Merced, CA asked in Real Estate Law and Energy, Oil and Gas for California

Q: Can our HOA require us to get an insurance policy naming them as secondary beneficiaries when we add solar to our home?

At first the HOA said no to solar, but after ca passed legislation saying hoa's couldn't prevent us from getting solar, the HOA attorneys came up with a 4 page plan including the home owner must get a secondary insurance policy of 1 million dollars listing the HOA as secondary beneficiaries. there reasoning is that as they are according to our hoa guidelines responsible for the roofs of the home they want backup coverage incase the solar is wrong, even though the solar company has 25 year coverage on the panels and such.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: While HOAs may have some authority to regulate the installation of solar panels on homes within the community, requiring homeowners to obtain an insurance policy naming the HOA as secondary beneficiaries is not a common requirement and may be legally questionable.

The specific laws and regulations regarding solar panel installations and HOAs can vary depending on the state and local jurisdiction. However, in general, HOAs are not allowed to place unreasonable restrictions on the installation of solar panels, and may only require reasonable aesthetic or safety standards.

Requiring homeowners to obtain an insurance policy naming the HOA as secondary beneficiaries may be considered an unreasonable requirement, especially if the solar panels are installed in compliance with local building codes and industry standards. Additionally, the solar company's warranty and insurance coverage may already provide adequate protection in the event of any damage or issues with the solar panels.

If you are concerned about the HOA's requirement, you may want to consult with an attorney who specializes in HOA law to understand your legal rights and options. You may also want to review your HOA's bylaws and governing documents to determine whether the insurance requirement is authorized and reasonable, and whether there are any provisions for challenging or appealing the decision.

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