"People don't trust private health insurance companies for all the right reasons."

Bernie Sanders, Politician

What is Green Insurance?

the types, advantages and downsides of green insurance

Green insurance (also often referred to as eco-friendly insurance) can be defined as an insurance that not only covers people in case of injury or damage, but also contributes to protect our environment.

 

For instance, this could mean that a fraction of the insurance premium is donated to environmental organizations in order to plant trees in our rainforests.

 

There are many different types of eco-friendly insurances out there. In this article, the types as well the pros and cons of green insurance are examined in detail.

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Types of Green Insurance

  1. Green car insurance
  2. Green business insurance
  3. Eco-friendly home insurance
  4. Green travel insurance
  5. Eco-friendly liability insurance
  6. Green life insurance
  7. Eco-friendly health insurance

Green car insurance

One important way to make your insurance mix greener is by using eco-friendly car insurance. For instance, this could mean that you could get pay-as-you-drive auto insurance. This kind of insurance may be considered eco-friendly since you will pay insurance premium depending on how many miles you are driving.

 

This implies that a reduction in the use of cars may lower your insurance premium and may give you an incentive to switch from your car to public transport instead. You may even want to walk short distance or use your bicycle instead of using your car.

 

In turn, this would significantly improve your ecological footprint and may slow down global warming to a certain extent since the overall amount of greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced.

 

Green business insurance

Eco-friendly business insurance can come in several ways. For instance, this could include property insurance that incentivize business owners to renew their building in case of damage with eco-friendly materials or devices. This can include eco-friendly lighting and the use of green materials for furniture. In case of complete destruction of the building, it may also include the reconstruction in line with environmentally-friendly standards.

 

Apart from the reconstruction of furniture or the building, offices also have to be monitored and things have to be fixed on a regular basis. This is especially true when it comes to green technologies since technology progresses quite fast and businesses might want to this development on a regular basis. By using an eco-friendly business insurance, you might be also covered for those maintenance costs.

 

Green business insurance may also include discounts on business vehicles for employees that use hybrid or electric power instead of conventional fossil fuels. By giving these discounts, companies might have a bigger incentive to offer eco-friendly business vehicles instead of using traditional fueled ones.

 

Eco-friendly home insurance

Also, for homeowners, there are several kinds of green insurances available. Instead of using a conventional rebuilding insurance, there is also a green version of it available on the market.

 

This often includes using renewable materials for repairs instead of materials that hurt our environment or contribute to resource depletion. It also includes the use of materials that are energy efficient so that the overall amounts of electricity that is consumed will be lower.

 

If you’ve already participated in the transition process from fossil to renewable energies and currently produce your own energy with solar panels or other devices, you may need a renewable energy reimbursement insurance.

 

This kind of insurance financially supports you in case of a power outage. On the one hand, this insurance may compensate you for the loss if you produce and sell large amounts of energy to local energy companies or also if you have additional costs to purchase electricity for your own needs. On the other hand, this kind of insurance might also support you in case you need technical or maintenance support with your renewable energy power system.

 

Green travel insurance

Even on your travels, you can make a positive impact on our environmental system. Yes, travelling, especially by plane, hurts our environment. However, you can lower your damage on our environment by using eco-friendly travel insurance.

 

There are some models which aim to reduce or even fully compensate our environmental damage due to travelling. For instance, this could mean using insurances that donate a fraction of the insurance premium for reforestation or other actions that positively impact our planet.

 

Among others, this could be done by using insurances that have carbon offset programs. Basically, by using those models, you pay a little bit more for your insurance an insurance companies guarantee that they donate these extra dollars to institutions which aim to take measures to reduce our global carbon footprint by using various different measures.

 

Thus, these carbon offsetting programs aim to neutralize your carbon dioxide emissions during your travels in order to mitigate air pollution and to slow down global warming.

 

Eco-friendly liability insurance

Even though the use of liability insurance is not closely related to the use of eco-friendly materials, you could still choose liability insurances of companies that are known to be more eco-friendly so that the pressure on other insurance companies increases to join the quest of protecting our planet.

 

Green life insurance

Similar to green liability insurance, you should also consider to get your life insurance from companies that take care of our environment instead of using companies that do not care about our planet at all.

 

There are many insurance companies out there that donate significant amounts of money for environmental projects. By supporting one of those insurance companies, you could indirectly improve your ecological footprint and contribute to protect our environment.

 

Eco-friendly health insurance

Also in the health insurance sector, there are big differences between insurance companies when it comes to their environmental commitment. Also, for this kind of insurance, make sure to choose an insurance company that supports our environment instead of choosing an insurance company that doesn’t care at all about our planet and is just maximizing its profits.

Is Green Insurance more expensive compared to Conventional Insurance?

The short answer is “it depends”. Depending on the insurance company and the level of protection they offer, green insurance may be more expensive compared to conventional insurance since protecting our environment also has its price tag.

 

However, some insurance companies also want to engage in the protection of our environment since they want to improve their image and are willing to spend significant amounts of money on environmental programs without charging higher insurance premiums for customers.

 

Therefore, green insurance does not have to be more expensive compared to conventional insurance in general. Thus, depending on the individual case, you should compare different insurance companies to find the optimal choice in line with your financial preferences and ecological values.

Pros of Green Insurance

  1. Positive contribution for our environment
  2. Increasing pressure on other insurance companies
  3. Increasing awareness of the general public
  4. Clean conscience

Positive contribution for our environment

By using green insurances instead of conventional ones, you could vastly improve your ecological footprint in most cases.

 

Moreover, since the energy transition process from fossil to renewable energies is supported by financial subsidies, especially in the renewable insurance sector, green insurances might not even be more expensive compared to conventional ones due to those subsidies.

 

Therefore, you might be able to contribute to a brighter environmental future without having to spend lots of additional money for eco-friendly insurance options.

 

Increasing pressure on other insurance companies

By using green insurances, you may also be able to increase the pressure on insurance companies which still use conventional insurance models and do not care too much about the protection of our planet.

 

If a large number of people switches from conventional to green insurance companies, the pressure on conventional insurance companies to do so as well increases significantly since they might fear to go out of business if they do not offer more eco-friendly alternatives.

 

Increasing awareness of the general public

By taking a stand and switching from conventional to green insurances, you will already make a significant positive impact for our environment.

 

However, you could multiply your positive effect by speaking up and by raising the awareness of your family and friends on this topic.

 

By convincing them about the importance of green insurances, you could further improve your ecological footprint since people around you may get greener insurances as well.

 

Clean conscience

Through the use of eco-friendly insurances instead of conventional ones, you may also feel quite good about yourself since you know you improved your ecological footprint and made a positive contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations. This may improve your overall quality of life since you might be quite proud of yourself after making the transition from conventional to green insurance.

Cons of Green Insurance

  1. May be more expensive
  2. Not everything that is declared as “green” is actually green
  3. Shortcomings compared to conventional insurances

May be more expensive

One major concern of many people is that green insurance might be significantly more expensive.

 

This could be true for some kinds of insurance types, however, this can not be generalized since many insurances offer green insurances for a pretty good price.

 

It is on you to choose between the different options and to get the best deal.

 

Thus, even though green insurance might be more expensive in some cases, the opposite may be true for other insurance product types.

 

Not everything that is declared as “green” is actually green

Companies know that the importance and awareness of the general public regarding green products significantly increased over the past decades. This is also true for the insurance sector. Therefore, insurance companies often portray themselves and their products as eco-friendly, while they might actually not act in this manner at all.

 

Thus, it is crucial that you keep a critical view on this topic and that you inform yourself in detail in order to choose a company that really behaves eco-friendly and does not only pretend to be eco-friendly.

 

Shortcomings compared to conventional insurances

In some cases, green insurances might also not have the same level of coverage compared to conventional insurances. However, the market for green insurance grows at a steady rate. Therefore, in the future, there will be all kinds of green insurances with a pretty good coverage available for the general public.

Conclusion

Green insurance products might be pretty important in order to improve our ecological footprint and to ensure a livable future for the next generations. Even though those insurance products have plenty of upsides, there are sometimes also downsides related to them. Therefore, it is crucial that you keep a critical perspective in order to find insurance products and companies that are actually in line with eco-friendly behavior.

Sources

About the author

 

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.

 

As I went to university and got my Master's degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.

 

After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.

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