Environmental awareness and actions are everywhere around us these days. One eco-friendly practice many homeowners are turning to is the rooftop installation of solar panel systems, which are significantly cutting down energy uses and electricity costs. If you’re thinking about joining in the cause and saving money at the same time by installing a solar system into your home, there are a few things you should know about what that will mean for your home insurance. It’s almost certain that your rates will be adjusted, but that doesn’t mean it has to deter you from doing your part in reducing your carbon footprint.
Does Insurance For Solar Panels Exist?
Simply put, YES! Insurance does exist for solar panel systems, and some insurance companies already include coverage in current home insurance policies. It’s important to do your research and shop around when you’re looking to insure a solar panel system, as some companies may see it as adding value to your house and charge more, while some may actually offer a discount.
Why Should a Homeowner Consider Additional Insurance?
As with any home renovation, homeowners should consider installing solar panels as a major addition or “renovation” to their home, and more importantly, a long-term investment. Adding additional insurance coverage will make sure your new system is safe from any risky variables that may cause damage and protect you from having to pay out of pocket for costly repairs. This could include foreign objects striking your panels (i.e. trees), accidental electrical damage (lightning, etc.) among anything else that could potentially damage your system.
What Does Solar Panel Insurance Cover?
Solar panel systems can sometimes be mounted on the ground, but generally homeowner’s will opt to have them placed on the roof for optimal exposure to sunlight. This means they may be in danger of things like inclement weather (hail, snow, lightning), fire, vandalism and theft, but you can get full coverage of your system that will include all of these risk factors. Most insurance companies will make your local climate the biggest consideration when evaluating your new premium cost. Adding solar panels to your home insurance policy can save you thousands in repair or replacement costs if they have the misfortune of being damaged or stolen.
What Other Costs Are Involved?
Aside from the costs of labor and material, installing a solar panel system will require a building permit and electrical permit in most states. The building permit asserts that the roof can support the system and meets wind-load requirements. An electrical permit assures the system will not present fire, electrocution or power surge hazards.
Will Solar Panel Insurance Costs Pay Off?
Considering the money you will put into installation, permits and insurance costs, solar panel systems are a real investment. There are several influences that will determine whether this investment will pay off for you in the long run, including the size of your roof and number of panels to be installed, the probable efficiency of the system and its amount of exposure to sunlight each day and your current average electricity costs. Where you should see savings in your favor is in the reduction of heating and cooling costs and the availability of state tax credits and local solar energy incentives.
Talking to your home insurance agent is the best way to decide what kind of coverage you will need on your solar panel system and any risks you should be wary of if you’re still considering having them installed.
About The Author: Tiffany Olson lives in Redding CA, and is a full-time blogger who primarily writes for small, local businesses in order for them to boost business and increase their online presence. This article was inspired by her local Redding home insurance dealer.