Before putting solar panels on your home, you’ll want to make sure that your current insurance policy covers them in all situations
Putting solar panels on your home is a significant decision, but one that will reduce your energy bills for years to come. In addition, these panels will increase your property value, helping you to maximize your profits when the time comes to sell.
A common question regarding these panels is whether your existing insurance policy covers them. Homeowners want to confirm that their insurance company won’t pull a fast one to avoid covering this new addition to their home.
Insurance companies wouldn’t do that, would they?
You can rest easy, because, while there are some variables at play, your panels will generally be covered, so there isn’t much more you’ll have to do. At the same time, it might be a good idea to contact your insurance provider before installation and get some confirmation in writing, just to be on the safe side.
Here is some information on solar panels and what they mean for your insurance policy.
Your solar panels are part of your home
Once your contractor installs your solar panels, they immediately become part of your home. As a result, they are covered under your existing insurance policy.
Keep in mind that this statement only applies to roof-mounted systems, as ground-mounted panels could require additional insurance because they aren’t directly mounted on an existing part of the house.
You will want to let your insurance company know that you’ve installed these panels regardless of the type.
Much like your insurance company wants to know the age of your roof, and if you’ve made alterations to your home, it’ll want to be aware of your solar panels. Give them a call and have them note that you’ve added solar panels to ensure that you don’t have issues with your policy in the future.
You might need to adjust your coverage limit
One thing to remember is that since your solar panels will add as much as $30,000 in value to your home, you might need to increase your coverage limit after they’re installed.
The adjustments that you’ll need to make will depend on the size and location of your panels, in addition to your current policy.
Basically, since it will cost the insurance company more money to repair your home if something happens, they’ll try to mitigate the risk by asking for higher monthly payments. It probably won’t be much, but it could be necessary to maintain your coverage.
Since you’ll want to check with your insurance company to double-check that your new solar panels are covered, you can ask if you need to raise your coverage limit at the same time to avoid any surprises in the future.
More insurance might be necessary in Florida
There are some parts of the country where things are a little more complicated, as you’ll need extended insurance to cover wind and flooding in areas that experience hurricanes. Generally, this extra coverage is required in states that border the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico, in addition to Hawaii.
Living in South Florida, you likely already know all about the additional wind and flood insurance that are necessary. It’s pretty much essential that you add wind insurance to your existing policy already, and it’s become even more vital once you have solar panels on your roof. The last thing you’d want is for a strong wind to damage your new panels and for the insurance company to avoid paying out because you didn’t invest in the right policy.
Keep in mind that most solar panels are designed to endure winds of about 140 miles per hour, with some panels available in Florida being able to withstand 160 mph winds. These winds are the equivalent of category four or five hurricanes, so you shouldn’t have much to worry about unless another storm like Hurricane Dorian comes through the area.
Have your panels installed the right way
Of course, to keep your panels as safe as possible in any weather, you’ll want to have them installed the right way. As long as your new system is put up by a professional contractor with experience mounting panels for Florida’s weather, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about making insurance claims on them.
Universal Electrical Services has been doing business in South Florida since 1999 and knows all about the unique challenges that this part of the country provides. We will install your solar panels in the safest way possible, so they’ll last and provide full value for your home. Contact us to get an experienced member of our team on your solar panel installation as quickly as possible.