NEW YORK CITY-Steve Bushnell, product director of Fireman’s Fun Insurance Co. thinks of risk in terms of green. Insurance companies such as his view green risk based on physical, operation and enterprise aspects.

In the BOMA session titled, “It’s Not Easy Being Green: Are You Prepared for the Risks,” Bushnell noted that the Novato, CA-based Fireman’s Fund is interested in green coverage because of three main reasons. The first is the profound economic value proposition; businesses can improve their cash flow, operating income and asset value by going green. The second is the green buildings are better insurance risks. The third is that tenants are increasingly seeking green space.

“Green buildings do present a different set of risks than traditional buildings,” he said. “You have to think of green risks in terms of the physical, the operational and the enterprise aspects.”

He went on to explain that green physical risks might be a vegetative roof, an alternative energy system and an alternative water system for example. “If we just looked at these physical risks in terms of leakage, maintenance, mold, critters and wind damage, we would say no to coverage; however, the positives and quality of these physical risks are different than the average commercial building,” he said. “Traditional doesn’t look at green benefits, so you must think about the enterprise or you would never agree to insure green.”

Green operational risks might be green cleaning, waste management, pest management, tenant management, green systems maintenance and retro-commissioning, which all present a different set of risks and benefits to building owners, he explained.

Green Enterprises view the advantage of economic benefits a green building brings including maximizing energy savings, water conservation, ongoing operational savings, productivity gains, health benefits and creativity. “The value of green is expressed in third party verification,” he said. “The biggest risk involved with green is not going green.”

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