How to insure your solar panel installation in South Africa - A Guide for Homeowners and Body Corporates

Posted by SAPAC Reporter on

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana's announcement regarding the launch of the National Treasury's rebate scheme for new rooftop solar installations on private homes from 1 March 2023 has increased the demand for renewable energy solutions among homeowners in South Africa. As a result, many homeowners are opting for solar panel installations, leading to some confusion among body corporates and homeowners associations (HOAs) in estates and complexes about insuring these installations.

Hermanus van der Linde, CEO of short-term insurance broker Integrisure, suggests that body corporates and HOAs can cover solar panels under their existing building insurance policies with minimal implications. However, some are not aware of this option, leaving it to the individual owners to get insured.

Van der Linde recommends that for body corporates and HOAs, the solar system can be covered by increasing the building sum insured with the replacement value of the system, which can be added to the Participation Quota (PQ). The system will be covered in full for typical building risks such as fire, hail, impact, and accidental damage.

Other cover options include increasing the power-surge and/or exterior theft first-loss limit, adding the solar system as a specified item with an additional premium payable, or specifying the system as an all-risk item. It is important to ensure that the solar system is installed by a qualified, accredited installer who can issue a certificate of compliance as insurance companies and manufacturers may reject claims if the system is not installed by an accredited installer.

Residents and owners living in estates or complexes should obtain approval from body corporates or homeowners' associations when looking to install solar panels. They should also ensure that the matter of insurance coverage is added to the agenda at upcoming AGMs for members to understand the cover they will enjoy for solar panels, what it excludes, and if there are any limitations.

Van der Linde cautions that insurers are already seeing reluctance from body corporates and HOAs to add solar panels to their building insurance, but owners should insist that it be done. If there is still resistance, residents and owners living in estates or complexes will need to take out cover for their solar panels on their personal policies.

If you plan on investing in renewable energy installations, ensure that you are adequately insured by talking to your broker for the best product options for peace of mind should something go wrong. To learn more about how SAPAC can help you with your solar panel insurance needs, visit https://sapac.co.za.

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