Which insurances for photovoltaic systems are necessary? Are price and performance right? Learn how to get out of bad contracts and what to pay attention to in case of damage, so that the insurance actually pays.
Investing in a photovoltaic system is only worthwhile if it performs well in the long term. Over time, the plant will be exposed to various dangers and influences that can damage the modules and other components. Therefore, most operators use property insurance to secure themselves against damages from weather, vandalism, etc.
In case of externally financed systems, an insurance that covers potential losses of earnings is common: this insurance takes effect if no solar power can be produced due to damage, repair or replacement of the system. If you operate your photovoltaic system on a leased roof or property, an additional operator liability insurance is strongly recommended.
Compare prices and services
Whatever the insurance you subscribed to, you should check and compare it regularly to be optimally ensured. Long-term insurance contracts in particular provide a good potential for optimization.
Insurers have gained a lot of experience with PV systems over the past years. Some insurance companies withdrew, others specialized in photovoltaics and improved their conditions. Since insurance premiums always relate to the replacement price of the system components, PV insurance policies can be well optimised. This is because the component prices have fallen significantly in recent years.
Getting out of bad contracts
Long contract duration? No problem! According to the German Insurance Contract Act (VVG), there are two ways to cancel and optimize bad contracts of a solar system insurance:
Special right of termination
Every year on September 30th, you can cancel old, long-term insurance contracts with a term of more than three years (§11 paragraph 4 of the VVG): if an insurance contract has already been running for more than two years, it can be cancelled at the end of each insurance year. The prerequisite is that the statutory period of notice of three months is respected.
In case of damage
Both contractual partners, the insurer and the policyholder, have an extraordinary right of termination after a claim (§ 92 VVG). The extraordinary termination right applies for a period of one month after the conclusion of settlement negotiations.
To ensure that the insurance company really pays in the event of damage, operators must fulfil certain obligations. Insurers can reduce, refuse, or even challenge the contract if:
- previous claims or a termination by the previous insurer were concealed or the risk situation was misrepresented,
- the installations do not comply with the technical regulations, or
- an increase in risk has not been reported. A change of use of the building on which a roof system is installed or a missing fence on an open space system increases dangers.
Maintain and service your system regularly. The installation should also be carried out professionally. The QSVD (Qualitätsverband Solar- und Dachtechnik e.V.) defines sensible and handy guidelines for this. If your system is in good condition, it is unlikely that uninsured damage will occur.
The first three steps in case of damage
Your system has been damaged. Not a catastrophe, because that’s exactly what you have an insurance for.
1. Act as if you are not insured
By virtue of the obligation to minimise loss, you are legally obliged to initially reduce the damage to the insured object yourself. In doing so, the insurer is not liable for additional costs due to negligent delay in restoration or too expensive restoration.
2. Complete documentation
You cannot take too many photos! Make sure that the quality is good and take photos from large to small. So if a cable breaks, take a photo of the roof/module row/module/cable/fracture point. In addition, sketches, technical documentation, and cost estimates contribute to a conclusive presentation and can speed up regulation.
3. Communicate with the claim’s handler
Immediate contact and consultation are essential, especially if the extent of the damage is increased by unforeseen costs, undetected damage or delays.