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Marsh develops insurance solution for solar projects

IBR Staff Writer Published 17 May 2011

Marsh, an insurance broker and risk advisor, has developed an insurance contract that provides coverage for solar - or photovoltaic - systems, project companies and operators against default risk on long-term guarantees for modules by manufacturers.

According to Marsh, the product is designed to improve financial viability for photovoltaic systems, especially when combined with an all-risk insurance policy against damage to property and a reduced yield risk policy against decreased output.

Modules will comprise around 60% of the costs of a photovoltaic system. Typically, module manufacturers provide their customers with a long-term performance guarantee, usually for 25 years.

However, the retention of a guarantee's value is dependent on the manufacturer's continued existence and ability to pay.

If the module manufacturer becomes insolvent, not only is there no right of recourse, but any performance guarantee insurance taken out by the manufacturer also expires when it stops paying premiums.

Marsh Germany head of the power team at and developer of the previous solutions for hedging photovoltaic projects Michael Harig said this new contract could help in negotiations over interest rates levels, providing opportunities for additional savings.

"As risks change, it is imperative that the insurance market provide these kind of tailored hedging solutions not covered by traditional insurance," Harig said.