Today’s growing concern over prevalent environmental issues is driving many people to embrace an environmentally-conscious lifestyle. Over one million Americans have solar panels on their rooftops, and an anticipated 13.2 gigawatts of solar PV will be installed in the US by the end of 2017, which is 75% more than the number of installations in 2015, according to a recent report by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
As more and more homeowners are customizing their homes with a solar energy system to reduce their electricity bills and increase their home value, it’s important to have an insurance conversation about the “green” aspect of your home.
Will my system be covered by my home insurance?
Let’s not forget that a solar energy system is a big-time investment, unlike a new car. Although solar panels are powerfully durable, insuring your system could put your mind at ease —any covered risk that can cause damage to your system (hail, wind, water damage, or other perils), your insurance will foot the bill for repairs. Most home insurance plans cover panels because a system is considered as part of your dwelling. Here are a few points to consider:
- Depending on your insurer, certain types of installations might require an add-on or separate policy such as ground-mounted solar.
- Check with your insurer if they cover the actual installation process. Alternatively, many solar installers offer a warranty on workmanship to protect you from the unlikely event that your roof endures labor-related defects during installation.
There are also ways to protect your panels from damage by a person. You can add protection to them but adding a high fence around your property and adding an affordable home security camera system to keep an eye on your house and them.
Will my home solar panels increase my homeowner’s insurance premium?
While your home insurance likely covers your system, it does not mean that your premium will skyrocket. In fact, some carriers may offer a lower rate or discount for solar owners. Others, on the other hand, might charge a hefty fee on your system on the basis that it adds value to your home. Talk to your insurer or shop for insurance quotes for affordable low rates and policies.
Tip: Solar installers who offer design and workmanship warranties show that they stand behind their work, and which could better suit your needs. When choosing a qualified and experienced solar installer, be sure to ask about their warranties.
How does leasing vs buying solar panels affect my policy?
While owning a solar PV system is definitely more beneficial to your bottom line, leasing panels or signing a PPA could relieve you from liability insurance on your system because they are insured by the installation company. But remember, you cannot claim ownership or any credit on your home value appraisal with leased panels when you put your home up for sale.
Joining the ranks of homeowners leaping on this green upgrade as a home improvement strategy has the best returns on your investment. When you live in a solar-powered home, boosting property value is only one ingredient of solar’s financial benefits. Find out how much value you can add to your home or commercial property. Get in touch!
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