Fireman's Fund Insures Green Energy Equipment

Fireman's Fund Insures Green Energy Equipment

Fireman's Fund is extending its commercial green insurance coverage to solar, wind and other alternative energy equipment in an offering targeted at firms that lease or work with companies hosting renewable energy systems.

Losses or damage to property owners' on-site renewable energy equipment are already protected under endorsements available in the Fireman's Fund Green-Gard suite.

The new coverage, which the insurance company launched in the past month and announced yesterday, offers protection to businesses whose alternative energy equipment and systems reside on premises owned by other firms -- namely those that host solar energy installations in power purchase agreements.

PPAs are popular among retailers and other businesses with multiple locations, such as Walmart Stores, Kohl's Department Stores, Walgreens and Gap Inc. Under the arrangements, financing, installation and ownership of the systems are the responsibilities of a firm or firms other than the host company, which is able to purchase energy -- usually at set or special rates -- as a result of the PPA.

Renewable energy systems, whether they are deployed in PPAs or located on sites owned by a policyholder, pose unique challenges, according to Fireman's Fund, which also offers best practices for alternative energy-related risk management to customers. Exposure and other issues include theft, weather damage and fire department and public safety access to sites.

Equipment covered under the new offering includes solar photovoltaic panels, fuel cells, wind turbines and ground source heat pumps.

Fireman's Fund was the first carrier to widely offer green insurance in the U.S. commercial marketplace. The company introduced green building insurance for commercial properties in fall 2006 and followed it with green coverage for homeowners and hybrid vehicles. The firm also created a Green RiskAdvisor Program.

The coverage for renewable energy equipment is the latest in a series of new environmental insurance offerings from Fireman's Fund this year.

This summer, the carrier expanded coverage with several new endorsements for policyholders who have made energy efficiency and other environmental upgrades to their property. Fireman's Fund also started offering a 5 percent discount to policyholders with Energy Star buildings Earlier this month, extended its Green-Gard coverage to schools.

So far, about 1,500 commercial insurance policyholders have purchased Green-Gard endorsements.

Fireman's Fund Insurance Company is a member of the Allianz group.

Image CC licensed by Flickr user mjmonty.