Solar energy is a rapidly growing market in the US. “It is logical that homeowners in the sunshine state would find solar panels beneficial for their home,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance. A greater interest in clean energy sources is attributed to affordability and accessibility to homeowners.
The US Department of Energy reports, “From just 0.34 GW in 2008, U.S. solar power capacity has grown to an estimated 97.2 gigawatts (GW) today. This is enough to power the equivalent of 18 million average American homes.”
Tax subsidies such as the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and lower production costs as well as low interest rates on financing, are responsible for the boom in solar power across Florida.
Saving energy and money is advantageous, but many homeowners are unaware of how this will affect their homeowners insurance. “Not all insurance carriers cover homes with solar panels on the roof,” says Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance.
It is prudent for homeowners to talk to their insurance agent. Not every homeowners policy or solar energy system is the same. Most well-known, larger insurance companies will cover solar panels and tiles as part of the home’s structure which is covered by homeowners insurance. However, solar panel carports or ground mounted panels may require an add-on or separate policy.
The concern is replacing a damaged system, which can happen in a storm. Know if your homeowners policy will cover all the damage. Check your claim limit, or the max paid out for a loss. You want to make sure you have enough coverage for repairs or replacement of your solar panel system.
Also be aware of any deductible amount you will need to pay before coverage is activated. Your insurance agent might advise you to adjust your policy.
Solar power lowers your electric bill while increasing the value of your home. Make sure to protect your investment with the proper homeowners insurance.