Is Damage to Solar Panels Covered by Insurance?

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on July 24, 2015 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Do you have solar panels at your home? If be, be careful of possible damage to your solar panels caused by the environment. Also, you should be alert for damage to your home caused by defective solar panels.

If your solar panels are damaged or defective, does your insurance cover your losses?

Defective Solar Panels

Solar panels are usually expected to have a 25 year lifespan. However, many of these solar panels are suspected to be defective.

Back in 2013, The New York Times reported that the solar industry, worth $77 billion, is facing a quality crisis because of too many defective panels. In one case, the protective coating on the solar panels disintegrated and other defects caused a couple fires that destroyed the panels.

In a class action lawsuit against Home Depot and BP Solar, which is no longer manufacturing solar panels, accused the two companies of breach of warranty for selling defective solar panels. According to the lawsuit, solder joints in junction boxes can overheat, generation heat between 2,000 and 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat melts and destroys the solar panels, creating a dangerous risk of fire.

Environmental Damage to Solar Panels

If you're lucky enough to have properly working solar panels without any defects, you'll still have to worry about damages to your panels from outside sources.

Tree branches, flying rocks, snow, ice, tornado, lighting, and fire are all possible dangers for your solar panels. Sadly, there's not much you can do to prevent such damage, since covering the panels to protect them pretty much defeats the point of having them in the first place.

What About Home Insurance?

Have no fear! Damage to your solar panels may be covered by insurance.

Most home insurance policies will cover damage to solar panels and damage that a defective solar panel may cause to your home, if the panels are installed on your roof. Ground mounted panels may require different insurance.

If you already have home insurance, check your policy to see if you're covered. Even if you are, you may need to increase your coverage limit to ensure it is enough to cover the costs and repairs of major damage.

If your home has been damaged by defective solar panels, consult with an experienced products liability attorney for help.

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