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Shine On! If You Have Solar Panels, Here’s How To Insure Them

It’s no surprise that more and more homeowners are taking the leap to “green” as homeowners seek to save on utility costs and find alternatives for sustainable living.

Did you know that “green” homes represented 17% of residential construction in 2011?  Environmentally friendly housing construction is expected to grow to 29-38% of the market by 2016!

For owners whose houses aren’t built with green materials, the installation of solar panels has become a popular way to reduce carbon footprints and  energy bills.  Even in cloudy Western Washington, retrofitting a home with solar panels is a growing trend.  Solar radiation penetrates a cloud layer even on gray days and clouds even help in “bouncing” solar radiation back to solar receptors, thus maximizing absorption.  Frequent Washington rain keeps the panels clean and efficient (as opposed to dirt and dust that can accumulate easily in drier climates.)

We’ve noticed more and more rooftops being equipped with solar panels in the Western Washington area.

If you decide to retrofit your home with solar panels, be sure that your investment is adequately protected.  No special insurance policy or endorsement is required.  Solar panels are generally insured by the dwelling coverage of a standard homeowner’s policy.   However, it is very important that you inform your insurance agent if you add solar panels to your roof so that the replacement coverage limit on your home cam be updated to reflect the solar panels’ increased cost.

Some homeowners purchase optional “green” home endorsements that will pay for the increased cost of sustainable building materials in the event of a covered home insurance claim.  Not all companies offer this option yet, but if environmentally-sensitive rebuilding would be important to you, ask your independent agent to find a company that offers this option.

If you have any questions on insuring your green home, please give us a call at 425-379-9200.  We’re here to help!

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