Feature

Insurance the eco-way

G Magazine

Insure the eco-value of your home and car

Australian note money

With competitive insurance policies, you can be kind to the planet without having to fork out excessive cash.

Credit: iStockphoto

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Insurers have never exactly been at the cutting edge of corporate virtue. But global warming has changed that.

According to a report released last year by the Insurance Working Group of the Geneva-based United Nations Environment Program Finance Initiative, one of the big concerns for insurance companies is that climate change may result in more natural disasters.

It's just another reason why insurance companies are now becoming proactive in their product offerings designed to reduce climate change.

In 2007, Queensland-based Australian Insurance Holdings launched ibuyeco - car insurance that is 100 per cent carbon neutral.

Under this scheme, you can check out how much carbon your car generates on the ibuyeco website.

By filling in the make, model and year of your car, along with how many kilometres per year you drive, it works out how many tonnes of carbon your car emits. Then, depending on the car's green rating and where you park it, you're given a quote for your insurance.

A partnership between ibuyeco and Greening Australia ensures that the policy is carbon neutral, with native trees planted for each tonne of carbon released (the number of trees depends on the location).

Associate director of ibuyeco, Jonathan Kerr, says doing something about the environment is not the only draw card.

The premiums are also competitive, which means that policyholders can be kind to the planet without making excessive payments.

The average Australian drives up to 15,000 kilometres in a year, which means their vehicles emit three to four tonnes of carbon. Offsetting that adds just another $30 to $50 to the premium, he says.

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