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REIB secures EUR 3 mln in paid insurance compensation for PV owners in four months

Author REIB
REIB secures EUR 3 mln in paid insurance compensation for PV owners in four months

Extreme weather events like flooding, high winds, hail, wildfires, and lightning can damage photovoltaic installations. This almost always leads to long-term performance (and financial) loss. You should look no further for a prime example than the hail cyclone that started in Italy and passed through Bulgaria in the summer of 2023. It caused damage to solar power plants in all the countries on its way.

One of the affected companies is a leading independent power producer (IPP) in Bulgaria. It incurred losses of over EUR 3 mln. However, the financial losses could have been much more significant. The company managed to minimise the business damages with swift action by their partner Renewable Energy Insurance Broker (REIB). Relevant measures and proper claim-handling procedures were the key.

On July 16, a hailstorm hit various areas in Bulgaria. It damaged the IPP's photovoltaic power plant, which had a capacity of 209 MWp. The hailstorm caused visible damage to just one of the three parts of the plant.

However, this could often be a false impression. The insured party suspected that there could be hidden damages to the panels, the so-called “microcracks”. This could cause future losses, often years later, falling outside the insurance policy's claim period.

A technical hail damage survey is of crucial importance in cases like this one as it assesses the level of damage invisible to the naked eye. There was one further complication, though. The cyclone had wreaked havoc across Europe, so most companies dealing with hail damage surveys on solar plants were already busy.

This is where the niche expertise of REIB proved indispensable.

Thanks to the broker's worldwide connections, it found an American company to carry out the survey. The company used a special technique called a portable EL camera to find cracks and dark cells in the modules. The use of this advanced technique was essential because microcracks represent tiny, unnoticeable cracks in the glass. If not detected in time, they can cause serious damage to the whole module.

Inspecting this type of damage can only be done at night and the process can take a long time. But REIB ensured a swift execution process. Two teams, each equipped with a multi-camera set-up, took turns working through the night. They inspected over 40,000 modules to establish the real extent of the damage in just two months. The results followed quickly.

The solar power plant owner received an advanced payment of EUR 1mln just a month after the claim day. This ensured significant cash flow when the losses were huge and the company could not afford to halt operations.

Four months after the event, the damage claims amounting to over EUR 3 mln were officially closed and 100% paid. The broker's professional intervention, advice, and contacts significantly reduced costs for both parties and the time to payment. 

IPP, investment funds, EPC and O&M companies across the board could benefit from such expert partnerships.

For more information on this and other services in REIB’s portfolio visit

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