We’ve been helping electricians and solar panel installers with their insurance needs for over a decade.

From small operators through to multi-million dollar companies, we know how to get you the right cover at the right price.

You know that solar isn’t a DIY job, and neither is your business insurance. We’ve dealt with many clients and claims in the solar space, and we know that it requires professional guidance.

To get started please call our team on 1800 808 800 or hit the button below.

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We have a comprehensive guide that you can read below, but first we want to cover off one of the main questions we get asked:

Does a policy for an electrician cover solar work?

Many electricians undertaking solar installations assume that a standard public liability insurance policy for an electrical contractor will cover solar installation.

A couple of years ago that was often the case, especially if your solar work made up less than 50% of your overall electrical work.

But an influx of claims around 2019/2020 led to a major change in attitude from many of the insurance companies.

Now we find that some public liability policies for electricians exclude any work involving solar!

That’s a massive issue if you’re undertaking any work involving solar.

So the lesson here is to never assume that a policy for an electrical contractor will automatically cover solar works.

It might have been the case previously, but things have changed.

Now back to the guide…

What insurance does a solar installer need?

The types of business insurance you require as a solar panel installer will depend largely on the scale of your business.

If you’re a sole trader sparkie doing a couple of solar installs each week, your main requirement will be public liability insurance.

But if you’re a large operator with your own warehouses and vehicle fleet, and maybe importing the panels yourself, then your requirements will be a lot different.

Either way, we can help electrical contractors and dedicated solar companies at either end of the spectrum.

In this guide we’ll run through the different forms of solar installers insurance that businesses of various sizes and types will need.

Here’s a quick run down of which ones we’ll be looking at:

  • Public liability insurance
  • Tool insurance
  • Personal accident insurance
  • Professional indemnity insurance
  • Commercial motor insurance

We’ll also touch on some of the following that could be important for a solar business, depending on your size and structure:

  • Management liability insurance
  • Directors and officer’s insurance
  • Trade credit insurance
  • Marine transit insurance

There are many more than this, but if you’re running a larger solar business we’d recommend speaking with one of our brokers rather than relying on this written guide.

Public liability insurance

This is the most common form of insurance for any trades business, and solar panel installers are no different.

This form of insurance will protect your business in the event that your activities cause property damage or personal injury (including death) to a third party.

Here at Trade Risk the most common claims we deal with for solar installers involve their public liability insurance.

Almost all of them involve property damage rather than personal injury or death (thankfully) and many of them involve water damage.

You might think of water damage claims being more likely for plumbers rather than solar installers, but our experience in looking after real life claims has been quite different!

The typical claim follows the installation or maintenance of solar panels, but not straight away…  It takes the first decent rain fall to show up any roof leaks that have been caused by damage to the roof.

These claims can become quite costly, as the water damage often leads to replacement and painting of ceilings and walls, and in some cases replacement flooring.

We’ve also had claims where electrical appliances have needed to be replaced due to water damage as a result of a leak caused during the solar installation.

Public liability will respond in these events and can cover the costs involved in replacing or repairing the damage caused by the water leak.

But there’s a big kicker when it comes to these types of events, and it can result in you being left with uninsured losses…

What’s not covered under your public liability

We’ve written a far more comprehensive article about this issue which you can find here, but here’s a quick summary.

Whilst public liability insurance will cover the cost of the damage caused by your work, it won’t cover the cost of rectifying the work.

So it will cover the costs to replace the ceiling and walls and other areas damaged by the water, and it will cover the costs involved in repairing the roof that you damaged.

But in order to repair the roof it may be that the solar panels have to be removed and reinstalled.  That is a cost that your public liability insurance will not cover.

In some cases that might not be a big deal, but we have seen cases where that uninsured cost can climb to thousands of dollars.

There’s nothing that you can really do about it other than being aware of it.

Tool & equipment insurance

No matter what size your solar installation business is, you’re going to have plenty of power tools and other equipment to run your business.

Tool insurance can protect your financial investment in your gear again fire damage, damage caused in a vehicle collision and theft following forced entry.

Tool theft is rampant in Australia, and we see plenty of claims where all sorts of locks and security systems have been beaten.

In our experience tool insurance is one of the least expensive policies you’ll have, but also one that you could be most likely to need to claim on.

Follow this link to learn more about tool insurance.

Stolen tradie tools

Personal accident insurance

This one is more about you and your family rather than your business.

Whether you’re on the tools installing the panels yourself, or you’re spending more time on quoting or business development, either way you rely on your ability to get out and about.

If you’re unable to do so due to an injury or illness, it could have a massive impact on your ability to earn a living.

Personal accident insurance (sometimes incorrectly referred to as income protection insurance) can cover a large percentage of your income for a period of time whilst you’re unable to work.

There are loads of different options available with personal accident insurance, so it’s worth check out our dedicated guide or speaking to one of our brokers for more information.

Professional indemnity insurance

Whether or not your need professional indemnity insurance will really depend on how your business is structured and the activities you’re undertaking.

Broadly speaking, it is more about the professional advice you provide rather than the physical work you undertake.

It could be more appropriate if you’re providing advice, designs or reports etc, and charging a fee for that service outside of your physical installation work.

We strongly recommend speaking to one of our insurance brokers about professional indemnity.  Don’t make a decision on whether or not you need it based on this article alone!

Commercial motor insurance

Whether you have a single vehicle or a fleet of dozens, commercial motor insurance can be a better option than just insuring through a direct insurer like NRMA or AAMI etc.

For multiple vehicles it means being able to bundle them into a single fleet policy, and there are also benefits in terms of the coverage.

A proper commercial motor policy (unlike a basic car policy) can provide more appropriate coverage for things such as vehicle signage, canopies and fit-out.

electrician insurance

Other insurance types for solar companies

The larger your solar company gets, the more complex it becomes and the greater the potential risks get.

If you have your own warehouse or offices you’ll need to those insured (if owned) as well as the contents and stock held on your premises.

If you’ve reached a certain number of staff you may need to consider management liability insurance and/or directors and officers insurance.

These insurance types can protect the company, as well as the personal assets of the directors in certain circumstances.

Trade credit insurance is another important one if you’re finding yourself with large financial exposures to single clients.

If you’re importing your own solar panels you’ll need marine transit insurance to protect them during transit.

There are many more potential risks along with insurance policies to cover them.

Here at Trade Risk we are a full service insurance brokerage.  There is nothing we can’t do in terms of policy types and business sizes.  All of the insurance types listed above can be handled by our team.

Get your solar business insurance via Trade Risk

Our brokers have been looking after large and small solar installers and electrical contractors for over a decade.

We’ve also looked after plenty of claims for solar installers, so we know what can go wrong and how to properly insure a solar business.

To get started please call our office on 1800 808 800 to speak with one of our brokers, or click here to complete our online quote request.

If your business is located within an hour of Brisbane we’re happy to come to you, or you can come into our office to meet with us.

Most of our clients (including our largest ones) are happy to deal with us via phone and email, and we can also do video chat if you prefer.

You’ve worked hard to build your company.  Don’t risk it all by insuring through anyone less than the proven industry experts at Trade Risk.

Solar Panel Installers Insurance