Jan 09

Unlocking Success: A Comprehensive Guide on Effectively Selling Solar Insure in Today’s Market

Unlocking Success A Comprehensive Guide on Effectively Selling Solar Insure in Todays Market 1 1

At the heart of residential solar is both growth and turbulence in the market. What is needed for installers and homeowners is some security and long-term reliability that can come from monitoring and warranties. Solar warranties give homeowners confidence and are a vital tool in the arsenal of residential solar installers. As solar installations become more prevalent, the demand for comprehensive warranty coverage, like Solar Insure, is skyrocketing. This coverage protects homeowner investment and ensures long-term viability and confidence in solar.

How can solar installers provide better service to homeowners?

Solar installers play a pivotal role in securing homeowner investments in solar. Their expertise and guidance are instrumental in educating homeowners about the critical importance of protection like Solar Insure. It’s about building a bridge of trust and understanding, where homeowners feel confident in their investment, assured by the knowledge that their solar solutions are backed by robust warranty protection.

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) report highlights the overall market, marking a 43% increase from the previous year. The contracting and expanding nature of residential solar illustrates the rising demand for comprehensive warranty services like Solar Insure to be there for customers when solar companies go out of business. 

The importance of solar warranties

Solar warranties are crucial for homeowners investing in solar systems, offering protection and assurance for a significant financial commitment. They act as a safeguard against manufacturing defects, performance issues, and unforeseen complications, ensuring that the solar panels and other components perform optimally over their lifespan. Commonly, a production warranty is offered, often extending up to 25 years, which guarantees a certain level of energy production and accounts for the natural degradation of solar panels over time??.

Solar warranties are not just about functional assurance; they significantly impact a homeowner’s financial stability. For instance, warranties can significantly reduce maintenance costs, especially in repairs or replacements??. They also enhance property value, as solar systems with robust warranties are more attractive to potential buyers. However, it’s important to note the limitations and exclusions in standard warranties, which might include damage from external factors or issues related to installation and maintenance.

Types of Solar Warranties

Solar warranties come in various forms, each covering different aspects of a solar installation.

Performance Warranties

These assure that solar panels will maintain a specified efficiency level over time, typically for 25 years. They account for the natural reduction in panel efficiency annually?.

Product Warranties

Covering physical components of solar panels, these warranties range from 10 to 25 years and protect against defects and malfunctions?.

Inverter Warranties

With the standard warranty period for string inverters ranging from 10 to 12 years and microinverters often covered for 25 years, these warranties address the critical components that convert solar energy into usable electricity?.

Solar Energy Storage System Warranties

Important for homeowners using solar batteries, these warranties provide financial protection and performance assurance, often covering an average period of 10-15 years. Some newer warranties, like those offered by Solar Insure, extend up to 20 years? and include battery replacement once capacity falls to a certain level.

Installer Warranties

Some solar installers offer additional warranties covering their workmanship and the system’s overall performance. However, if the installer goes out of business or is acquired during the life of your system, you could be left without a warranty.

Extended and Additional Warranties

Solar Insure offers a 30-Year Monitoring and Warranty and 20-Year Battery and Monitoring plans, which cover panels, racking, optimizers, inverters, and roof penetrations for an extended period, providing parts and labor as a layer of protection far beyond the standard manufacturer warranties?.

Understanding these warranties and their specific coverage, duration, and terms is vital for homeowners to ensure the best possible protection for their solar investment. It’s also essential to consider the reputation and financial stability of the companies offering the warranties.

Educating homeowners on Solar Insure

Educating homeowners about the significance of solar warranties in their installation plans is critical. It involves clearly explaining the coverage limitations and benefits making them aware of the potential financial implications without proper coverage. For instance, most manufacturers typically do not cover costs like truck rolls, shipping, and labor for removing and replacing defective solar components. These expenses, often the homeowner’s responsibility, can be significant over the 30-year life of the system??. Homeowners need to understand these aspects to make informed decisions.

Providing clear and accessible information about coverage and benefits

Providing homeowners with comprehensive and easily understandable information about what solar warranties cover is crucial. A detailed explanation of what is included, such as the coverage of panels, optimizers, inverters, and roof penetrations, and for how long, helps in making an informed choice. For example, standard manufacturer warranties typically last 10-25 years, but extended warranties like Solar Insure’s 30-Year Monitoring and Warranty offer broader coverage??.

Building trust through transparency with Solar Insure

Transparent communication is essential in building trust with homeowners. This involves being upfront about the costs associated with solar warranties, potential gaps in coverage, and the process for claims and repairs. For example, Solar Insure’s policy includes a solar production guarantee, ensuring that if the solar system doesn’t meet its annual production goal, the homeowner is reimbursed the difference??.

Addressing common concerns and questions about Solar Warranties

Addressing common concerns and questions head-on is key to establishing trust. Homeowners often have questions about the costs they have to bear, the duration of the coverage, and the claims process. For instance, they should be informed about the specifics of labor reimbursement policies, such as those offered by Enphase and Solar Edge, which provide limited coverage for labor costs for a specified period?.

Additionally, the advantages of choosing a warranty without transfer fees, as Solar Insure offers, should be highlighted to homeowners, especially considering the potential impact on property sales.

In summary, educating homeowners about their solar system’s protection with Solar Insure involves clear, transparent communication about the different aspects of solar warranties, including their limitations, benefits, and the financial implications of not having adequate coverage. This education is crucial in helping homeowners understand the value of solar warranties and building a trusting relationship between the homeowner and the solar provider.

Case studies and real-life examples of Solar Insure

Real-life case studies demonstrate the practical value of Solar Insure. 

Karen Branzell 

Customer Karen Branzell highlighted the importance of having coverage beyond what is typically offered in a manufacturer warranty, which often does not cover the total cost of parts and labor. Solar Insure’s 30-Year Monitoring and Warranty provided her with much-needed financial relief.

“The company we originally bought the solar panels through went out of business. Suddenly, we were without support when one of the panels quit operating. Once we found out we had (Solar Insure) we contacted them. They were responsive to our needs, sent us a copy of our policy since we had never received it from the original vendor, and put us in contact with a new solar panel company to repair our solar panels. Going forward, the new solar vendor will be the vendor to meet our support needs, working with Solar Insure for coverage. Solar Insure made an impossible situation, not impossible at all!!!!” – Karen Branzel 

Carlos Ramos

Another example is Carlos Ramos, who faced a microinverter failure. The support he received from SI’s 30-Year Monitoring and Warranty was crucial in addressing and resolving the issue without significant financial burden??.

“During November of 2021 I was informed that TES had gone bankrupt without informing any of it’s clients. It was a difficult time with 13 out 23 microinverters not working and TES out of the picture. I decided to contact my sales representative and he sent me the name and link to Solar Insure. I contacted customer service and Spoke with Ariel. She immediately asked for some data and was able to pull up my account and forward me the certificate. I explained my situation with TES and 13 microinverters not working. She immediately filed a claim and Had it assigned to infinity solar. Before the end of December my solar panel system was repaired and has been running beautifully. During the process I received various calls following up on the status and the satisfaction of the work completed. I have dealt with many companies but I’ve been super impressed by the service provided by Ariel and Solar Insure. I highly recommend this company to anyone.” – Carlos Ramos

John Hernandez 

John Hernandez’s experience with panel issues underscores the importance of having robust support. His case illustrates why comprehensive coverage, like that provided by Solar Insure, is key in managing unexpected failures efficiently.

“We had our solar panels for 6 months with critical errors. MAJOR issues with the original installers!! They had very poor communication skills. It got to the point where they were ignoring my calls. I contacted the company financing us to get them involved and they were experiencing the same issues.

Once Solar Insure got involved, they immediately began sending me emails, text messages, and phone calls. Within a week they had someone out to repair the errors and get us started, FINALLY!! I was extremely happy with their service! Very friendly and professional. Straight to handling business!!

Thank You Solar Insure Team!!!” – John Hernandez

Solar professionals should emphasize the importance of understanding the fine print of solar warranties. For instance, they should inform homeowners that most manufacturers do not cover the costs of truck rolls, shipping, and labor for the repair or replacement of defective panels or components. These expenses, typically the homeowner’s responsibility, can be substantial over the 30-year lifespan of a solar system.

Ensuring that homeowners are aware of coverage limits, deductibles, and exclusions

Homeowners should be made aware of the coverage limits and exclusions in standard warranties. For example, warranties may be voided if solar panels are not installed according to specified guidelines or if unauthorized modifications are made. Moreover, certain solar panel warranties might not cover fire damage or other external sources??.

Integrating Solar Insure into sales presentations

In sales presentations, professionals should integrate discussions about Solar Insure by focusing on the additional layer of protection it offers. They can illustrate this by highlighting real-life case studies, like those of Karen Branzell and Carlos Ramos, where Solar Insure’s coverage was instrumental in mitigating the financial impact of solar system failures??. Featuring real-life scenarios in sales presentations helps homeowners envision the suture with Solar Insre support and without it, as well as the out-of-pocket expenses that can arise.

Strategies for providing ongoing support to homeowners 

Effective post-installation support is essential in maintaining customer satisfaction and trust. Here are some strategies:

  1. Prompt Response. Ensure quick responses to homeowner inquiries and claims. A prompt response time is crucial in building trust and demonstrates a commitment to customer service.
  2. Clear Communication. Provide clear, jargon-free explanations of the process involved in filing a claim. This includes step-by-step guidance on how to report issues, what documentation is needed, and what the homeowner can expect during the process.
  3. Dedicated Support Team. Have a dedicated team for post-installation support. This team should be knowledgeable about the product, warranty terms, and claim procedures.
  4. Proactive Check-Ins. Regularly check in with homeowners to ensure their solar system is functioning correctly. This proactive approach can help identify and resolve issues before they escalate.
  5. Educational Resources. Offer educational resources that help homeowners understand their solar system better, including maintenance tips and troubleshooting guides.
  6. Transparent Process. Keep homeowners informed throughout the claim process. Transparency about the status of their claim and what steps are being taken can significantly improve customer satisfaction.

Keeping up to date on installer education to support homeowners 

Selling Solar Insure is most helpful when you’re also educating homeowners. Certified Installers can keep up to date on their knowledge with the following strategies. 

  1. Ongoing Training. Continuous training is vital for solar installers and salespeople. The solar industry is rapidly evolving, with new technologies and best practices emerging regularly. Training ensures that professionals stay knowledgeable and competent.
  2. Certification Programs. Encourage participation in certification programs. These programs provide training and help professionals stay updated on industry standards.
  3. Workshops and Seminars. Attend workshops and seminars. These events are valuable for learning about the latest trends, networking with peers, and sharing knowledge.
  4. Online Learning Opportunities. Leverage online courses and webinars. Many organizations and industry groups offer online learning resources that can be accessed remotely.
  5. Vendor Training Sessions. Participate in training sessions provided by solar equipment manufacturers. These sessions are particularly useful for staying informed about specific products and technology advancements.
  6. Peer Learning. Encourage peer learning and knowledge sharing within the team. Experienced installers and salespeople can share insights and tips with newer team members.
  7. Feedback and Improvement. Regularly seek feedback from team members on training programs and use this feedback to improve the training process.

More opportunities for installers to learn

  1. Industry Conferences and Trade Shows. Attend industry conferences and trade shows to gain insights into market trends and network with other professionals.
  2. Mentorship Programs. Establish mentorship programs where less experienced professionals can learn from seasoned experts.
  3. Cross-Training. Implement cross-training programs within your organization. This helps in building a versatile and well-rounded team.

Providing effective post-installation support and claims assistance is crucial in building a lasting relationship with homeowners. This, coupled with a focus on training and professional development, ensures that solar installers and salespeople are well-equipped to meet the evolving needs of the solar industry and their customers.

Diligence checklist for installers selling Solar Insure

1. Optimal timing for sales discussions

Initiate discussions about Solar Insure early in the year, focusing on ramping up these conversations in January. For door-to-door sales, March is an ideal time to start, aligning with the onset of the busier season for solar installations. It’s always a good time to talk about Solar Insure; however, preparing for the busy easy with a supportive sales pitch about the benefits of Solar Insure will help ease sales throughout the year.

2. Coupling battery and solar warranties

Especially in California and other states that have updated net metering payouts for energy sold back to the grid, coupling battery installations with solar is a way to help customers save big on their battery storage systems now. You can ensure that the 20-Year Battery and Monitoring Warranty is bundled with the 30-Year Solar and Monitoring Warranty. This integration offers comprehensive coverage and simplifies the warranty process for homeowners.

3. Emphasizing the homeowner’s need

Learn to listen to the homeowner’s particular needs to understand and communicate why Solar Insure is the best option for them, focusing on the long-term benefits and protection it offers. Sell the solution to the problem rather than the product.

4. Check that your company is issuing payment for every warranty issuance

It’s important to check that your installation company makes timely payment for the warranty service. Take a moment to understand the necessity of issuing a valid warranty certificate to the homeowner as proof of coverage. This is how you can be sure that all homeowners are covered by having a checks and balance system to prevent homeowners from ever falling through the cracks. 

  • Implement a system for payment deadlines to ensure continuous coverage for homeowners.
  • Utilize tools like warranty lookup and finance systems integrated into Salesforce for easy tracking and management.

5. Addressing homeowner objections

Equip sales teams with answers to common homeowner objections. This includes clarifying coverage limits, the value of extended warranties, and the simplicity of the claims process. You can use these FAQs for homeowners found here. 

6. Value addition strategies

Train sales teams on how Solar Insure adds value to the homeowner’s investment. Emphasize aspects like zero fee and hassle-free transferability, peace of mind, and protection against unforeseen costs.

7. Proactive customer education

Conduct regular training sessions for sales teams and installers on Solar Insure’s latest developments and features. Develop informative materials that can be shared with homeowners during the sales process. Use marketing materials Solar Insure provides to every certified installer to create brand awareness and highlight the difference of working with you as a certified installer.

8. Follow-up and feedback

Establish a follow-up protocol post-installation to gather feedback and ensure homeowner satisfaction with the warranty coverage. Use homeowner feedback to refine sales strategies and improve service delivery.

9. Compliance and quality assurance

Regularly review and ensure compliance with Solar Insure’s terms and conditions. Maintain high standards of installation quality to minimize warranty claims and enhance customer satisfaction. Stay informed about any changes in Solar Insure policies or coverage options and communicate these updates promptly to the sales team.

10. Promoting Solar Insure’s benefits

Highlight the benefits of Solar Insure in marketing materials and during customer interactions, focusing on the comprehensive coverage and peace of mind it provides.

11. Integration with Solar Insure’s Systems

Utilize Solar Insure’s tools and systems for warranty registration, claims processing, and monitoring to streamline operations and enhance customer experience.

12. Ongoing training and support

Provide ongoing training and support to sales teams and installers to keep them updated on Solar Insure’s latest offerings and best practices.

By following this checklist, installers, and sales representatives can effectively sell Solar Insure, ensuring homeowners receive the best possible coverage and service. This approach benefits the homeowner and enhances the reputation and success of the installation company.

Mastering the art of selling Solar Insure

As we wrap up our comprehensive guide on effectively selling Solar Insure, it’s crucial to revisit the key points that make Solar Insure an indispensable aspect of solar installs today. From the importance of coupling battery and solar warranties to the strategic timing of sales discussions, every element plays a pivotal role in ensuring homeowners are fully protected and satisfied with their solar investments.

A recap of key points on selling Solar Insure effectively

  1. Integration of warranties. Emphasize the necessity of bundling battery and solar warranties for comprehensive coverage.
  2. Timely discussions. Highlight the significance of initiating warranty discussions early in the year, focusing on increasing these conversations from January to March for door-to-door sales.
  3. Homeowner-centric approach. Ensure that sales strategies are tailored to meet the needs and concerns of homeowners, highlighting the long-term benefits of Solar Insure.
  4. Education on payment and coverage. Instruct contractors and sales teams on the importance of timely payment and proper warranty registration to maintain uninterrupted coverage for homeowners.
  5. Handling homeowner objections. Equip sales teams with the tools and information to effectively address common homeowner objections.
  6. Promoting value addition. Train sales teams to articulate how Solar Insure adds value to the homeowner’s investment, focusing on extended coverage and peace of mind.
  7. Compliance and quality assurance. Maintain high installation standards and stay compliant with Solar Insure policies to minimize warranty claims and enhance customer satisfaction.
  8. Ongoing training and support. Provide continuous training and updates to sales and installation teams to keep them informed about SI’s latest offerings and best practices.

Encouragement for Solar Installers

Solar installers’ role transcends sales to building a clean and secure energy future for homeowners. By prioritizing the education for homeowners about the importance of Solar Insure, you are safeguarding homeowner investments and contributing to a more resilient and reliable solar energy landscape. 

The effective sale of Solar Insure hinges on a deep understanding of its benefits, a commitment to homeowner education, and a consistent approach to quality and service. By adopting these practices, solar professionals can enhance their sales and also play a crucial role in advancing the adoption of solar energy, equipped with the best protection and peace of mind for homeowners.

Click here and apply to become a Solar Insure Certified Installer. 

About The Author

Ki Song is a dynamic project management professional and certified scrum master with a six-year track record of success in the solar industry. Renowned for a client-centric approach, Ki excels in steering solar projects from conception to fruition and launching innovative solar products tailored to market demands.