green-Gard commercial building coverages from Fireman's Fund, schools can replace standard systems and materials with green alternatives after a loss. In the event of a total loss, Fireman's Fund will pay the cost to rebuild as a green certified building. If the property is already green-certified it will benefit from a 5 percent premium discount on its regular insurance coverage. In the case of a loss, Fireman's Fund protects the school's green investment with coverage by allowing it to attain certification at one level above the certified green building level prior to the loss or damage.
"To meet the emerging sustainability needs of schools, Fireman's Fund will now offer comprehensive green insurance coverage. Whether the schools have built green buildings, made green renovations or want to rebuild green in the event of a loss, Fireman's Fund provides the premier insurance solutions for these financial and environmental investments," said Stephen Bushnell, senior director of emerging industries at Fireman's Fund.
As reason for the program expansion, the insurer said public schools spend $6 billion every year on energy, the second highest expense following salaries, while colleges and universities spend approximately $2 billion on utility bills according to data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has found that a green building typically uses 30 percent to 50 percent less energy and 30 percent less water, which can free up critical funds to support schools' core mission. USGBC data also shows that schools that have made green renovations save nearly $100,000 per year.
Going green also means attracting and retaining quality students and faculty for colleges and universities, the company said. The Princeton Review found that 68 percent of high school students are looking for a green campus in their search for their best fit college.
"Colleges and universities have long been on the leading edge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, energy costs and their overall impact on the environment. A green campus not only conserves energy and makes a statement on climate change, it also reduces utility costs which can make a dramatic impact on a school's bottom line," said Bushnell.