As energy bills skyrocket and the federal government offers generous tax incentives for renewable energy investments, more and more.
But when calculating the cost of managing energy bills, many would-be solar owners neglect to consider how solar will affect their home insurance bill – or how difficult it may be to find a company that will insure them at all.
And insurance costs are rising for all
“It’s very difficult and a lot of people don’t know that most carriers don’t accept solar panels,” he says.
“I was shocked,” Strawbridge said. “I have never written an insurance policy and I have lived in this house since 2001.”
Reasons cited in Edison’s denial letter: His solar panels are not eligible for coverage due to the age of his roof (11 years) and because he has a tile roof.
That’s not the only reason insurers won’t cover rooftop solar, according to interviews with solar installers, solar energy advocates, and insurance agents. Insurers who do business internally
Net metering recognized by insurers
Increasingly, insurers say that solar panels that connect to metering and utilities – which are almost all
Florida Power & Light’s metering contract requires homeowners to take care of all potential losses, he says.
Solar installers and supporters call that justification baseless. They say all equipment used to connect rooftop solar systems to the grid complies with state building and electrical codes and is inspected by utilities before installation. Agencies also have the power to come to solar owners’ facilities and shut them down if they suspect any safety issues, he says.
Solar advocates wonder if concerns about metering are the reasons insurers are giving for dropping customers.
Most insurance policies that work
Since 2006, all power inverters have followed the UL 1741 electrical standard, Hoysradt said. This standard requires solar system inverters to be able to detect outages or any power outages and disconnect the solar panels from the grid.
Hoysradt says it is not aware of any documented injuries or damage from the UL 1741 certified inverter.
The cutting-edge technology is so reliable that utilities have recently eliminated the requirement that solar panels have closed-loop devices, he said.
Until about a year ago, Hoysradt had never heard from customers complaining that they couldn’t get or keep insurance for their solar panels. Now, one potential customer a day says their insurer won’t guarantee they won’t be covered if they install solar, he said.
Some insurers have told homeowners that net metering makes them commercial products and should no longer be covered by homeowner’s insurance, Heaven Campbell said.
Campbell says his agency has fielded about 60 landlord complaints in the past year. They either say they were stopped after installing solar panels or were told they no longer needed help if they installed panels, he said.
Insurance covers many issues
They included increased damage due to the rise of wind when solar panels are installed on the roof, increased wind or hail damage to the solar system itself, fire hazards from loose or poorly connected parts or wires, increased risk or electricity, availability of electricity. toxic substances and products from the panels themselves, and problems that can be related to being returned to the group.
Without commenting on the validity of the concerns, a
Campbell contends that rooftop solar panels make roofs more susceptible to gusts of wind. He said when Hurricane Michael hit
The Solar United Neighbors website has many photos of installations that took place during the storm that damaged the roofs of surrounding buildings. Campbell says current building codes require solar roofs to withstand wind.
Suarez-Resnick agrees: “With strong winds like a Category 3 hurricane, you can do a lot of damage if the panels fly off and land on your neighbor’s roof or car.”
Companies that insure rooftop solar power are allowed to impose stricter conditions for coverage, reports show.
Edison, the company that blocked the Strawbridge plan, will only cover buildings with solar panels installed after 2016, on shingle or metal roofs less than 10 years old, on flat roofs less than five years old, and not producing more than 10 kilowatts of electricity. , which is as small or as small as you can make a roof.
As Strawbridge found out, Edison could not guarantee solar panels mounted on clay or tiled roofs.
Solar panels are often installed without drilling into the tiles, Hoysradt said. Many installers remove the clay tiles where the solar panels are attached to the roof and replace them with aluminum tiles that won’t break or break when drilled.
Hoysradt noted that state licensing requirements for solar installers require knowledge of roofing, electrical and plumbing materials.
“We’re not a group of people who throw roofs without notice,” he said. “There is no reason for insurance carriers not to cover the sun on a tile roof.”
However, solar roof buyers can expect to find more insurance policies unless and until state legislatures decide to enact similar policies.
Common rates of sun insurance?
The National Trade Organization
The good news for Strawbridge and solar owners is that there are insurance policies that don’t limit coverage for solar homes or impose long exclusion lists. They include the government
Citizens cover solar systems as part of the system. No special approvals or additions are required, spokesperson
One mistake a homeowner should never make: Installing a solar system without looking into insurance options, Suarez-Resnick said. A professional can tell you if your roof is nearing the end of its life and needs to be replaced first. It’s a pain to get new insurance, and it’s expensive to remove and replace solar panels because Citizens or another insurer wants you to get a new roof.
Or you could look for a sunscreen, like
“Right now is the best time to go solar,” he said.
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