TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Cathy and Barry Taylor wanted to go green and save cash, so they chose solar power and installed panels on their roof. For years, they hadn’t paid a dime for power. Then, five years later, came a big shock in the mail.
The Taylors learned they were getting dropped by their insurance company. On June 29, their property insurance policy will expire. In a notice, Edison Insurance Company said it will not be renewed.
Their home, located in Redington Shores, is ineligible due to quote “Solar Panels— Tier 2 or 3—Solar Energy Interconnection…”
“I’m really upset,” said Cathy. “It would’ve been nice if they’d gone into a little bit more detail.”
“What are we supposed to do? We have to have home insurance. We plan on living here until we croak.”
“And the why was why we wanted to talk to you,” said Barry.
8 On Your Side Investigator Mahsa Saedi took look at the premiums some people are paying for solar power in the Sunshine State to get answers for the Taylors.
The Taylors told 8 On Your Side they went solar in 2018, installing 47 panels on their roof. It’s known as a Tier 2 system—not Tier 1—because it generates more than 10 Kilowatts (kW) of power. So much so, the Taylors haven’t paid a dime for electricity.
But come July, they fear they’ll be paying a lot more for insurance, through a different carrier.
“Minimum double?” asked 8 On Your Side Investigator Mahsa Saeidi.
“Which is what we’ve been quoted so far,” said Barry.
“Our premium here was $5,000 and now it is a minimum of $10,000 and maybe as high as $15,000.”
The Taylors say it’s been difficult to get answers. So, they turned to 8 On Your Side, desperate to keep their current coverage.
“The broker basically said insurance companies won’t tell us exactly what criteria they’re using,” said Barry.
“What could we do to fix the problem?” asked Cathy.
8 On Your Side called Edison Insurance.
In a statement, the company’s president said they proudly cover “new solar energy panels …subject to…filed and approved guidelines.”
If the Taylors want to stay with Edison, the company says they can change their system to meet guidelines.
The couple would have to lower their voltage and transition to a Tier 1 system.
If you have a story for Mahsa, email her at MSaeidi@WFLA.com.
Here’s the full statement from Edison Insurance Company:
“Edison proudly covers new solar energy panels in its coverage for policyholders in the Sunshine State subject to our filed and approved guidelines. We encourage customers to understand the interconnectivity of the system that is being professionally installed on their home. Currently, there is only one interconnection agreement which qualifies for coverage with Edison. In this instance, we are happy to contact the policyholder directly to discuss their circumstances and their agreement. Thank you for bringing this to our attention as customer service is our top priority.” – Clint Strauch, President Edison Insurance Company