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Sep 01

Does your Insurance Cover your New Small ‘Green’ Business?

insuranceAs many entrepreneurs and small business owners are starting to grow more concerned about sustaining the planet, many are now diligently working to reduce their company’s carbon footprint while simultaneously creating a green-working environment for both their employees and clients via costly renovations. But when disaster strikes, many business owners are shocked to discover their insurance policies do not cover major losses associated with their green efforts. No, most insurance companies do not automatically cover the loss of green-transformations such as adding solar panels or wind turbines. But there are alternative ways you can ensure that you are protected if an unfortunate mishap were to occur. To learn some of your options and along with some different policies that may be able to give you the coverage you need, continue reading below.

Green Business Insurance

The most sure-fire way to get the protection you need, especially if you invested a boat load of money to build a LEED-certified office space/building from the ground up, is to acquire “green business insurance.” Similar to standard commercial property insurance, this type of policy will cover losses caused from natural disasters such as weather storms and fires, as well as those caused by vandalism and theft. What makes this policy special of course is that it will help directly cover losses or damages unique to green establishments such as vegetated roofs and energy systems. Not only that, but if you wish to do so, most green business policies will also compensate you if you decide you would like to “upgrade” your business to be LEED-certified after your loss (if it wasn’t LEED certified before). Unfortunately only a few companies offer this specific type of insurance. Some of the more well-know companies are Chartis Inc, Fireman’s Fund, and Aon Corporation (The Aon Green Building Property Program).

Extended Home Owners Insurance

If you are a small business owner or entrepreneur that operates within the confinements of your own home, do not automatically assume that your traditional home owners insurance will cover your green renovations such as installing solar panels, stocking up with green-office supplies, or adding energy efficient lighting. Typically, consumers must request for an extended-home owners insurance policy in order to cover these green building/working materials. In some cases, some insurance policies don’t even offer an extended policy at all. Whatever the case, it’s important that you call your provider and find out before you make any changes—sometimes adding green renovations can make your policy price skyrocket.

Commercial Auto Insurance—Hybrid or Alternative Car

Lastly, if you have a business that requires you to travel extensively (maybe you make deliveries for example) and you have a (or a few) company hybrid or alternative car(s), you should definitely get hybrid commercial insurance for your vehicle(s). While hybrid vehicles are expensive, most insurance providers will offer a 5 % to 10 % discount rate for consumers who own these types of cars. Do note however that premiums may be quite costly in the very beginning—discounts generally don’t kick-in until a few months.

Original Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alancleaver/4122171512/

 

Author bio:

This is a guest post from Carol Wilson who writes for business insurance reviews. She contributes articles about a variety of marketing, business, stock market, small business topics. She can be contacted at: wilson.carol24 @ gmail.com.

3 comments

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