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Too big to fail, a myth refuted

In response to the recent developments regarding Suntech and its largest subsidiary, Solarif regrets the fact that the turbulent PV market has caused such a well-respected company to collapse. This shows once again that reputation and size is no guarantee for continued existence. Investors, EPC contractors, developers and PV project owners should all be aware of the risks involved in buying PV modules that are expected to last more than 20 years and receiving a warranty from a company that should stay in business for at least 20 years.

This is why Solarif introduced a certification programme for PV module manufacturers in 2012. When a manufacturer applies for this certification and is approved, its clients have the option of extending their all-risk insurance with additional cover for damages due to inherent defect and a back-up of the warranty. This cover can be extended for up to twenty years.

The full insurance also covers material damages, labour costs and loss of production due to inherent defect and should be taken out by the owner of the installation. The insurance also backs up the warranty if the manufacturer ceases to exist, in the event of bankruptcy for example, or if the manufacturer disputes a warranty claim. The full insurance policy covers all major risks, finance can be acquired more easily and any future sale of the PV installation will be more secure due to the insurance cover, which eliminates the risk of a warranty no longer being in place.

1.    Inherent defect

In the event that the manufacturer does not provide compensation, the ‘Inherent defect and warranty’ option covers damage caused by an inferior feature (an inherent defect) of modules or inverters. The cover applies for a maximum of 20 years for modules and a maximum of 7.5 years for inverters.

2. Warranty

This provides cover if you have a legitimate claim within the warranty period and the manufacturer:

The insurance covers new materials, labour costs, call-out charges and loss of production in case of a covered event. This insurance is valid worldwide.

Certified manufacturers

Several manufacturers have recently received certification from Solarif giving their clients the option of covering their projects with the full insurance policy, also covering ‘Inherent defect and warranty’. Certified manufacturers are: LDK, ZNShine, 8.33 Solar, Sunowe, Martifer, Ulica, Kioto Photovoltaics and SolarPark.

About Solar Insurance & Finance

Solarif, or Solar Insurance & Finance, is an internationally operating, independent insurance broker with a full focus on insurance for PV installations. Our extensive knowledge of the solar market enables us to create insurance solutions that perfectly fulfil our customers’ wishes, for example our Solar PV Insurance with the ‘Inherent defect and warranty’ option.

Solar Insurance & Finance provides insurance for PV owners, manufacturers, installers, project developers and investors. Leading European A-rated insurers are the risk bearers for our insurance policies.