Here’s a sample scenario: Imagine you just invested $30,000 in a solar panel system for your home. After all, who doesn’t like benefits like these:
- Saving money on their electricity bill
- Selling electricity back to the power company
- Living off-grid when the power goes out
But, what about high winds and hurricanes that can rip the roof off your home, taking your solar panels with it? Whether you live off the coast of Florida, Texas, North Carolina, or Georgia, you know what we’re talking about. 150 mph winds can RIP and WRENCH a solar system off of a roof off in moments. Then, when the winds subside and the dust settles, you are then left with the question: Will my home insurance cover my solar panel system?
So, isn’t it a good idea to find out now before it occurs? According to Solar Energy Industries Association, the solar energy market is experiencing tremendous growth:
- Installed solar capacity in Florida has grown by 90% over the last year. In 2015 alone, $105 million was invested on solar installations in Florida.
- Installed solar capacity in Georgia has grown by 445% over the last year. In 2015, $311 million was invested on solar installations in Georgia.
- Installed solar capacity in North Carolina has grown by 187% over the last year. In 2015, $1.689 billion was invested on solar installations in North Carolina.
- Installed solar capacity in Texas has grown by 65% over the last year. In 2015, $372 million was invested on solar installations in Texas.
Why do we focus on these 4 states? It is easy to understand since the coast is pounded with hurricanes every year. With solar paneling costing $25,000 to $35,000 a system you could imagine how much it would cost to remove the wreckage and rebuild it from scratch.
To answer our initial question: Yes, your homeowner’s insurance policy most likely covers your solar panel installation. Why? Your home insurance covers permanent attachments to your home. So, if your solar system is permanently attached to your roof, then your system is likely protected.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Are your solar panels attached to your house roof or your sheds roof? If your system is attached to your shed roof remember that your homeowner’s policy usually only covers about 10% of detached structures. That means getting a claim paid $3,500 out of a $35,000 system. OUCH!
- Do you have enough coverage for your purchase? Here is the thing. Your homeowner’s coverage may not be enough to protect an additional $35,000. What can you do? Call your agent right now. Talk to them about your solar panel system. Tell them how much you paid for it. This way you are protected in case of a hurricane destroying your solar panel system.
- REMEMBER that you may have 2 deductibles. Some insurance companies have a standard deductible for a typical claim. THEN they have a separate deductible for hurricanes and tropical storms. These deductibles can be anywhere from 5-10% of the claim. So, for a $35,000 claim, it could play out like this. Standard deductible of $1,000 and a hurricane deductible of 10% of 3,500. This would come out to a $4,500 out of pocket expense for a homeowner.
What did we learn about solar panels and home insurance?
Yes, you are most likely covered. Call an InsuranceHub agent to confirm this for your own home. Then, talk to them about your deductibles and coverage limits. We hope you found this article on solar panel insurance coverage helpful to you.