If you have done your research you have most likely come across a statement along the lines of “a 25 year guarantee is nice, but it is worthless if the company is bankrupt”. This statement is equally valid for 5 or 10 year product warranties and kWh guarantees. Even the casual observer will be aware of the problems the solar industry has faced. Without going in to the reasons or the future outlook, the truth is the solar industry has seen a number of large, very high profile bankruptcies.
Warranty insurance can be considered a backstop if the original brand goes bankrupt, whereby the insurer will take their place and accept claims. This type of insurance has been subject to all types of bogus marketing claims, forcing some of the insurance companies to come and make statements of clarification to the public about what is covered.
Things to watch out for:
- Does the insurance coverage need to be renewed every year? (Obviously self defeating if company is bankrupt and not around to renew). Insurance should cover full 25 year term.
- What % the total value of modules produced by a factory are covered by the insurance limits?
- Can you verify your modules are covered?
Interestingly, this type of insurance is only currently available for solar module warranties, but we expect to see more solar inverter brands starting to offer it as the number of high profile failures in this space grows in coming years.
End user verdict: If the product brand can supply this, then they are doing a lot of things right which is meaningful by itself. Given the limited usefulness of the product warranty that this insurance backs up, in reality, it is not so important whether your specific modules are covered or not.