by Mark Maliepaard, Morris Insurance Agency
Solar energy generation is becoming increasingly cost effective and available. This has made commercial and residential solar panel installations surge. You may know the benefits of generating your own electricity, but have you looked at this as an investment that needs to be insured?
Purchasing a system may be a significant investment. Depending on size and applicable subsidies, residential systems can cost from $5,000 to upwards of $50,000. If you are looking at future installation, or if you currently have solar, does your Homeowner’s insurance policy list the additional value?
In California, the cost to replace a dwelling on a homeowners policy is calculated by a third party company not directly related to the insurance provider. This is called a Replacement Cost Estimator and protects the insured by having a non-biased valuation of what the cost could be to rebuild your home in the event of a complete loss. As solar systems would affect this calculation, they should be included in the estimate. Contact your agent to confirm that the replacement cost of your home has your solar system included, or request a quote that has the additional solar value calculated to be aware of the possible difference in premium.
Commercial systems should also be insured properly by being listed on the business’ property policy. This may be shown under a package option, or a standalone policy. Either way, a solar system and the value will most likely need to be listed.
Mark Maliepaard is a lifelong Ripon resident. He is an Independent Insurance Agent within Morris Insurance Agency providing personal and commercial insurance options. He enjoys being a member of the Ripon Rotary, a board member for another local club, and volunteering whenever possible. Mark can be reached at 1408 W. Main St., Suite B in Ripon, at 209-599-0707 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.