Solar Panel Installer Insurance 101: What You Need To Know

March 5, 2024

SEIA experts found that in Q1 in 2023 alone, around 6.1 GWdc of renewable energy was generated in the USA. That proves the increased level of interest and investments in green energy.

Accordingly, there is a growing demand for solar installation services working with specific equipment on rooftops, specialized sites, etc. That is one of the key factors that necessitates caring for solar panel installer insurance.

You may need solar panel installer insurance if you professionally provide installation and maintenance services for renewable energy generation systems.

he service sector typically suffers the most from various incidents that can be covered by solar panel installer insurance, including property damage, operational risks, and injuries. Special insurance policies for solar installation insurance exist precisely for such cases.

Unfortunately, the policy will not protect you from negative consequences. Still, it will provide financial support if there is reputational or physical damage to the client, property, equipment, employee, environment, or transportation. That’s the key reason to choose quality solar panel installer insurance that covers such cases and gives you peace of mind.

oday, we’ll tell you about solar panel insurance coverage, the types of policies offered to professionals and their employers, as well as solar installation insurance, which protects health, property, and equipment.

What Insurance Coverage Do I Need as a Solar Photovoltaic Installer?

Two graphs showing increase in price for solar panel components and shortage of skilled workers

Source: BKS Partners

Before discussing the types of solar panel installer insurance, let’s focus on the various risks that profiled professionals face while performing their duties. Anticipating ahead, these will involve both professional and individual or corporate liability.

here are several types of challenges for which it is worth arranging insurance for solar panels, including:

  • Environmental risks
  • ransport accidents
  • Client property damage
  • Equipment destruction or damage
  • Loss or damage to tools
  • Injuries to both the executor and anyone nearby

All these cases are formally included in solar panel insurance coverage but are not always considered and compensated. Let’s take a closer look at potential problem scenarios in the context of solar panels insurance.

Damage to Movable Property

Imagine this scenario: you are performing your work as a solar panel installation expert. You use a VAN to transport panels to the client’s facilities, where you will install them. All this is happening somewhere in Florida, and you’re speeding down the highway.

At one moment, the car skids (due to wear of certain components or the actions of another road user; it doesn’t matter) and veers off the road, flipping over. The vehicle belongs to the company whose services you provide. Does solar panel insurance coverage cover such situations? Absolutely.

Equipment Damage

he property is also included in solar panel insurance coverage, as in the previous case. If you damage it due to accidents, unforeseen circumstances, or carelessness, most likely, the cost of the equipment will also be compensated.

Here’s a straightforward example: you’re installing a panel on a steeply sloped roof. The fastening breaks and the equipment rapidly slides down the smooth surface of the metal tiles. It falls onto the concrete area near the house. It’s beyond repair. But compensation through solar contractor insurance? Absolutely.

Property Damage

Considering the average solar panel insurance cost, the policy should cover more than equipment insurance, worker health, or company transportation. Indeed, solar panel cleaning insurance will slightly reduce your costs if you, for example, damage the client’s property.

Suppose you’re installing a panel on the roof of a fairly old house. The roof can’t handle the weight of the body and equipment and collapses. Understandably, the building, equipment, and a worker are damaged. In such a case, the situation is considered separately, but all affected in the incident receive payments under solar installation insurance.

Nature Impact

his topic is somewhat complex, even for insurers with many years of experience. Solar panels hail damage insurance covers losses caused by natural phenomena to equipment. However, not in all cases, so when you think, “What insurance companies cover solar panels?” pay attention to their insurance terms.

Let’s imagine you’ve just finished installation and are about to leave when a neighbor’s tree suddenly lands directly on the roof of the house where you just finished working.

Who’s at fault? The wind, of course, and possibly the neighbor who didn’t remove the dried-up tree promptly. But only one of the solar insurance companies compensates for the losses. So, make sure that similar incidents are included in the policy.

Injuries

Solar panel installation insurance covers damages caused to a person’s life or health due to accidents or unintentional actions of one of the participants in the equipment installation process. There will be two examples here.

he first case is when the worker is injured. For example, you are on the roof performing your direct duties, installing the panel. Suddenly, you slip and fall off the roof, receiving, at best, just bruises and scratches and, at worst, fractures of varying severity. And the only good news is that solar panel installer insurance covers the treatment costs.

he second case is when the client/third party is injured. For example, when someone else gets caught in wires, a ladder, scaffolding, breaks a limb, or receives internal organ bruises. The injuries may be less significant. But in any case, your solar panel installation insurance covers such losses, providing the injured party with substantial compensation for injury and treatment.

Tools

Solar panel installer insurance covers cases where your tools were damaged due to proper use (without deviation from rules and recommendations). It also covers situations where your equipment is stolen, such as when someone passes by and takes unattended tools without permission.

Considering the cost of professional equipment for panel installation and solar insurance cost, the policy should include such cases in the insurance terms. However, this is not always the case; we’ll explain later on.

Additional Coverages

An infographic showing the evolution of the U.S. renewable energy insurance landscape from early 1980's to 2023

Source: CAC Specialty

Does insurance cover solar panels with your current policy? If you’re unsure, review its actual terms. Sometimes, even homeowners insurance covers additional equipment, but mostly, you’ll need to choose additional coverage packages.

Insurance for solar systems is chosen based on several factors, such as:

  • he scope of services provided by the company
  • he presence of in-house production of systems
  • he target audience: private households or corporations
  • he number and qualifications of personnel
  • he availability of relevant certificates

In other words, the type of company and its solar insurance cost actually affect the comprehensiveness of solar panel installer insurance.

he more risks arise from the activities of an organization dealing with solar panels, the greater:

  • he cost of solar system insurance
  • he number of subjects covered by solar panel installers insurance
  • he number of cases covered by solar installation insurance

hus, as a contractor performing the work, the employer should provide solar panel installer insurance. If you work as a sole proprietor, you’ll need to select solar insurance companies yourself and pay for the policy.

You can also take out additional policies covering:

  • Property damage: Whether it’s in your warehouse, at home, in a vehicle, or on a site where installation takes place.
  • Operational risks: Property and personnel are insured against negative events such as breaking mounting brackets, racks, and equipment damage.
  • Loss of income: If the business is forced out of the market due to a natural disaster, operational losses, or other circumstances, the insurance compensates for the lost income.

But even so, it’s more advantageous than compensating for damages you may cause to the environment, property, equipment, or people during your professional activities.

Pollution Liability Risks for Solar Panel Installers

Solar installer insurance covers risks associated with the impact of the installer’s actions and the equipment itself on the surrounding environment. That means the insurance provider can compensate for local issues that may arise during or after installation.

he first example is related to questions like “Does installing solar panels affect your house insurance?” or “Will my homeowners insurance go up if I install solar panels?”

Here’s an explanation: holes are drilled in the roof during installation work to mount the equipment racks. If these holes are not properly treated and sealed, moisture will eventually penetrate through them, leading to wood rot and the growth of mold.

he second example is related to environmental impact. When equipment is installed on the ground (solar farms), it can lead to soil damage and contamination. If the work is carried out on already polluted sites, damage to the topsoil can result in the release of harmful substances into the atmosphere.

he third example is related to equipment composition. Panels have a limited lifespan, which rarely exceeds 20 years. They also contain various hazardous chemical materials (lead, cadmium, and selenium). Therefore, they need to be properly disposed of and maintained, or there’s a risk of hazardous situations. It’s good that all these cases are covered by solar panel installer insurance.

Professional Liability Risks for Solar Panel Installers

Professional risks are associated with the direct processes performed by the provider of solar panel installation services. Typically, they are already included in the standard package of solar panel installer insurance. Insurance events of this class include:

  • Damage to equipment or property
  • Logistics issues
  • Injuries or fatalities occurring as a result of the installer’s activities
A cracked solar panel after a hail storm

herefore, you will still need comprehensive solar panel installer insurance to compensate for the described risks.

How Much Does General Liability Insurance Cost for A Solar Installation Contractor?

his is a rather subjective question because the answer depends on several factors, including:

  • he type and complexity of the company’s activities
  • he number of employees requiring solar panel installer insurance
  • he overall situation in the region
  • he frequency and volume of the service provider’s activities
  • he quality of equipment, tools, and services
  • he comprehensiveness of the policy
  • he company’s reputation
  • he pricing policies and terms of the insurance provider

he cost is calculated individually. From our own experience, we can say that the range of monthly insurance costs per employee is $40-200. However, the actual cost depends on various factors, and policy prices may vary between insurance periods.

What Coverages Does Solar Installation Insurance Provide?

A graph showing global solar energy systems market size (in USD billion) from 2022 to 2032

Source: Precedence Research

he installation process itself is also insured against various risks, or rather, their consequences. For example, from:

  • Damage due to employee or new panel owner negligence
  • External factors include storms, hail, snow, falling trees, fires, and theft
  • Injuries resulting from unexpected dismantling of the installation due to poor fastening
  • Environmental or building impact
  • A range of other issues specified in the policy, depending on its type and comprehensiveness

Such types of insurance, such as home, property, equipment, provider, and installation contractor insurance, apply to the cases mentioned.

Solar installation insurance covers mold-related claims, but only if such a clause is included. However, some companies try to exclude this clause by specifying something called “care, custody, and control” in the terms. In such cases, the policy does not apply to real estate, items, equipment, transportation, or tools that are only temporarily under the contractor’s control.

For example, upon completion of the work, no issues were found. However, a roof leak appeared a month later. In the event of a lawsuit where the claimant’s demands are met, the company will be responsible for covering the damages themselves. If this type of case is not included in the policy, the service provider will not receive any compensation.

Get Solar Installation Insurance – Save Your Time and Money

Without reliable solar panel installer insurance, you risk losing more than you earn. That applies to unforeseen and expected circumstances, such as equipment wear and tear over time.

So, you should take out an insurance policy to help compensate for health, property, equipment, and transportation damages. The only catch is to insure with reputable providers who genuinely care about their clients.

Not sure where to start and how to get the right solar installation insurance? Reach out to American REIA consultants, and we’ll help you tackle any insurance-related issue.

Victoria Berezhetska

Victoria Berezhetska is a Content Lead at Phonexa.com and an expert contributor to American REIA. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with extensive working experience as a PR specialist and content writer. At American REIA, she helps customers find the right educational material through easily digestible blog posts and buying guides backing their insurance coverage choice. Victoria covers diverse topics around digital and insurance marketing, including auto, home, health, and life insurance.

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