California’s first green homeowners’ insurance policy went into effect August 1, allowing homeowners to rebuild under Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) standards after a loss. This newly approved policy covers green recertification fees and provides up to $25,000 for a LEED-certified architect to oversee the rebuilding of the home, among other expenses not covered in traditional policies. Under this policy, environmentally-conscious homeowners will get the green light to install Energy Star-rated appliances, water-saving plumbing fixtures, and Forest Stewardship Council-certified woods like bamboo for flooring, ceilings, siding, and framing.


“I encourage all insurance companies to expand options for consumers,” says insurance commissioner Steve Poizner. “Innovative products like these are a win-win for consumers and the environment, lowering energy bills and cutting consumption.”


Poizner is also working towards a green auto insurance option that will encourage Californians to drive less, thereby reducing emissions, in a voluntary “pay as you go” format. (   MASON RICHEY