Risks Associated with Installing Solar Panels On the Roof
When insurance carriers learn that a property owner is considering adding solar panels to the roof, here are two risks that need to be addressed:
First, make the property owner aware of how insurance coverage on the property will be impacted if solar panels are to be installed on the roof. For example, if the roof penetrations that are made during the solar panel installation process are not properly sealed, the property could experience significant water damage and be at risk of having an insurance claim denied.
Another insurance risk comes from the weight of the solar panels themselves and how it will impact the structural integrity of the roof. In general, the typical solar panel installed on a residential roof weighs approximately three to four pounds per square foot. However, solar panels used on commercial properties could weigh even more due to the racking used to provide support for the panels. The burden of this weight should be carefully considered as should the condition of the roof before making the decision to install solar panels.
If a property owner is serious about wanting to install solar panels on the roof, some of these risks can be mitigated by going through a solar roofing program that combines the installation of new roofing along with the installation of solar panels. Given the growing demand for solar energy, some roofing companies are now offering such a program that includes a warranty for the new roof and solar panels.
How Insurance Risk Services Can Help
Often, insurance carriers are not the first to know when property owners choose to install solar panels on the roof. As a result, these property owners put themselves in a vulnerable situation if they are to experience roof damage down the road.
In an ideal world, property owners should consult their insurance carrier before making the decision to install solar panels so that they’re aware of the insurance risk that this equipment can create. An in-person property inspection is the ideal opportunity to have this discussion and educate the property owner about the potential risks associated with the installation of solar panels on the roof.
Our team at Insurance Risk Services has been partnering with property and casualty insurance carriers for nearly 40 years to conduct in-person property inspections. Contact us to learn how we can help you to add value to your insureds.