Does Your Insurer Cover Your Solar Panels?

Jul 24, 2023 | Energy

Your power stays on when the neighbourhood’s lights go out and your showers are hot when those next door are not. That’s because you’ve invested wisely in turning your home green, but what happens when the panels in your solar geyser burst into flame? Or a storm obliterates your batteries and inverters?

The question becomes, how do you protect your investment? How do you make sure that you’ve got a financial back-up plan for all those expensive water heating systems and solar PV systems, inverters, batteries, and fixed generators?

The short answer is, you should get insurance to fall back on. With that in mind, let’s dive into this subject – if there’s insurance for solar products, what kind of insurance you’d need to get, and how this could affect your current home insurance premiums.

The Deal With Solar Panels And Insurance

In South Africa, some insurers include cover for solar panels with their buildings insurance policies, given the fact that these panels are installed onto your property and thus form part of the structure of your home.

If you already have buildings insurance, you simply need to give your insurer a call to ask them to add this to the list of fixtures and fittings under your policy. Your premium would then be updated, as well as the total sum insured.

However, when it comes to portable solar panels, well, this isn’t typically added to buildings insurance. Instead, if your insurer covers moveable solar systems, they’ll most likely list these items with your home contents insurance and your premium will be adjusted accordingly.

What’s also worth noting, is that there are other insurers in South Africa who only offer specific, standalone policies for solar energy installations.

While we’re hoping that this information will give you a better understanding around the implications of solar panels and insurance, the real key to knowing what kind of insurance you need for your solar panels and other solar products, and whether your current insurer can help you… is to ask.

The Impact On Your Premiums

Homeowners will need to consider the impact of solar energy systems on their premium rates. Insurers may view solar energy systems as a risk factor, as they can increase the potential for power surges and other issues. This could (and usually does) result in higher premiums for homeowners with solar energy installations.

Have The Talk

For the most part, it’s far better to discuss your homely green initiatives with your insurance company before you do anything. This gives them the opportunity to re-underwrite if required and provide advice on the type of cover you need. Importantly, you can review the terms and conditions of the proposed policy to make sure you know what’s expected of you, to ensure that you’re getting adequate cover, and to make sure that you understand what’s excluded.

A good example of why you should familiarise yourself with the ins and outs of your policy, is if you have a solar geyser. Some insurers may require documented proof that your heating system has met all the relevant SANS (South African National Standards) requirements and the geyser has the SABS mark of approval. Without this proof, if you ever have to put in a claim related to your geyser, you may find that your claim is rejected.

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Ultimately, solar energy is an excellent option for powering homes in South Africa, but it’s vital that you take the time to review your insurance policies and ensure that you have adequate cover to protect your investment.

We trust that this information will help you, and please don’t forget that AA Inform is home to a range of useful tools and resources – including FREE property valuation reports, the use of our personal loan calculator, and even access to multiple car and home insurance quotes from the AA Insurance Supermarket.

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