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Solar panels and home insurance

Three questions to ask your insurer before you join the solar revolution

The sun reflecting off solar panels on a roof

Thinking about fitting solar panels to your roof? Before you go ahead, check with your buildings insurance provider that they're insured.

Solar panels shine

On a sunny Saturday in March this year, solar power produced six times more electricity in the UK than coal-fired power stations. The surplus electricity that solar panels produce goes back to the National Grid, which means there's less of a need to generate electricity using coal.

That same day, for the first time ever, demand for electricity was lower in the afternoon than it was overnight due to the electricity generated by solar power.

Installations of solar panels grew dramatically in 2014 and 2015, with the Solar Trade Association calculating there were 670,000 homeowners who owned solar panels in 2015.

But before you go ahead and join the solar revolution, check to make sure your new solar panels are covered by your buildings insurance.

Solar panels and home insurance

It's probably not the first thing you think about when you decide to go solar - will my solar panels affect my home insurance? But having panels fitted is a major change to your home and could change your home insurance cover.

The best thing to do is contact your existing provider and let them know that you plan to install solar panels. They can tell you whether your policy covers solar panels already.

If it does, you'll probably find that your panels are covered as part of the buildings insurance. At LV= we cover solar panels as standard. We cover them as part of the permanent fixtures of your home. This goes for wind turbines as well.

Having panels fitted is a major change to your home and could change your cover.

How can solar panels affect my home insurance?

  1. The cost of the solar panels

    The black panels you see on roofs across the UK are often photovoltaic (PV) panels. These panels convert the sun's energy to electricity for you to use around your home and sell to the National Grid if you have a surplus.

    Although the price of solar panels has nearly halved in the past five years, it can still cost between £5,000 and £8,000 to fit enough PV panels to power an average family home. So that's a lot of cash sitting on your roof.

    If anything happened to these panels, you'd want to make sure your buildings insurance would cover the cost of replacing them.

  2. Change to the value of your home

    It's also possible that fitting solar panels may change the value of your home, so affecting the cost of your home insurance. The thought of lower electricity bills and improved energy performance can attract more buyers.

What else do I need to know?

All insurers impose limits on their standard insurance cover. This can be a limit on the total amount they're willing to pay out, or the amount they will pay out for one single item.

Even if your insurer is happy to cover your solar panels, it's worth checking that the limit for your buildings insurance cover is enough to replace your panels.

At LV= we have a limit of £1,000,000 on our buildings insurance, this covers the rebuilding of your home including any solar panels.

Buildings insurance will cover your solar panels if they get damaged as a result of fire, storm, water, subsidence, impact (a falling tree for example), theft or vandalism, but not necessarily if they are damaged accidentally or for wear and tear.

You may want to take out additional accidental damage cover to protect your panels against unintentional damage.

So, before you decide to install solar panels, we recommend that you ask your insurer three important questions:

  • Am I already covered if I decide to install solar panels?
  • Will the cost of my insurance go up?
  • Am I insured if I accidentally damage the panels?

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