Do solar panels affect your home insurance?

Still a popular question amongst homeowners either fitting solar panels or just getting a quote for installation.

Whilst individual insurance company’s policies may differ, the general rule is you should always contact your own insurance company for advice as you’re making a material change to your home’s structure.

Also, you’ll need to check your current level of cover includes the replacement cost of the solar panels should the worst happen, and if not, increase your cover levels accordingly.

For example, typical roof repair costs can be increased if there are solar panels to include in or work around. Will your insurance company cover the additional costs of an authorised repairer having to work around such an installation? There’s a strong probability that a solar panel specialist may have to be called in to handle that themselves.

Solar panels are a major investment with a long pay back period. Although you can start enjoying the cost-saving benefits of solar panels straightaway, loosing them early in some non-insured incident may leave you with insufficient funds to replace the initial investment of installation and worse still, if you’re unable to replace the panels, you’ll have never got that all important return on investment.

For companies offering free installation programmes, check whether they expect you (or subsequent tenants) to provide adequate insurance cover as part of the agreement, and notify your insurer accordingly.

This article first appeared in our weekly homeowner newsletter dated 31st May 2011. Click here to read the full newsletter now.

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