Claiming for Solar Panel Hail Damage in 7 Helpful Steps
Queenslanders across the state this month are buckling down for storm season. As the first storms of summer blew over the east coast last week we are reminded that storm season is a worrisome time. While cars, rooves, windows and solar panels brave the worst of it, many of us find ourselves assessing the damage each morning and wondering where to even start. Solar panel hail damage, in particular, can be a confusing to claim on insurance.
Hail damage and severe weather are not typically covered under your solar panel’s warranty conditions. This means if your home has been hit hard with hail you’re likely going to have to turn to your home and contents insurer. Unfortunately, Solar panels can be a grey area in most insurance policies. If you haven’t specifically updated your policy to include solar panels you may be amiss for insurance cover. Nonetheless, it’s worth contacting your insurer to confirm your coverage before giving up all hope.
But before you pick up the phone and boogie to some hold music, have a quick read of Pioneer Solar’s 7-step guide to claiming solar panel hail damage on insurance.
1. Check the Inverter
Following a big storm, it’s always important to check up on your inverter. Inverters are incredibly smart devices. Meaning they regularly scan themselves for any issues or faults. If they detect a problem they will communicate it in the form of an error code or fault reading. If your solar panels have been seriously damaged the inverter will likely display an error code. If there is an error code present contact the installation company or inverter manufacturer for guidance and next-steps.
2. Check for Solar Panel Hail Damage
Once the storm has passed and it is safe to go outside, try inspecting your solar panels. Do not attempt to get up on your roof. As this is especially dangerous after a storm. Try inspecting your solar panels from the ground by walking around the parameter of your house.
3. Contact Your Insurance Company
If you have identified any solar panel hail damage in steps 1 and 2 contact your insurance company. You will need to clarify with your insurance provider whether solar panel hail damage is covered under your policy. It’s important to report the damage as soon as it’s identified to avoid any delays or confusion.
4. Authenticate The Damage
If solar panel hail damage is covered by your insurer the damage will likely need to be officially reported and authenticated. Depending on the policy and procedure of your insurance provider you may need to organise a qualified electrician to complete an inspection. Check with your insurance provider before doing so as, most insurance providers will send out their own contractor. In both cases the contractor should produce a damage report on the solar panels.
5. Get Quotes
Once the damage report has been approved you’ll need to get quotes for the replacement panels. Again, your insurer may have a streamlined process where they arrange for the quote and replacement of your solar panels. This is typically done when insurers have regular contractors or outsource to a third-party for these services. Other insurance companies rely on you to collect quotes for the repair. Most insurance companies will ask you to send through at least three quotes and choose from the options provided. This is again subject to the policy and procedure of your individual insurer.
6. Repair The Solar Panel Hail Damage
By now the quote should be selected and approved, and the work booked in. Depending on how many solar panels are damaged you may need to have the whole system replaced. This would have been detailed in the damage report and discussed with you prior to the replacement. Be sure to check how many panels are being replaced and keep a record of the work being completed.
7. Check The Warranties
Following the replacement of the hail damaged solar panels, ensure you have the warranty information for the new panels. This is especially important if only a few have been replaced as they may be a different brand, make or model. Collecting the warranty documents now ensures you have all the necessary information in the long run. This way if there are any future, non-hail related issues you are protected by your panel warranty.
Get Help with Your Claim
Remember, this is only a guide based on our experience helping our customers through insurance claims on solar panel hail damage. The process of claiming hail and storm damage to solar panels is subject to your coverage, policy, and insurance provider. We’d recommend contacting your insurance provider for information specific to their policy and procedure. Pioneer Solar cannot guarantee any insurance claim will be approved. If you feel stuck, one of our dedicated solar experts will happily guide you through the process of claiming on solar panel hail damage. If you’d like assistance claiming for solar panel hail damage or have any solar relate queries please don’t hesitate to contact us.