Zurich integrates insurance coverage for mini solar systems
On August 16, the federal government of Germany introduced new rules to make it easier to use small solar panel systems on balconies, called “balcony power plants.” In response, Zurich Group Germany started to offer insurance for these systems starting August 22. This insurance is part of their regular home insurance and covers damage from things like fire, storms, and theft.
These balcony power plants are small solar panel setups that are easy to install. They can produce up to 600 watts of electricity, covering about 10 to 15% of the yearly electricity needs for a two-person household. Because these systems are outside and exposed to the weather, it’s a good idea to have insurance for them. To get this coverage, the solar setup has to be attached to your building.
Zurich’s new insurance option aims to make it simpler for people to adopt solar power, especially those who can’t install bigger systems on their roofs. The coverage is also available for existing customers without the need for a separate contract.
As for the rules, landlords can’t outright ban these systems. They can only object to major changes to the building’s structure. It’s recommended to have an electrician install the system. Before using it, you have to report it to the local electricity grid operator and a federal agency. The government is working on simplifying these rules even further, which could make it easier to install and use these small solar setups by early 2024.
“The federal government’s draft law shows the relevance of the topic: Not everyone can build a photovoltaic system on the roof. With the balcony power plants, tenants and apartment owners in particular have an uncomplicated way of generating electricity from sunlight. We wanted to take this sustainable opportunity into account. We have therefore integrated the mini solar systems directly into our household contents insurance. Customers do not need an extra contract, they can rely on their Zurich Private Protection for home contents insurance. The extension also applies to existing Private Protection home contents insurance contracts.” – Claudia Max, Member of the Board of Property Insurance at Zurich Group Germany.