Guide to Homeowners Insurance for Your Solar System
Solar Panels are a great investment for your home. Solar can increase the value of your home, save you substantially on your utility bill, and allow you to have the energy independence you deserve. However, one of the most important things to consider is, how will you protect your investment? Although Solar Topps prides itself on using premium products backed by premium warranties, it’s important to consider how you can have your system covered by your insurance policy.
A Quick Review of the Warranties
There are different warranties to consider for your home: Product Warranty, Performance Warranties, and Installer Warranties.
This warranty will cover any defects in materials or workmanship by the manufacturer. Different manufacturers will have different warranties on their panels. It is important to check and see how long they offer coverage of their products. To get the most out of your investment, consider a solar panel with longer-lasting warranties. Some manufacturers will only cover their product for 5 years while others will cover it for 25 years.
Solar Panels are best understood by how much energy they produce over time. This covers the performance of your panels. Solar Panels go through a process called degradation which means they will produce less energy over time. Things to consider with a performance warranty are:
1) How much energy the panel will lose in its first year (most panels lose between 2 – 3%)?
2) How much energy will the panels lose each year thereafter (up to 25 years)?
3) In year 25, what percentage of the initial wattage rating will the panel be producing?
Solar Installers have their types of warranties for their projects:
Workmanship Warranty – covers the performance of the solar panels. These warranties can range from 2 – 25 years. Check the warranty to know that you are covered in case something goes wrong.
Roof Penetration Warranty – this will cover the section of the roof where your installation will go. If your roof needs to be repaired before you go solar, you can always roll the price of this into the cost of your system and take advantage of available credits and incentives.
How does a warranty differ from insurance?
You may be asking, “if I have a warranty on my system, do I need insurance?” It’s important to know in what instances your warranty may or may not be covered. Damage caused by a golf ball; it may not be covered under the warranty. However, you may be covered by your home/roof insurance depending on what type of coverage your home has. Having total coverage means less money out of your pocket if an issue arises. Therefore, although this is a personal decision for you to make, we think it is advisable to double-check with your current home insurance policy and see if it makes sense.
Most homeowner insurance policies will cover solar panels because your system is recognized as a permanent addition to your home. However, you may need to purchase more coverage in the event of a natural disaster.
Location, Location, Location
Some examples of getting supplemental insurance on your home would include, where your solar panels are placed on the roof (what direction they face) and if they’re explicitly attached to your roof. Should your solar panels be on a Casita, workshop, or RV Barn that is detached from your home, you may need an upgraded insurance policy.
Supplemental Policy or Insurance Upgrades
Some homeowner’s policies are designed to cover your home in the event of a natural disaster. While your home insurance may cover your home, your panels may not be covered, at least, not completely. In the event this were to happen, you would need a supplemental policy to provide extra protection to your belongings that are outside the coverage offered by your standard policy. Another option is to get a more comprehensive plan for your home. The best way to make that decision is to get in touch with your insurance agent and work through the details.
There are major benefits to doing research that can save you thousands of dollars on your system. Partnering with the right installer will prepare you for any situation. Get the best coverage with the right warranty and the right insurance coverage for your home and solar system. A good rule of thumb: if you’re not sure, consult with an expert!
Solar Topps is always here to help you with your installation and makes your system. We believe premium products are the best for every installation, not just because of their performance, but because they are backed by premium warranties that give you the peace of mind you deserve.