This is one of the most popular questions we receive — and it’s also one of the least understood.
Before determining whether or not you need to insure your solar photovoltaic (PV) installation, it’s important to understand what you’d be insuring against.
- Most high quality solar panels carry 25-year warranties that protect you from malfunctions and breakages. And if you lease (rather than own) your PV system, the 3rd party lessor is responsible for all repairs and maintenance.
- With no moving parts, solar panels are incredibly resilient. Occasional cleaning and minimal upkeep can keep a well-installed PV system going strong for decades. In fact, many solar installations continue generating clean electricity for 40 years or longer (well beyond the manufacturer’s warranty).
As a result, the vast majority of solar PV installations do not require any additional insurance. Breakages are rare. And if they happen, you are usually fully covered.
Extra Solar Insurance for the Risk-Averse?
What if you’re risk-averse and want extra protection? After all, falling debris isn’t always covered under the manufacturer’s warranty. And what about unforeseen accidents like natural disasters?
Do you need to purchase insurance to protect against these circumstances?
In most cases, the answer is no — you don’t need to buy additional insurance. The majority of homeowners insurance policies automatically cover solar installations. In fact, many providers will actually reduce your premiums for 2 simple reasons:
1. Statistically speaking, solar customers are less likely to file fraudulent claims. Insurance companies tend to reward their more environmentally conscious clients.
2. Adding solar panels to your property actually makes your rooftop stronger. Once installed, your PV system provides an extra layer of protection from the elements.
What If Your Panels Are Not Automatically Covered?
Despite the above benefits, some homeowners insurance policies do NOT cover PV installations (you’ll need to contact your provider and see what exclusions exist).
If your current insurance company doesn’t cover solar installations, you should seriously consider finding a new provider who understands the value of environmentally responsible property improvements.
If switching policies isn’t an option, should you purchase 3rd party insurance for your solar installation?
Ultimately, this is a personal (and business) decision.
Remember that solar offers a predictable payback period. Paying out-of-pocket for extra insurance lengthens that payback period. And although you’ll still come out ahead financially, this added expense will also decrease the overall return of your investment.
Need More Information about Solar Panel Insurance?
If you have questions about PV panel protection, we can help you run through the numbers and determine whether adding extra insurance makes long-term financial sense.
To schedule a free consultation with our solar team, contact us today.