A trustworthy installation company can help you achieve excellent returns for your investment, but a solar panel system is still just that – an investment. As such, it makes sense to want to protect it in the event of disaster. Solar panels are durable, but, in bad storms, they can sustain damage. The same is true if someone is working on your roof and accidentally damages your system or if someone cleans the panels improperly. Learn if and when your homeowner’s insurance will cover the price of solar panel repair or replacement after any type of damage.
First: Check Solar Panel Warranties
Before you start thinking about whether your homeowner’s insurance policy would cover solar panel damage, consider the fact that almost all high-quality systems come with warranties. IntegrateSun, for example, offers the in Houston. Solar panels from us come with a 25-year product warranty and a 20-year workmanship warranty. Here’s a breakdown of problems these two warranties would cover:
Faulty wiring or corrosion
Roof damage during installation
Repairs or maintenance due to installer error
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Read the fine print on your specific solar system warranty to understand when this plan would cover damage. One of the reasons to go with a high-quality provider is to get the best warranty plans available. This can protect your investment, and protect your wallet from out-of-pocket costs of repairs over time.
Be Careful Not to Void Your Warranties
It is possible to void your manufacturing and company warranties. Most companies will void a warranty if the owner mismanages the system. For example, if the owner attempts to DIY solar panel modifications and ends up with a dead panel, it will likely void the guarantee. In this case, the warranties most likely would not pay to replace the panel. Return to the original installation company for maintenance and repairs to your panels before going to a new contractor to make sure you don’t void an existing warranty. If you lease your solar panels, the leasing warranty may cover different damage than an ownership warranty.
Find Out If Your Homeowners Insurance Policy Covers Solar Panels
Solar panels are very resilient. Major breakages are rare. However, there are things that could disrupt your system. Risks to roof-mounted panels include house fires, high winds, severe weather, and roofing structural problems. Prior to installing solar panels onto your roof, work with your homeowner’s insurance agent to discuss what your policy covers. You may also need to check with the Homeowners Association (HOA) if it covers certain maintenance issues with your home.
For the most part, home insurance extends coverage to solar panels. Once you have a solar panel system installed on your roof, most insurance companies consider it a permanent part of the home. In most cases, homeowners will not have to add on solar panels specially, or as “riders.” Solar panels should not impact your insurance plan or your premiums, although each policy is different. There is a chance you will need to purchase a separate policy for certain types of solar systems.
The average insurance policy will cover damage to your solar panels in the same manner it would cover damage to your home. This can include damage from wind, fire, falling trees, and other accidents that fall outside of installation or manufacturing errors. There may be a limit to how much your insurance company will cover. Before you install the panels, talk with your insurer to find out about coverage. If your current insurance company does not cover solar panels, consider switching companies prior to installation.
Do You Need to Purchase Additional Insurance?
The typical solar panel system owner will not require additional coverage on top of warranties and homeowner’s insurance. These two protections will cover solar panel damage in just about any type of incident, contingent upon the policy. Taking precautions, such as maintaining your panels regularly and trimming overhanging branches, can reduce the risk of damage. If you want to be extra careful regarding your solar investment, consider purchasing additional coverage through your insurance company. Taking out a separate policy for your panels can provide benefits such as:
Lower premiums as a reward for investing in solar
Coverage for detached structures, such as sheds or garages
Increased coverage limits
Extra coverage for nontraditional solar panel systems
Coverage for damages during the installation process
Coverage for negligence-related damages
Equipment coverage, such as for the inverter or batteries
Coverage for total losses
Your insurer may require you to have a separate policy for your solar panels if they are nontraditional in configurations, such as ground-mounted solar systems or systems with a large number of panels. Work with your insurance company and your solar panel installer to fully understand what damages other parties would cover in the event of a disaster. Shop around to find the best deal for your endeavor.