Solar Startup Enerzy Solar Steps In with Rooftop Solar Insurance And More

Highlights :

  • The entry of Enerzy solar into the solar category with an insurance offering is a welcome addition to the rooftop solar category, which has struggled to make an impact.
  • Insurance coverage for a long lifecycle product like solar plants will surely help and was much needed.
Solar Startup Enerzy Solar Steps In with Rooftop Solar Insurance And More

Rooftop Solar systems, that much neglected yet critical part of the solar push have finally got some insurance cover. Till now, the premium amount in such cases was too low for most insurance agents to push hard for these. But now, if you are digital savvy, Pune-based Enerzy Solar claims to provide rooftop solar insurance in under 5 minutes.

The company has recently launched its Enerzy Solar Insurance Care Package, which has two components: solar insurance and remote maintenance consultancy. The former functions as the country’s ‘first’ discovery platform for rooftop solar installation companies, where users can apply for collateral-free solar financing as well as purchase insurance. The latter works by connecting customers with the company whenever they have any questions on how to best maintain their systems or resolve low or no production.

“We added this because we have seen various cases where Installers just stop responding and people are left helpless with such a big investment and they don’t even know how to get their system up and running again,” says Piyush Jain, Co-Founder at Enerzy Solar. The entire insurance process is completely online and the policy is issued in 5 business days after the final step, he adds.

Enerzy is offering policies for all types of Rooftop Solar systems, such as Residential, Commercial, Industrial, and Housing Societies, and covers the entire Rooftop Solar plant, including Solar Panels, Solar inverters, Wires, Structure, Balance of System, etc. Additionally, all Rooftop Solar plants which are installed within the last 3 years can be insured under this Solar insurance package. A sample pricing for solar rooftop setups will go as follows:

  • Sample solar insurance pricing:
    • 3,00,000 Solar plant cost
      • The annual insurance package costs ~ Rs. 1500
    • 25,00,000 Solar plant cost
      • The annual insurance package costs ~ Rs. 5000

Launched on April 1st, 2022, these policies from Oriental Insurance have been marketed for years now and come under the umbrella of standard Fire policy and Burglary policy. Enerzy Solar has customized it to meet the needs of Rooftop Solar, attempting to make the latter accessible, affordable, and dependable. The company plans to launch a few more products to cater to the current needs of the Rooftop Solar market.

Jain tells us that in the future, Enerzy Solar is looking to add to its remote maintenance offering where its IoT device will be able to provide not just generation information, but also actionable proactive maintenance alerts where it would be using AI to differentiate between losses due to soiling, losses due to cloudy weather and be able to tell if there is any other maintenance issue in the system which should be looked at.

“I personally feel that Rooftop Solar is much better than Utility-scale solar because energy is produced where it’s consumed, so no T&D losses, on top of this Utility-scale Solar needs large swaths of land which is a limited resource. To some extent, Utility-scale solar also messes with local weather by capturing a lot of heat in an area,” he adds. “Though, I am not at all saying that we can get by without Utility-scale solar, Utility-scale solar is helping make solar cheaper for Rooftop,” he adds.

Does the company act as an additional insurance provider to the projects covered under various subsidy programs, which technically have coverage of sorts? “According to my understanding, the coverage under Subsidies programs is more on the performance side. This insurance product will be able to cover other risks such as theft, natural disasters, damages due to animals (specifically Monkeys), and panel uprooting due to storms. So, yes we can also cover rooftop solar projects under subsidy,” says Jain.

Further, in case of damage, what sort of settlement will the firm make? 100% of the plant value or a depreciated figure on the original invoice?  “The policy is issued by Oriental Insurance, in case of a claim, the settlement would be up to 100% of the Sum Insured depending on the scope of the damage. This policy can be taken only for 1 year at a time. The Sum insured value and premium amount will change for the following years. As of now, systems installed within last 3 years can get insured. The Claim process is handled by the authorized broker of Oriental Insurance which is Symbo Insurance. Symbo is an IRDA registered broker with IRDA Broker registration No. 151,” responds Jain.

With regards to its current base of users, Enerzy Solar has welcomed more than 1500 people in the last 8 weeks since its launch, claims Jain. The firm does not have any on-field maintenance personnel or tie-ups at this point though. Jain, who completed his MS and PhD in Computer Science from Florida Atlantic University, USA, explains that he was able to grasp the hindrances associated with rooftop solar’s adoption in India as a consequence of having the right mix of business, operations, & tech experience, which enabled him to install around 25 rooftop systems and engage with hundreds of potential customers in Rajasthan.

Also strengthened by the support of Sachin Vishwakarma, Co-founder and CTO, who has specialised in developing highly scalable and innovative solutions with over 1,00,000 daily active users, Enerzy Solar is currently bootstrapping and hasn’t looked for venture capital yet. Vishwakarma, who has formerly worked at Signzy and Bosch, is skilled in Cloud, IoT, microservices, and full-stack development.

In recent months , we have observed mainstream insurance firms get behind developers, and effectively, module makers, to offer a warranty on their products and projects. That has helped make utility or large scale projects more bankable from a funding perspective too.

Rooftop solar, where the product is sorely needed, will surely benefit from the insurance offering, assuming that Oriental insurance and its ilk have a positive experience with the sector.

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