Skip to main content

What You Need to Know About Adding Solar Panels to Your Home

Share this article

Installing solar panels is one of the most popular ways many homeowners are going green. Not only do solar panels help reduce your carbon footprint, but they can also potentially save you a lot of money on electricity costs. Solar panels offer homeowners many benefits we will discuss here. But what happens if they get damaged? Do you need insurance for solar panels? Does it matter if you own or rent the panels? And do solar panels increase home insurance? Let’s find out.

We put together a list of the top six reasons to add solar panels to your home, along with a simple guide to maintaining your solar panels so they’ll help power your home for years to come. We also consider the potential drawbacks of solar panels and address the issue of solar panels and homeowners insurance. Let’s get you thoroughly prepared to make this investment in your home.


Benefits of Solar Panels

Going solar could have significant benefits for your home’s efficiency. See how solar panels could save you money, increase your home’s value and help the environment.


1. Save Money on Utilities

Solar panels reduce your dependence on traditional electric grid systems. You’ll likely see a decrease in your power bills after adding solar because you’ll be producing electricity of your own and using less electricity from the grid.

While the initial costs of going solar might seem steep, most solar systems pay for themselves in less than 10 years. Since many systems can last over 25 years, you’ll be able to enjoy essentially free electricity for many years. You could likely finance your solar power system to break up the initial cost. And, while solar panels don’t increase home insurance premiums generally, reviewing your coverage is wise. You may want to consider insurance for solar panels, as we will see.


2. Environmentally Friendly

Aside from cost savings, most homeowners choose to go solar as an eco-friendly alternative to traditional power sources like coal. The production, delivery, and installation of solar panels generally produce fewer emissions than running a home on the power grid over a long period of time. Once installed, solar panels on your home create no harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

Solar energy provides one of the few clean energy sources readily available to consumers. This makes it an ideal option for homeowners who wish to reduce their carbon footprint.


3. Personal Power Source

Have you ever experienced a blackout due to storms, a natural disaster or maintenance by the power company? Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to rely on a power company to keep your appliances running and devices powered?

You get to enjoy independence from a power company with solar panels. Your level of off-grid independence usually depends on how your system is set up. A solar panel system that includes a battery backup allows you to store excess solar energy collected by your panels.

Your solar battery can kick on and start powering your home in the event of a blackout. In some cases, power companies might allow you to sell your solar energy back into the grid.


4. Renewable Power

Not only does clean energy from solar panels help the environment by reducing carbon emissions, but it also provides you with an infinite source of power. The sun isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Solar energy is already hitting your property almost every day. Installing solar panels lets you take advantage of that power.


5. Potential Rebates, Incentives and Tax Savings

You might be able to save money on your solar panel system through rebates and incentives. Many state and local governments offer tax savings for homeowners who choose to install solar panels. You could also potentially save money through federal government programs that encourage homeowners to go solar.

Even if you don’t qualify for government programs, some solar companies provide specials and incentives to help reduce the initial cost of solar panels. Be sure to shop around for different companies to get the best price.


6. Increased Home Value

Do you think you’ll sell your home in the future? Ever intend to refinance, and take money from your home to fund college, a child’s wedding, or travel? Adding solar panels might help you generate buyers’ interest and increase your home’s overall value.

A solar panel system generally increases the value of a home. Many potential buyers enjoy the idea of a home that is eco-friendly and self-reliant. Also, buyers may be willing to increase the price they’ll pay for a home because it’s usually less expensive to buy a home with solar panels rather than adding them later.

Unlike many home upgrades, solar panels almost always see a positive return on investment. Not only will you probably save money on electricity costs, but you could get money back when you sell the house.

Because they boost your home’s resale value, solar panels may increase home insurance indirectly.


Solar Panels and Homeowner’s Insurance

There are several important questions about solar panels and insurance. Do solar panels increase home insurance? Will your homeowner’s insurance cover potential damage to the roof during installation? Would your current coverage limits cover the replacement costs of your solar panels if they become damaged? Do you need insurance for solar panels that you lease? Let’s take a look.


Do Solar Panels Increase Home Insurance?

Adding solar panels does not increase home insurance premiums directly. However, a complete answer is more complex.

Your current homeowners' insurance policy likely covers solar panels permanently attached to your home’s structure. Potential leaks and the resulting damage may be fully insured. However, your existing policy may not cover damage from wind or hail. Because the typical price range for solar panels runs $15,000 to $25,000, the replacement costs can be steep. And since the panels are installed atop your home, where they are vulnerable to lightning, wind, and hail damage, it is wise to look into insurance for solar panels.

If you lease your solar panels, the leasing company typically provides insurance. Still, you should ask questions about this before you sign. Some companies require you to purchase separate insurance for solar panels. And some homeowner insurance policies don’t cover damage to solar panels if you don’t own them.

If your solar panels are not attached to the roof but are ground-mounted or attached to a wall, they may be covered under the other structure’s provisions in your homeowner’s insurance policy. It is best to review your policy carefully to be sure your new solar panel system is fully insured.

Finally, solar panels typically boost your home’s value, which can impact your insurance premium. So, while there is no direct link, sometimes solar panels do increase home insurance premiums.

Roof Damage, Solar Panels, and Insurance

No matter who installs the solar panels on your roof, there is the potential for damage. And damage to your roof jeopardizes the security of your entire home. If you hire an unbonded contractor to install your solar system, your insurance likely will not cover any associated damage. However, if you hire a reputable solar service, they will have insurance for solar panels and installation.

Questions about solar panels and homeowner’s insurance are important. Before installing the panels, speak with an agent to review your policy. And ask your installation company how the insurance works if something goes wrong.

Drawbacks of Solar Panels

While there are many benefits to solar panels, you shouldn’t add them to your home until you understand the potential drawbacks as well.


1. Roof Damage During Installation

Solar panels added to the roof of your home require installation, which can potentially damage your roof. Tile roofs in particular are prone to be damaged when installing solar panels. If the damage isn’t caught and repaired, you might have to deal with water damage from a leaky roof.

Leaks can also happen if the entry points between your roof and the solar panel anchors aren’t sealed properly. Roof damage and leaks are essential concerns for insurance for solar panels.


2. Debris or Water Buildup

Depending on the shape of your roof and the type of panels you install, your new solar power system could trap debris on your roof. The roof of your home is probably designed for a natural flow of water. Debris like leaves or sticks slides off the roof with rainwater.

Certain types of solar panels can catch debris as it slides down the roof. As debris piles up, it creates a dam that stops the flow of water. The water begins to pool and could lead to damage and potential leaks. Will your home insurance cover this? It’s best to ask.


3. Expensive to Replace or Repair Roof

Solar panels often help you cut down on your monthly utility bills, but having them could cost you if you need roof repairs. When it comes time to repair or replace your roof, you’ll need to remove the solar panels. They’ll also need to be reinstalled after the roof repairs are completed.

This process includes coordination between your roof, solar panel company or electrician and the utility company. You might add thousands of dollars to an already expensive roofing project.


How to Maintain Your Solar Panels

Solar energy isn’t just clean — it’s also incredibly easy to maintain. Once your system is installed, solar panels generally require little to no maintenance. The biggest task to keep your solar power system working properly is cleaning your panels.

Panels on your roof, for example, may become exposed to leaves, dirt and debris. Panels on flat roofs are more prone to collecting debris than slanted panels. Rainwater often helps to keep slanted panels clean, whereas flat panels don’t allow debris to slide off. To ensure your system keeps providing clean energy to your home, simply remove any buildup of debris with a broom.

Panels installed on ground level require the same amount of maintenance. The perk of ground-mounted solar panels, however, is that they’re much easier to access than those mounted on a roof. Remember that insurance for solar panels treats rooftop panels differently from ground-mounted panels.

Regardless of whether you choose to roof-mount or install your solar panels on the ground, maintaining them is as easy as wiping them down when they get too dirty.


Are Solar Panels Right For You?

From cost savings and personal power sources to potential tax savings and increased home value, solar panels offer a compelling value proposition for homeowners. However, it's also important to consider the potential drawbacks and risks involved, such as the need for insurance and coverage limitations. By thoroughly understanding these factors, you can make an informed decision about whether solar panels are the right choice for your home.



Share this article


The above content is for informational purposes only and is not a direct representation of coverages offered by Wawanesa or its policies. The information does not refer to any specific contract of insurance and does not modify any definitions, provisions, exclusions or limitations expressly stated in any contracts of insurance. All references within the above content are illustrative and may not apply to your situation. The terms and conditions of the actual insurance policy or policies involved in a claim are determinative as to whether an accident or other loss is covered. To understand the coverage under your current policy, please log into the account management platform to review your policy or contact an agent directly.