Does home insurance cover solar panels?

If your solar panels are permanently attached to your home's structure, such as rooftop-mounted panels, your homeowners insurance policy may cover them as part of your dwelling coverage. Solar panels that aren't attached to your home, such as ground-mounted panels, may be covered by your homeowners insurance policy under other structures coverage. However, some insurance policies exclude coverage for solar panel damage caused by wind or hail. Solar panels can be a great investment for your home, but you should double-check your coverage before installing them to ensure your investment is protected.

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How does homeowners insurance cover solar panels?

If you have roof-mounted solar panels, the dwelling coverage on your homeowners policy may pay to repair or replace them if they're damaged by a covered peril. Some insurers may not cover wind or hail damage to roof-mounted solar panels.

If you have panels on top of a detached structure, such as a shed, it's possible the "other structures" coverage on your policy will cover them, but you should check with your insurer. Ground mounted solar panels may be covered under your other structures coverage as well. Some insurance companies may also allow you to add coverage for detached solar panels to your homeowners policy as a rider or endorsement.

When should I purchase separate solar panel insurance?

If your insurer doesn't provide coverage or provides limited coverage for solar panels, then you may need a separate policy. As with homeowners insurance, some solar panel insurers may not cover wind or hail damage.

Do I need insurance coverage if I don't own the solar panels?

If you lease your solar panels, you may not need to insure them yourself as some leasing companies carry their own insurance for the panels. However, other leasing companies may require you to insure them, either through your homeowners insurance or a separate policy offered by the leasing company. Whether you buy or lease your panels, you should always tell your insurance company that you've installed solar panels on your home. Note that if you lease your panels and insure them yourself, your insurance company may limit any claim payout for wind and hail damage since you don't own the panels.

Do solar panels increase the cost of homeowners insurance?

You may not see an increase in your homeowners insurance premium after installing solar panels on your roof. However, you'll likely need to raise your coverage limits to account for the replacement cost of your solar panels, which will likely result in some increase to your premium. The additional cost may be considered small compared to the risk, especially when you factor in the location of your solar panels. Because they're placed outdoors in elevated areas vulnerable to wind, hail, and lightning, they're at a higher risk of damage.

Pro tip:

The average cost of a full solar panel array runs from $15,000 to $25,000, according to the Center for Sustainable Energy. If you live in an area known for severe weather, you should absolutely consider raising your coverage limits to fully protect your panels.

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