Fireman’s Fund Expands Green Construction Coverage

August 31, 2010

Just in time for back-to-school, Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co. has announced the expansion of its commercial green insurance product line to include educational institutions, including colleges and universities, trade and vocational schools, and public and private elementary and high schools.

With the Fireman’s Fund Green-Guard commercial building insurance, educational institutions are able to replace standard materials and systems with green alternatives after a loss. If a total loss is claimed, Fireman’s Fund will pay for the construction of an entire building that is green-certified, and properties which are already so-designated will receive a discount of 5 percent on regular insurance coverage premiums. In addition, if a loss is claimed, the Fireman’s Fund program protects schools’ investment into coverage by allowing new certification at one level above the certified green building level in place before the loss or damage.

In the words of Stephen Bushness, senior director of emerging industries at Fireman’s Fund explained, “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.”

Why expand the program? Fireman’s Fund says that public schools spend roughly $6 billion a year on energy, making it the second highest expense after salaries. Colleges and universities spend about $2 billion/year on their utility bills, according to data from the EPA. The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) has conducted research which has found that a green building typically uses 30-to-50 percent less energy and 30 percent less water than a building constructed with standard materials and systems. Lower utility bills can allow schools to save as much as $100,000/year which can then be put into actually educating students.

Going green, says the Fireman’s Fund, also helps schools attract and retain high-quality students and faculty members. In fact, 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,” Bushnell said.