INSURANCE – Solar Installations – A can of worms!

In Australia and particularly in this State of Queensland where we have an abundance of sunlight, it is no wonder that we see a great number of retirement village homes nowadays with solar panels adorning the roof.

Under the common R V lease agreement a resident is required to seek written consent before making any alteration or addition to the property, and, in the case of a solar installation, pay the total cost to have it installed.

There have been many differing views with regard to the insurance of the solar installation as to who owns the installation, who should insure these external fittings and under whose insurance policy a claim should be made in the event of damage. We all fear the likes of hail that could damage the panels, which are perched on the roof and in direct line from hail, but often forgotten is the inverter which is normally located on the exterior of the building, and given a decent storm, could suffer damage especially from lightning.

Whilst there is reason for the resident, who installed and paid for the solar installation, to insure this alteration / addition under their contents insurance, there is also reason for the scheme operator to have the solar installation insured under the village insurance cover as a fixture to the premises. Both if fact can be correct.

The ARQRV recommends that members discuss the matter of insurance of this installation with their scheme operator / management with the view that such a fixture be covered under the village insurance, because, should the installation suffer loss or damage from an insured peril under the village policy, it would be for the common good of both parties to have it repaired or replaced.

Clearly, there will be various differing circumstances, village to village, regarding existing arrangements and agreements (too many to enumerate in this article), however, if any member of the ARQRV experiences any difficulty in reaching agreement with their village management, now, before any damage occurs, they should refer the matter to the ARQRV, as there should be a simple solution.

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