Insurance Expert: Home Solar Panels: How Do They Affect Your Homeowners Insurance?
Home Solar Panels: How Do They Affect Your Homeowners Insurance?
Going “green” with home solar panels doesn’t have to make your insurance skyrocket
By Meha Ahmad, Insuranceagents.com Staff Writer
If you’re thinking about adding home solar panels to your home, you should know how those home solar panels can affect your homeowners insurance. If you are already aware, and are looking for a more affordable rate, start searching for homeowners insurance quotes.
In these modern times, environmental awareness is a quickly growing concern. Many people are trying, even in small ways, to reduce their carbon footprint and live an environmentally-friendly lifestyle. For homeowners, customizing the home to be more “green” is also growing. One of the most popular ways to do this is by adding home solar panels.
Here are the answers to five of the most frequently asked questions about home solar panels and your homeowners insurance:
1. Will home solar panels cause my homeowners insurance premium to skyrocket?
Not necessarily. Most insurance companies these days cover home solar panels. In fact, many carriers may offer a slightly lower rate because environmentally-friendly people are less likely to make an insurance claim (those who are concerned with saving the environment are not likely to be smokers and so are less likely to cause a house fire). Some insurance companies have even been known to offer a 2-3 percent discount for home solar panels.
However, some insurance companies will charge an exorbitant fee for the home solar panels, arguing that it adds an increased value to the home. Check with your insurance agent and make sure your carrier will insure your home solar panels and see if you can get a discount or low rate.
2. What about damage to my roof?
Make sure you find a professional installer to put your home solar panels in place. Professionals with experience in installing home solar panels know what they’re doing and how to install the panels without damage. But if you’re still worried, you can always mount your panels on the ground and eliminate risk to your roofing.
3. Will the home solar panels (and insurance costs) pay off in time?
Yes! Not only will you be saving a small fortune on electricity costs, but your insurance premium may not raise all that much, especially if you shop for homeowners insurance quotes. Also, governments (including the U.S.) around the world are offering incentives and tax breaks to homeowners who invest in solar energies. That’s a cash reward to responsible homeowners who install home solar panels!
4. How will local climate affect the cost?
If your area is prone to severe storms, the insurance for your home solar panels may be expensive This is because it is much more likely that you will be making insurance claims for your roof and home solar panels because of severe weather.
When hiring a professional installer, you may want to go with a local company. They will have a better idea of local climate conditions, have more experience working around it and know what the right kind of panel suitable for your area is. Also, they’ll probably be more aware of local regulations and rules concerning your home solar panels (you will probably have to get a permit—DON’T SKIP THIS STEP).
5. Will shopping for homeowners insurance quotes find me a policy that fits my home solar panels?
Shopping for insurance quotes will have many insurance agents contacting you within 24 hours with affordable low rates and policies. If you find a policy and rate that you like, make sure to ask that insurance agent if he/she can offer you the same or similar rate including the “green” aspects of your home, including the home solar panels.
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