Homeowners Insurance Coverage of Solar Panels

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ByMark Fitzpatrick
Edited byCasie McCoskey
ByMark Fitzpatrick
Edited byCasie McCoskey

Updated: May 22, 2024

Advertising & Editorial Disclosure

Homeowners insurance typically includes coverage for solar panels as part of the property's structure, offering peace of mind to those investing in renewable energy. Coverage extends to damages caused by unexpected perils such as wind, fire, lightning, hail and falling trees under the policy's standard provisions.

The protection for solar panels falls under two main categories: dwelling coverage for panels attached to the home and other structures coverage for panels installed elsewhere on the property.

Key Takeaways

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Homeowners insurance typically covers solar panels for damages caused by covered perils like fire and windstorms.

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Standard home insurance generally doesn't cover solar panel damage from wear and tear or certain natural disasters.

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Installing solar panels may increase your insurance premiums due to them raising your home's value and overall liability.

Home Insurance Coverage of Solar Panels

Homeowners insurance policies typically provide a safety net for various components of your home, and this extends to solar panels, a valuable addition for many property owners. Two main aspects of homeowners insurance potentially cover solar panels: dwelling coverage and other structures coverage.

  • Dwelling Coverage: This is part of your homeowners insurance policy that protects your home's physical structure, including attached structures. If you install solar panels on your home's roof, they are typically considered part of the dwelling, and your policy will protect any damage caused by covered perils.
  • Other Structures Coverage: This coverage applies to buildings on your property that are not attached to your home, such as a detached garage or a shed. If you install solar panels on the ground or a structure separate from your main house, this part of your policy would likely protect your solar panels.

We recommend contacting your insurance provider to clarify your policy provisions before installing solar panels.

When Homeowners Insurance Covers Solar Panels

Homeowners insurance covers solar panels when covered perils such as fire, windstorms, hail, lightning and vandalism cause the damage. This coverage is contingent upon the panels' inclusion as part of your home's structure under the policy, whether mounted on the roof or installed as separate structures on the property. These perils typically include scenarios such as:

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    Your insurer will likely cover damage or destruction caused by fire to solar panels installed on the home.

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    Windstorms and Hail

    Your policy likely protects against damage from severe weather conditions, including wind and hail.

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    Home insurance usually includes protection for solar panels in case of malicious damage or destruction from an outsider.

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    Lightning Strikes

    Your provider also typically covers damage to solar panels resulting from lightning strikes.

Verify your policy details with your insurance provider to ensure your solar panels are adequately covered. Understanding the standard homeowners insurance coverages can help homeowners navigate the claims process more smoothly in the event of damage.

When Homeowners Insurance Doesn't Cover Solar Panels

Homeowners insurance does not cover solar panels in several specific situations, primarily when damage results from circumstances outside the scope of covered perils. Sometimes, solar panels are damaged due to normal wear and tear or lack of maintenance. Key exclusions often include:

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    Wear and Tear

    Home insurance typically doesn't cover gradual damage or deterioration from aging or normal wear and tear.

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    Intentional Damage

    Your policy usually won't cover damage caused intentionally by the homeowner or residents.

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    Poor Maintenance

    This exclusion includes damage resulting from negligence or failure to maintain the panels properly.

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    Certain Natural Disasters

    Events like earthquakes and floods are typically not covered under standard policies; insurers require separate policies for these perils.

Insurance Impact of Solar Panels

Installing solar panels can increase home insurance rates, primarily because they raise the value of your home and potentially the cost to repair or replace the house in the event of damage. The extent of the rate increase often depends on the value of the solar panel system and the specifics of the homeowner's insurance policy.

Some localities require that homeowners with solar panel installations carry additional liability insurance. This mandate primarily covers the utility's liability if the homeowner's solar system causes injury or property damage. The specifics of these requirements can vary by location and utility company.

Consult your provider to understand how adding solar panels might affect your premiums or need for additional insurance. In some cases, the benefits of solar energy, including potential savings on electricity bills, can offset the increase in home insurance costs.

About Mark Fitzpatrick

Mark Fitzpatrick headshot

Mark Fitzpatrick has analyzed the property and casualty insurance market for over five years, conducting original research and creating personalized content for every kind of buyer. Currently, he leads P&C insurance content production at MoneyGeek. Fitzpatrick has been quoted in several insurance-related publications, including CNBC, NBC News and Mashable.

Fitzpatrick earned a master’s degree in economics and international relations from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree from Boston College. He is passionate about using his knowledge of economics and insurance to bring transparency around financial topics and help others feel confident in their money moves.