Solar panels are a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and save money on your electricity bills. But before you install them on your roof, you may wonder how they affect your home insurance. Will your premiums go up? Will your coverage change? Will you need a special policy? Here are some answers to these common questions.
How Do Solar Panels Affect Premiums?
The answer to this question depends on several factors, such as the type, size, and value of your solar panels, the installation method, and the insurance company you choose. Some insurers may charge higher premiums for homes with solar panels because they consider them an additional risk or liability. For example, solar panels may increase the chances of fire, electrical damage, theft, or vandalism.
Other insurers may offer discounts or incentives for homes with solar panels because they see them as a sign of environmental responsibility and energy efficiency. For example, some insurers may offer a green discount or a renewable energy credit for homes with solar panels.
The best way to find out how solar panels affect your home insurance premiums is to contact your insurer and ask for a quote. You may need to provide some information about your solar panels, such as the manufacturer, model, warranty, cost, and installation details. You may also need to update your home inventory and appraisal to reflect the value of your solar panels.
How Do Solar Panels Affect Coverage?
The effect of solar panels on your coverage also depends on several factors, including the ownership and financing of your solar panels, the type of damage or loss you experience, and the terms and conditions of your policy. Some insurers may cover your solar panels under your existing home insurance policy as part of your dwelling or personal property coverage. Other insurers may require you to purchase a separate endorsement or rider to cover your solar panels. Some insurers may not cover your solar panels at all or only cover them up to a certain limit.
To find out how solar panels affect your home insurance coverage, read your policy carefully and look for any exclusions or limitations that apply to solar panels. You may also want to review your deductible and liability limits to make sure they’re adequate for your solar panels. You should check to see if your policy covers any potential scenarios that involve solar panels, such as:
- Damage caused by hail, wind, fire, lightning, or falling objects
- Damage caused by installation errors or defects
- Damage caused by theft or vandalism
- Damage caused by power surges or electrical faults
- Loss of income or savings due to reduced or interrupted power generation
- Liability claims from third parties due to injury or property damage caused by your solar panels
If you’re not satisfied with the coverage offered by your insurer, you may want to shop around and compare different policies and prices from different companies. Consult a licensed insurance agent or broker who can help you find the best policy for your needs and budget.
Do You Need a Special Policy for Solar Panels?
The answer to this question depends on whether you own or lease your solar panels. If you own your solar panels outright, you may not need a special policy for them as long as they’re covered by your existing home insurance policy or endorsement. However, if you lease your solar panels from a third-party provider or finance them through a loan or a power purchase agreement (PPA), you may need a special policy for them.
This is because when you lease or finance your solar panels, you don’t own them. Rather, you pay a monthly fee or a fixed rate for the electricity they generate. In this case, the provider or lender owns the solar panels and is responsible for their maintenance and repair. However, you may be required to purchase a special policy for the panels that covers liability and property damage in case of an accident or loss. This policy may be included in your lease or financing contract, or you may have to purchase it separately from an insurance company.
To find out if you need a special policy for leased or financed solar panels, read your contract carefully and look for any clauses that specify the insurance requirements and responsibilities of both parties. Ask your provider or lender about their insurance policy and how it affects yours. You may also want to check if their policy covers any potential scenarios that involve their solar panels, such as:
- Damage caused by natural disasters or acts of God
- Damage caused by negligence or misuse
- Damage caused by wear and tear or depreciation
- Damage caused by termination or cancellation of the contract
- Liability claims from third parties due to injury or property damage caused by their solar panels
Make sure to check with your insurance agent so you know exactly what’s covered if you decide to install solar panels on your home. If you need reliable, affordable homeowners insurance, call on the experienced, trustworthy professionals at Altra Insurance Services. We can also provide you with renters, business, and car insurance. San Diego homeowners can learn more about our high-quality personal service by calling us today at (800) 719-9972.