Solar panels can reduce your energy bill to zero in some cases. But they’re also an investment. The average solar panel installation can cost between $11,144 and $14,696, so it’s no wonder you’d want your homeowners insurance to cover them.
The good news?
Homeowners insurance does cover solar panels if you own them (not leased) and they’re permanently attached to your roof.
Panels that are attached to a shed or other structure may not be covered.
Your solar panels are covered for the same perils as your home. Because our dwelling insurance offers open-perils coverage, that means your solar panels are covered for every incident except those explicitly listed as exclusions in the policy (like acts of war, earth movement, birds and vermin, etc.).
That means your panels are covered for hurricane winds, hail, fire, vandalism, theft, and a whole lot more.
A lot of things can damage your solar panels, most commonly:
Let’s look at some examples.
Just like roof tiles, solar panels can easily be ripped off by strong hurricane winds. That can damage more than your panels – your roof shingles and the deck itself could be compromised, too.
If a tree falls on your panels, they can easily crack and won’t be able to generate the same amount of energy. Even a small amount of damage can affect how much voltage the panel generates. If a panel is more than 20 percent damaged, it may need to be replaced.
Squirrels, mice, rats, opossums, and birds can also nest under the solar panels and damage them. Nesting animals may chew on exposed surfaces or wires, leading to shorts in the system.
Unlike hurricane winds and falling trees, though, homeowners insurance won’t cover solar panel damage caused by vermin, birds, or insects.
Ideally, your solar panels will enjoy their full lifespan – usually 25 to 30 years – and effectively eliminate your energy bill. The best way to do that – and prevent claims – is to maintain your solar panels by:
If you have a solar panel loss, call us right away or submit your claim online.
You’ll typically want to document the damage with photos as best as you can. We’ll also ask that you do your part to mitigate further losses. For example, if a panel was torn off and you have a hole in your roof, you might need to cover the hole to prevent water from entering the home and compounding the damage.
Make sure you also have:
Experience what home insurance should be.