Fires. Natural disasters. Acts of violence. We don’t want to think about them, but they do happen, and when disaster strikes we need to be ready. That is why despite its confusion and unpopularity, insurance coverage is necessary. One of the common myths surrounding green roofs is that they are not covered under insurance. If you don’t already have a green building, it is possible that the vegetation and irrigation system is not covered by your current property or roof insurance plan. But we're here to bust another myth because they can be!
One way to make sure your green roof is covered is by purchasing landscape insurance to cover the loss of plants, growing medium, and the water source (irrigation). This might not be included in your property insurance plan if you don’t already have landscaping, but it can easily be added by a lot of insurance providers. If you don’t feel like the landscaping insurance is going to cover the cost of your green roof, you can write up specific endorsements to ensure you’re covered in the event of a loss. If you do this, you’ll want to properly determine the value of your roof so that you aren’t paying too high a premium. High insurance premiums will simply cut into the cost savings and benefits of having a green roof.
This option is great if you simply placed a green roof on a not-so-green building. But if your building is sustainable or green certified, you might want to consider purchasing green building insurance from a provider that understands and values the losses associated with rebuilding.
Many insurance companies are now offering green building insurance to the U.S. commercial marketplace. Their offerings can include special green infrastructure endorsements, alternative energy production protection, and vegetative roofs. They also often have coverage to protect green building owners investments such as tax incentives, utilities, loans, and more. Even though the plans vary from company to company, you can be sure to find a plan that fits your needs and budget. The green building market is one of the fastest growing in the world, and insurance companies are more than willing to offer services to help. In fact, there were over 65,000 LEED certified projects in 2017 in the US alone (1)!
A lot of hard work goes into the design and construction of a sustainable building, so it's important to realize that when bad things happen, you don’t just have to rebuild, you’re missing out on all the cost savings and health benefits your building gives you!