As a thrifty, environmentally conscious homeowner, you installed solar panels on your home. Or, perhaps you’re thinking about it and want more information first. Either way, there are some things you need to know about solar panel damage and insurance coverage before you go any further. First, you need to ask, are solar panels covered by homeowners insurance?
Depending on the insurance company, certain types of solar panel damage may or may not be covered.
Of course, it’s always wise to talk with your insurance agent to find out what your policy covers. To give you an idea of what to ask, here are some of the most frequently asked questions about damaged solar panels and insurance.
Does My Insurance Cover Solar Panel Damage?
The dwelling coverage section of the homeowners policy protects solar panels that are permanently attached to the roof of your home. If you have ground-mounted panels or panels attached to a shed or garage, the other structures section of the policy covers those types of panels.
If your policy doesn’t cover solar panels at all, separate solar panel insurance is an option.
What Are the Most Common Types of Damage?
In addition to weather damage, debris such as sticks, dirt, or leaves harm solar panels. These don’t seem like significant threats, but they can scratch or crack the glass panels. This type of damage can impair the amount of energy produced by the panels.
Damaged solar panels are potentially dangerous. Therefore, professional repair is recommended. A broken panel can release toxic chemicals such as silicon, lead, arsenic, and cadmium. A professional solar panel technician will properly repair cracked or broken solar panels.
What Types of Solar Panel Damage Are Covered?
Your insurance policy lists any perils that are covered regarding solar panels. The perils (risks) may include damage from the following:
- Fire and smoke
- Lightning, wind, hail
- Ice, sleet, snow
- Water damage
- Theft or vandalism
- Falling objects
Because of their outdoor location, solar panels are vulnerable to weather damage. So, talk to your insurance agent before installing the panels. A solar power system may not be the best solution for your home due to limited insurance coverage and high costs.
What Types of Solar Panel Damage Are Not Covered?
Generally, even if your insurance covers solar panel damage, some types of damage are not covered. For instance, they are not covered for damages caused by:
- Wear and tear
Before you install solar panels, review your policy or talk with your agent to understand what is covered and what is not.
Does Insurance Cover Leased Solar Panels?
Typically, insurance companies don’t cover leased solar panels. However, the leasing company may provide insurance. Be sure to check with them about insurance before signing the agreement.
Will Solar Panels Increase My Premiums?
Your homeowners insurance limits may not be enough to cover damage to your home and the solar panels in the event of damage. Also, solar panels will increase the value of your home, so you want to be sure you have enough coverage.
In general, raising the coverage limits can result in a slight increase in your premium.
Will Solar Panels Help Me Save Money?
Although the upfront costs of installing solar panels are high, they have a life expectancy of about 25 years. During that time, you can possibly save an average of $20,000 or more. These savings could help offset the installation costs and the increased insurance premiums.
Should I Tell My Insurance Company About My Solar Panels?
Yes. You should inform your insurance company about solar panels for several reasons. For instance, installing solar panels can result in damage to your roof. In some cases, you will have to pay for the damage. So, tell your insurance company if you plan to install solar panels, and be sure to use a licensed, insured company to install them.
Also, call your insurance company before installing the panels. By doing so, you’re covered for damages during the installation.
Learn More About Homeowners Insurance and Solar Panel Damage
Installing solar panels is a wise decision and you want to know your investment is protected. If you want to know more about homeowners insurance and damaged solar panels, Sandifer Insurance can help.
We are a family-owned agency and have served customers in Cheraw, SC, and surrounding areas for over 40 years. Whatever your insurance needs, we will ensure you get the right coverage at the best rates. Feel free to contact us for a quote on homeowners, life, auto, or farm insurance.
If you have more questions about homeowners insurance and solar panel damage, contact us by phone, email, or online to speak with one of our knowledgeable agents.