Solar Panels...How Do They Affect Your Insurance?

As more and more homes are being contacted by solar energy firms offering ways to cut utility expenses, one has to wonder: How will this affect my homeowners insurance?

Whether you add solar panels to the roof of your home or freestanding in your yard…make sure they are covered.

If you permanently install the panels on your home, they become part of the dwelling and you should increase your insurance coverage to reflect the additional value of your home.

If the panels are freestanding in your yard, you should increase your insurance coverage under “Coverage B” (Related Private Structures).

If you lease the solar panels, the solar company owns the panels and it's their obligation to insure them. You do not have to increase your insurance to accommodate the value of the panels.

Installing solar panels isn’t as simple as slapping cells on a rooftop. So this is one that’s best left for the pros. Make sure they are licensed and bonded, and no major complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau.

There's also Tax incentives: The federal solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is a 30 percent tax credit for residential and commercial properties that convert to solar energy by the end of 2016.

Contact your Local Agent for more information.