2 of the most common questions we receive at Sunline Energy are:
- “Are my San Diego solar panels automatically covered under homeowners (business) insurance?”
- “Do I even need to insure my solar installation?
In this post, we’ll try to address both questions.
Is Your Solar Installation Automatically Covered by Insurance?
Before answering this, it’s important to draw a distinction between solar panels that you lease and solar panels that you own.
- When you lease your installation, the system owner normally assumes all of the legal and financial risk. Exact terms vary depending on the lease contract, but for most standard agreements, you don’t need to do anything extra.
- When you own your solar installation, you take on full legal responsibility for the system.
The following answer assumes that you finance (i.e. own) your San Diego solar panels using cash or loans.
So is coverage automatic?
Not necessarily. It really depends on your home insurance policy. Some contracts automatically extend coverage, others do not.
To make things even more complicated:
- some policies will charge higher rates (since a solar installation increases property value)
- other policies will reduce their rates since eco-friendly homeowners are deemed more responsible and less likely to file unwarranted claims
We’ve installed solar panels all over San Diego County for properties of all shapes and sizes. And based on our experience, no 2 home insurance policies are ever the same – even for neighboring houses. So you’ll need to contact your insurance provider to explore any relevant clauses and exemptions.
All of this assumes that solar installations need to be insured. But is that really the case?
Do You Even Need to Insure Your San Diego Solar Panels?
If you own (as opposed to lease) your solar installation, and it’s not automatically covered by insurance, should you purchase additional coverage?
It really depends on what you are trying to protect against:
- solar panel damage (malfunctions, shortages, etc.) is usually covered under workmanship and manufacturer warranties. Extra insurance isn’t always necessary.
- solar panel theft, of the other hand, is not normally covered under warranties. You may want to buy additional coverage.
It ultimately comes down to your personal risk tolerance. But there are compelling reasons why you may want to purchase additional coverage for your solar installation.
Your system is a 25+ year investment. Some installations even last 40 years, well after most warranties expire. Although insurance is an expense, you can easily recoup the additional costs using your monthly electricity bill savings.
For many homeowners, this added peace of mind is priceless.