Solar power is popular for a reason: switching to this type of energy can both reduce your electricity bills and add value to your home. But the solar panels needed for a solar energy system are a big investment, and because they are such a big purchase, you’ll want to make sure that replacing them wouldn’t be too expensive if something were to happen to them. So, naturally you might be wondering if you need special insurance for solar panels, or if they are covered under your homeowners insurance policy.
Insurance For Solar Panels
Once solar panels are installed on your roof, they are considered part of your home, so they are actually covered under most standard homeowners insurance policies. They are covered for the same perils as your home, meaning if you have an open peril dwelling policy, your solar panels will be covered for every incident except those explicitly listed as exclusions in the policy.
One thing to be aware of is that homeowners insurance policies don’t usually cover the installation process for your solar panels; if something were to happen to the panels during installation, most likely the company installing them would be required to make things right.
Always remember to check with your insurance company about what is covered and not covered under your homeowners insurance policy, and, if necessary, ask them about the following options:
Add-on Or Separate Policy
If it turns out your panels are not covered under your current homeowner’s insurance, you can always add a rider to your policy that will specifically cover your panels; if you can’t do this or don’t want to, you will have to change your policy completely, and will probably end up paying slightly more. But in the long run, having a policy that fully covers your panels would be worth it in the event something did happen to them; for example, if a windstorm damages your panels, or a fire destroys your home, you will be able to replace the panels at minimal cost to you.
In addition, if you have a different type of solar energy system – for example, one that has ground-mounted solar panels, your homeowners insurance policy might not cover these. In this case, you can again consider adding a rider onto your policy, or getting a separate solar panel insurance policy for them.
Raise Your Coverage Limit
If you’re worried about your expensive solar energy system being fully covered under your current homeowners policy, you should consider raising your coverage limit, or the maximum amount that your insurance policy will pay for a covered loss. Your current policy might be enough, but keep in mind that the larger the solar energy system you install, the more money you are investing in the system, and the more money you will have to claim on your insurance if anything happens (especially if you are also claiming for other damages at the same time). Raising your coverage limit is a great way to make sure that you are completely covered for any eventuality – the last thing you want is your homeowners policy only covering half of your claim or less!
Whether you have chosen to buy or lease your solar panels can make a difference for your homeowners insurance. If you decide to lease your solar energy system, then technically you are not the owner of the system: the company who you are leasing it from owns it and is responsible for it. If you choose this option, go over the lease before signing to make sure that your home and solar panels are covered in case of the unexpected, and that you will not be expected to pay for any damages.
Hurricanes, major storms, fires, and other disasters can happen, and they can do severe damage to your roof and your solar panels, but rest assured that you have options for recouping your losses. Typically, your homeowners insurance will cover your solar panels and roof if they are damaged or need to be replaced, but in order to make sure everything is completely covered, you should contact your insurance company and speak with them about the limits of your policy.
There’s no doubt that solar panels are a big investment, but they’re worth it – and they’re easy to insure, so there’s no need to choose the cheapest option simply because you’re afraid of the cost of replacing them. Your best bet is to find ones that are efficient and durable, and the best way to do that is by comparing panels offered by different companies – this way you can be sure you’re getting ones that will need little to no replacing. Go Solar Energy can help you find the best solar panels for your budget, so to get free quotes, simply enter your zip code in the bar on our homepage, or to speak to a licensed agent, call 888-290-3112.