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Does renewable energy affect your house insurance?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 25 January 2010 at 10:20 am

We've had solar hot water panels for a couple of years now, but it was only recently, when asked by a visitor to this site, that I wondered what, if any implication they had for my house insurance.

Happily, a quick call to the insurance company (NFU Mutual) was all I needed to find that it makes no difference to my policy - unless of course I want to increase the total amount of cover. The same applies if I want to install solar PV to generate electricity.

But it set me wondering. Is that the same for all renewables? For all insurance companies?

Well, according to the Association of British Insurers, there isn't an overarching rule on this one, and it will depend on your insurer. "The golden rule for insurance is to tell your insurer if you're planning to make any material structural changes to your property," said a spokesman.

Not surprisingly, installing renewable energy counts as a material structural change. The insurance company will want to know whether your change will lead to it being more expensive to repair any damage that you claim for. Inevitably, if they think it will be, then the premium will go up.

Of course, I suggest you don't follow my example and leave it until three years after the event. it makes much more sense to do ask before you commit to an expensive installation!

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Comments

2 comments - read them below or add one

Allisdiar1

Allisdiar1Comment left on: 30 November 2012 at 6:39 am

This is a great post. You have explained the relation between the house and renewable energy insurance very well. With your set example, many people will going to get benefit in their life.

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SolarUK

SolarUKComment left on: 27 January 2010 at 3:46 pm

Let's hope microgenerators don't get burdened with higher insurance premiums! 

It would be a shame if your LaZer2 solar tracker, or whatever technology you're using, cancel out what could be a 'bonus' for homeowners in the form of its potential to add value to a property.  Research from the independent EU Energy Institute suggests that panels are such a good long-term investment that banks should offer homeowners mortgages on them.

 

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