In a continued discussion of how solar quotes can vary widely between companies, today the focus will be on insurance. Insurance has the reputation of being a costly expenditure for homeowners and for businesses alike. Many people maintain the ideology that insurance is a scam and a cost that just loses businesses, and consumers, money. However, insurance is an important piece of good business practices that protect the consumer and the company. Let’s discuss the importance of solar and explain why well-insured companies may have higher sticker prices.
General liability is often very expensive insurance but is a necessary evil for any solar contractor. General Liability insurance is a two-pronged insurance policy that is designed to pay for property damage the policy holder is responsible for and for bodily injury.
Bodily injury covers injury that happens to a 3rd party – or injuries that happen to someone who is not the business owner or an employee. Property damage applies to property other than the work the contractor has performed. For example, if a solar contractor is building an addition to a home and an electrical malfunction burns down the house, the house would be covered under the general liability coverage, but the addition to the home would not be.
General liability insurance typically also includes a type of coverage called “products liability/completed operations” – which covers any damages or injuries that are caused by goods or services sold by the solar contractor. For example, if one of your newly installed panels was not correctly mounted, slipped off the roof and injured someone, the injury is covered. The panels would not be covered, but the policy would cover the injury.
Why is this so important?
Because insurance is so often looked upon with downtrodden eyes, it is easily seen as an inconvenience and not the protective tool it actually is.
Like any industry, there are accidents in solar. Due to poorly insured, or uninsured sub-contractors, homeowners have been stuck with property damage or injury claims without anyone, or any insurance, to help fix problems. Homes remain damaged and people are injured and there is no help. Other times, solar companies are poorly insured, or underinsured, and then there is a problem, their insurance policy does not cover the cost of damages.
The problem with this is two-fold. First, homeowners are left without the support they need and often entrenched in lawsuits to fix damage to their home or body. Second, the solar company you have trusted to install and maintain your panels for the next 25 years is out of business because they could not afford the fall out of their poor workmanship or accident. In the end, poor insurance policies mean businesses close and homeowners are left unprotected.
Proactive Protection is an Important Investment
We often see quotes from other local, competing solar companies from customers. Our customers ask why pricing is so different from one quote to another. Quite often, the fundamental difference between pricing on quotes is the supporting insurance a company holds or does not own. Our focus on customers and company longevity are what drive our decision-making policies. This means we are fully insured in the off-chance there is an accident on a job site. This protects our customers and it protects our employees and our company. Our commitment to our community and our customers demands we hold the highest quality insurance with thorough coverages.
And this dedication and commitment is often expensive.
This means that while our competitors may have lower sticker prices on a quote, our prices answer to the long-term commitment our company has to each and every homeowner.
If you are unsure of the type of coverage your solar installation company carries, reach out and ask. If you are unsure of what their insurance documents mean, take the time to work with your insurance agent for clarification.
Saving money is always important. However, saving money in the face of sacrificing safety and protection is always a costly choice. A bit more paid in the beginning can equate to thousands of dollars saved later.