Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Be a good steward of the earth, get the most from your insurance

It's no secret that insurance providers favour those who are responsible, and that environmental awareness is one way of demonstrating responsibility. Here are five ways that you can become a better guardian of our planet and its resources.

Change your driving habits. This could be as big a change as making the switch over to a hybrid or electric car instead of the gas-dependent ride you were using before, or as simple as driving your car less frequently. The good news is that in the eyes of the insurance industry, no “green” measure is too small to go unnoticed when it comes to driving: both of these changes will reduce your auto insurance premiums.

Get a home that's Energy Star compliant. The Energy Star for New Homes program was recently implemented to help set guidelines for new homes to be built in such a way as to conserve much more energy than the majority of new build homes, which are only held to each province's minimum building codes. If you are looking to buy a new home, this is an option to consider. At the very least, you will find savings in your energy spendings. On top of that, though, if you have a very environmentally progressive insurance provider, you may be able to use this to get a lower rate on your home insurance premiums too.

Make your existing home Energy Star compliant. You don't have to buy a new home altogether in order to have a home that is recognized as being energy efficient. By upgrading your windows, installing energy efficient climate control, and upgrading your insulation, you are doing plenty to make your home green. This translates to lower energy bills for you, higher resale value, and lower environmental strain for your part.

Limit your use of resources in your home. Because this measure isn't as new and glamorous as some of the cutting edge upgrades you can implement in your home to reduce environmental impact, this step is often overlooked. Yet it is one of the oldest and most reliable methods of doing your part to conserve the planet's resources. Taking shorter showers, being careful with running water when doing dishes, reducing the amount of water your toilet uses in flushing, turning lights off in rooms and closets that are not in use, and unplugging appliances that don't need to be left plugged in are all simple and effective ways to improve your home's efficiency. Some insurance companies will review your utility consumption and give you a break in premiums for doing well in this regard, so it's win-win.

Learn of your provider's incentives to go green. Arranging a time to discuss with your insurance provider your desire to make eco-conscious choices should prove to be beneficial. At the very least, your broker will likely provide you with the option of writing a policy that covers energy efficient replacements for items covered in your home owner's and contents insurance policies. It's never too early to plan for a healthier future!


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