How Do Solar Panels Affect House Insurance?
If you install solar panels on your roof or on an attached garage, you should consider purchasing a home insurance policy for these installations. Typically, a standard homeowners policy covers these installations. A policy pays for the cost of repairing or rebuilding the home if it is damaged by a covered event such as a fire or storm. Your policy will not cover theft or flood damage, so you will need to calculate the replacement value of your panels.
There are several things to keep in mind when purchasing a homeowners insurance policy for your rooftop solar panels. Your policy should cover any damage to the panels, but it is important to know that this can have a substantial impact on your premium. A solar panel system can add a lot of value to your home and may be excluded from the coverage. Your policy will not cover any damage caused by the panels, but it will pay for the installation itself.
In addition to the cost of the solar panels, you should consider the possibility of theft or damage. If a tree falls on your solar panels, you will need to replace the panels. Even minor damages can affect the amount of voltage they generate. If the panels sustain more than twenty percent of damage, they may need to be replaced. Vermin can also damage your solar panels. They may chew on exposed wires or surfaces, causing shorts. Your homeowners insurance policy won’t cover vermin damage.
While your homeowners insurance policy will not cover damages caused by solar panels, it will cover most other types of damage. Insurers consider your solar panels to be part of your home and will offer you a discount for adding them to your policy. For a higher premium, however, you should consult with your agent to find out if your solar panels are included in the policy. If so, you should discuss this with your insurance agent.
In most cases, homeowners insurance policies cover damage incurred by earthquakes, floods, or pests. However, the extra electricity generated by solar panels will be sold to the utility company. If you plan to sell the extra electricity, be sure to notify your insurer before doing so. Moreover, you should never install solar panels yourself. Unless you’re an experienced contractor, you can easily destroy your roof and the panels and not get insurance for the additional expense.
If you’re installing solar panels on your roof or patio, you should check with your insurance agent to make sure that the policy includes protection against damage caused by falling trees or insects. You should ensure that the coverage limit is equal to the replacement value of your solar panels. In case of an earthquake, it’s best to ask your insurer whether the policy covers the replacement cost of the solar panels. The higher the replacement cost, the better.