Solar Panels for Home

Five home insurance questions to ask your insurance company about solar

If you are considering purchasing solar panels for your home you are in good company. In 2014, a new solar project was installed every 2.5 minutes. Researchers project the number will continue to rise.

Welcome to the 'solar boom' where an 80 percent decrease in the cost of solar panels means solar energy can be a reality for your home. In fact, solar power for homes is becoming increasingly popular in neighborhoods of homeowners earning incomes from $30,000 to $90,000.

If you think you are ready to join the solar boom, here are five questions to ask your home insurance company or insurance agent. You will notice a trend: The answers to these questions all vary widely based on your insurance company, plan and type of installation.

Are solar panels covered by home insurance?

Solar panels can almost always be included in your Home Insurance Dwelling Coverage, though the coverage type and cost can vary widely. To receive the most accurate assessment, be prepared to share some information about your plans, including:

  • Location of the solar panels
  • Contractor information
  • Type of solar panels
  • Number of solar panels

Tip: If you are unsure about the location of the solar panels, ask your insurance company how insurance coverage might vary for ground-based versus rooftop installations.

What type of damage to solar panels is covered?

Your location will often determine the type of damage you should be most concerned about. This is a great conversation to have with your insurance company or agent. When you talk with your insurance provider, ask about coverage for these types of damages:

  • Storm damage from high winds, lightning, tornado or hail
  • Snow and ice
  • Theft/vandalism
  • Fire

Do I need a policy amendment in order for my solar panels to be covered?

Whether or not you need an endorsement or amendment to your policy for solar panels varies by insurance company, so make sure you ask. Taking the time to ask the question will be well worth the comfort of knowing your investment is covered.

What if I am installing solar panels on my condo?

Coverage may be different for condominium insurance policies than for home insurance policies. If you are considering installing solar panels on your condo, discuss the questions above with your insurance company or agent, and ask if any special considerations need to be made, given your condo insurance coverage. It's also a good idea to check with your condo association to see what coverage their master policy may — or may not — have.

What if I am leasing solar panels for my home?

Some solar companies will allow you to lease solar panels, rather than buy. If you are considering leasing solar panels instead of buying, look closely at the insurance policy provided through the solar panel company in the lease agreement or contract. Your provider will likely have a variety of insurance options and varying terms of coverage. Share this coverage with your home insurance provider for review. You'll want your insurance company to verify nothing in the policies conflicts.

Insurance providers, coverage and terms can vary. Consult your provider or insurance agent for detailed coverage information before making your purchase or signing a lease. As always, our Client Service representatives are here to help answer questions about what you can expect from your Ameriprise Auto & Home Insurance policy.