Solar Panels are getting extremely popular these days. It is Florida and we have an abundance of sunshine! There is a huge push to be “green” and “self-reliant.” With all the benefits and tax advantages on a state and federal level that solar panels bring, there are a lot of questions that need answers! The biggest question you should ask yourself from an insurance perspective is, “Does my insurance company have a problem with me getting solar panels on my roof?”
The short answer to this may surprise you, but it is – Maybe!!!
All companies fall into four categories.
- Companies allow you to put solar panels on your roof and they are covered in the event of a loss.
- Companies allow them on the ground ONLY and are covered in the event of a loss.
- Companies will allow you to have the panels, but NOT give any coverage for them in the event of a hurricane.
- Companies will not allow you home insurance if you have them! NO JOKE!
It is VITAL that you communicate with us if you plan to explore these options. We may have to switch insurance companies totally! Your insurance company may be in the 3rd category above and we will need to find a better fit for you. We can guide in the decision-making process making sure that you are covered/not covered to your desires!
There is another caveat in that FPL (Florida Power and Light) mandates a $1,000,000 liability policy for systems over 10 Kw to cover the workers that could work on the system that you purchase! This can be done through an umbrella or excess liability policy that is tied to your auto insurance. We have found that these extra costs are not brought up in detail until the last minute. With all the money that you save on these systems, you must include these new costs because of contractual obligations. Most umbrellas require you to carry a minimum of $250,000/500,000 in bodily injury coverage. That will increase your auto insurance. You also must add in the cost of an umbrella policy, and that can run another $150-$300/year. Between the two, it is common to see a minimum of $600-$1000 per year in extra costs for the increased auto insurance and mandated umbrella policy. I am not trying to discourage you against getting solar panels, I just want you to be aware of some of the things we need to speak with you about!
As always, DLR Insurance Group, Inc is here to help you make the decisions a little easier!