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Wind turbine insurance

Wind turbine insurance

Jessica Schulz | 02/23/2021

TOPseven - Schäden an Windenergieanlagen

Minimizing risks with wind turbines – choosing the right insurances

The development in the field of wind energy in recent decades has been enormous. The rated power, for example, is constantly increasing and thus also the yields. These are a thousand times higher than they were in the early 1980s. Furthermore, the turbines are getting bigger, more powerful and more efficient. All in all, this means that a higher risk has also arisen – and accordingly special insurances are necessary.

The risks

Risks already arise during the transport of a wind turbine. Due to its enormous size, a wind turbine is not easy to transport and requires correspondingly heavy equipment. The distances can be long in some cases, which further increases the risk. Damage can occur to components that can jeopardize the schedule as well as the further progress of a project if they are not insured.

Once the wind turbine is safely in place, it’s on to assembly. This also brings some uncertainties, because the bigger the wind turbine is the more likely something can happen. Here, both the weather, vandalism or even errors in the operation of the crane or other equipment can have devastating consequences. Especially if people come to harm.

After the installation, the next step is the operation of the plant and here, too, irregularities can occur. In both new and older equipment, falling/loose parts or a fire can cause damage due to short circuits or overheating.

Also, during operation, operator or product error, including machine breakage in some cases, can occur. This can lead to a loss of yield, which increases the financial damage.

You see a wind turbine has some risks and the above mentioned are only an excerpt. It is more than important to choose the right insurance package.

The insurance

When insuring wind turbines, the first basic distinction is who the policyholder is.

Who should be insured?

  • Manufacturer
  • Installer
  • Operator
  • Managing director/manager/supervisor board

It should be noted that a manufacturer must be insured differently to the turbine assembler or the operator of a wind farm.

Which insurances are possible?

  • Commercial transport insurance and property insurance
  • Assembly and construction work insurance with coverage for delayed commissioning
  • Builder’s liability insurance and building insurance
  • Loss of earnings insurance
  • Machinery and machine breakage insurance
  • Public liability insurance
  • Environmental liability insurance and environmental damage insurance
  • Legal expenses insurance, if applicable

Which insurance is appropriate for which policyholder?

Manufacturer
  • Public liability insurance
  • legal expenses insurance
Assembler
  • Commercial transport insurance and property insurance
  • Assembly and construction work insurance with coverage for delayed commissioning
  • legal expenses insurance
Operator
  • Operator liability insurance
  • Machinery insurance or machinery breakdown insurance
  • Environmental damage insurance
  • Loss of earnings insurance
  • legal expenses insurance

Insurance is also important for managers, directors and supervisor boards. They should protect their private assets with a D&O policy.

Legal protection insurance is also useful for manufacturers, assemblers, operators and management. If disputes arise in court it can quickly become expensive.

Conclusion

Insurance for wind turbines costs money, but it’s money well spent. If the possible risks from construction, operation and continued operation to repowering are identified and insured accordingly, operators ensure greater calculability and minimize the risk of insolvency. In addition, sufficient insurance coverage is also a prerequisite for a financing commitment for a wind farm. Furthermore, regular maintenance can also minimize the risk of damage.

 

Note: this is no legal advice – please check with the respective insurance companies or with an appropriate provider in your country for your optimal insurance package!

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