July 16, 2010 by Canadian Underwriter
Chartis is reportedly interested in introducing a LEED insurance product in Canada that would help protect companies’ reputations in a lawsuit if the company failed to meet LEED certification.
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a green building rating system that encourages sustainable development practices.
In an online article by Daily Commercial News and Construction Worker, author Peter Kenter quotes Ian Theaker, senior sustainability consultant with the Toronto offices of Halsall Associates Ltd. as saying: “In Canada…no construction insurance or surety products have specifically targeted LEED construction projects.”
This may have to do with the relative lack of LEEDS-related litigation in Canada, compared to that occurring in the United States, Kenter observes.
“One of the reasons for this may be that the LEED process has been specifically set up to make planning decisions that avoid problems down the road,” Kenter quotes Theaker as saying. “The design development phase of LEED projects involves a lot more scrutiny of the design, including the use of a shadow team to provide extra oversight.”
U.S.-based Chartis offers Green Indoor Environment Coverage to cover bodily injury due to the failure of specialized equipment and products that improve air or water quality in green buildings, something not explicitly covered in other policies.
It also offers Green Reputation Coverage, which covers the cost of legal defense, and the hiring of crisis management consultants in the face of adverse publicity related to the failure of a building to meet green industry standards.