Do solar panels affect home insurance?
Whether you’re just starting to consider solar panels or are already having them installed as you read this guide, knowing how they’ll affect your home insurance is essential.
This guide will take a look at how to find out whether your panels are covered by your home insurance policy, and if not, how to go about getting cover. It also looks at the potential cost increases you could see, and the circumstances in which you can get pay-outs for your panels.
In This Guide:
- Getting cover for your solar panels
- How the cost of your home insurance can change
- Getting pay-outs for solar panels
- Other things to know
Getting cover for your solar panels
Whenever you’re making significant changes to your home, it’s always a good idea to contact your home insurance provider to let them know. If you’ve added solar panels, or are thinking of doing so, give your provider a call.
The good news is that a lot of the time they are covered as standard by home insurance policies. This means there will be no change in your policy and your premiums won’t go up. Most insurance providers consider them to be a permanent fixture as they are attached to your property, often they’re covered in your building insurance. However, even when they are covered it’s important to check whether they are included in the rebuild cost (more on this below).
If they are not covered as standard, your provider may offer to cover them in return for increasing your premiums or may refuse to cover altogether. If this happens, you should compare home insurance providers to see if you could get a better deal elsewhere. Try using our free cost comparison tool to find the best deal to cover your solar panels.
How the cost of your home insurance can change
So, how and why can getting solar panels affect the cost of your insurance? Usually, they won’t. However, there a couple of points to consider.
Solar panels have reduced in price significantly in recent years, however recent studies have suggested that the average installation price in the UK is still in the region of £7,000. This can often significantly increase the value of your home. Some insurance providers increase the price of their insurance at certain home values, and if the addition of solar panels pushes you into the next price bracket, your insurance could become more expensive.
Solar panels can save you money in other ways, for example the reduced cost of energy bills. You should, however, be aware that the solar panel feed-in tariff is no longer available. This was a scheme run by the government where you could sell your surplus generated energy to the national grid. Until recently, it was a big attraction for homeowners thinking of getting solar panels, but unfortunately, applications closed as of March 2019.
Getting pay-outs for solar panels
Solar panels can last a very long time, in some cases up to 25 years if they’re looked after properly. However, like most things they often pick up some damage along the way.
Unfortunately, almost all providers refuse to cover ‘wear and tear’ damage, which means you can’t claim for new ones on your home insurance policy. In this case, you’ll either have to pay up for new ones or just have them removed.
Accidental damage works slightly differently, some providers will cover this in your home insurance policy. However, it’s always a good idea to check the terms and conditions to see whether this is covered. For peace of mind, it can be a good idea to get additional accidental damage cover.
When it comes to theft, the same applies as to all your other property. You have an obligation to keep your home and contents safe and secure, within reason, and so if your solar panels are stolen as a result of you being careless, it’s very unlikely that your policy provider will pay.
Other things to know
Paying more for your insurance after having the panels fitted is not always a bad thing! It might be that your provider has included the value of the solar panels in the rebuild cost of your home – this is the amount your house is insured for and so how much you’d be paid in the event of damage to your home.
It’s important to note, however, that home insurance providers have limits on the maximum value they’re willing to pay-out for your home. On top of this, many providers also have an upper limit on the amount they’ll pay for individual items. These numbers are very important to check when taking out your policy in the first place.
Buying home insurance is expensive at the best of times, even more so with the added cost of solar panels. But it’s important to remember that, as with all kinds of insurance, the cheapest option is rarely the best option. You can keep costs down by shopping around, using our free home insurance comparison service, and even by phoning the providers and asking for their best deal. Remember that getting the cover you need is more important than saving money!