February 23, 2009 12:12 ET

Insurance Upgrade Helps Homeowners Go "Green" After a Loss

WARREN, NJ--(Marketwire - February 23, 2009) - If a home is damaged or destroyed, homeowners may want to rebuild with "green" materials and processes, but the additional cost can be prohibitive. Now, homeowners can obtain insurance through the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies that will pay to rebuild using environmentally friendly materials, low-impact processes and ultra-efficient heating and cooling technology after an insured loss.

Under Chubb's Masterpiece® GreenWise(SM) Upgrade coverage option, Chubb will pay the difference between rebuilding the house as it was and rebuilding "green," up to the amount of GreenWise insurance purchased. The new upgrade option can also help customers who have homes that have already been "green" certified to rebuild to the most recent certification standards.

Policyholders can purchase 10 percent to 100 percent of the insured value of the home. Other insurers typically provide only up to 10 percent of the dwelling limit for "green" coverage.

More than one in four (28%) Americans plan to spend more money making their homes more "green," based on the current economic environment, according to a nationwide survey of 1,000 people sponsored by the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies. Most respondents said they would reduce spending on other home improvements, such as renovations and additions, and home maintenance and repairs, according to the survey.

"Homeowners are increasingly conscious of the need to preserve natural resources and protect the environment," said Christie Alderman, new products and services manager for Chubb Personal Insurance. "They also recognize the economic value of going green, as it can save them thousands or tens of thousands of dollars over the long haul."

Because the GreenWise Upgrade coverage option is provided as an aggregate limit, customers can choose to rebuild with green building products, use green methods of construction or invest in the green certification of their homes as they see fit and without sub-limits. Further, Chubb's coverage accepts hundreds of national and local green standards, not limiting customers solely to LEED standards and ENERGY STAR designated products.

The new optional offering complements another recently introduced Chubb coverage that reimburses additional expenses customers incur (up to $50,000 per occurrence) to purchase power from a utility while their home's solar, wind or geothermal power-generating system is being repaired, or to purchase water from a utility when an alternative water system is being repaired. GreenWise utility expenses, which is automatically included in the homeowners policy at no additional cost, provides reimbursement for lost income due to an insured loss to a solar, wind or geothermal system that generates excess energy purchased by the utility.

"Many people wish they could do more to help the environment, but a full retrofit to green technologies can be cost prohibitive," Alderman said. "GreenWise can make something good come from a bad situation. If you had to go through the anguish of suffering a loss to your home, you may at least be comforted knowing you were rebuilding in a way that lessened your impact on the environment."

GreenWise Upgrade coverage is now available in Colorado, beginning a nationwide roll-out.

The 2008 Chubb National Home Protection Survey was conducted in early November by Opinion Research Corporation, a worldwide research and consulting firm in Princeton, NJ.

The member insurers of the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies form a multi-billion dollar organization providing property and casualty insurance for personal and commercial customers worldwide through 8,500 independent agents and brokers. Chubb's global network includes branches and affiliates in North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia and Australia. Chubb is a worldwide leader in insuring fine homes, automobiles, yachts, antiques and other collectibles, and personal liability. Additional information on Chubb can be found at

Contact Information

  • Contact:

    Chubb Group of Insurance Companies
    15 Mountain View Road
    P.O. Box 1615
    Warren, New Jersey 07059

    David Hilgen
    (908) 903-4165