300 years ago there were no plumbing in any house, water was heated on the fire or the stove and carried to the place where it was needed. 150 years ago geysers started to appear, based on the large industrial boilers used to produce steam for factories during the industrial revolution. Indoor plumbing only appeared during the last hundred years.
We start at the covers available for factories then, Fire Cover included water damage, but a few large boiler explosions caused major damage and thus the peril of explosion of pressure vessels made its appearance. We need to note that the vessel itself was never covered in terms of the Fire policy if it burst, that cover became available in terms of the Machinery Breakdown covers. The term “bursting & overflowing of water tanks” were then added to fire policies as geysers became more commonplace. This peril started appearing in the cutting edge Fire policies of the 70’s.
Important to note that the Fire policy still did not cover the vessel or geyser itself, it merely covered the damage caused by the bursting, i.e. the water damage and any other damage to the building caused by the bursting.
Again development to the cover was the result of market pressure and insurers started paying out for the replacement of the vessel itself. History 101 done, which neatly delivers us to the Solar Geyser conundrum.
Solar geysers, represent a complete new gambit for our industry, because:
- Cost – 2-3 times more expensive
- Need specialist installers
- Added exposures in certain installations
- Pumps may need to be insured in terms of a Mach Breakdown policy
- Pressure sensors and valves are more extensive than the electrical geyser
To start the conversation, we believe that Solar geysers needs to be specified on the policy, the type of installation has to be declared and a special rating will need to be applied. We also believe that the cover for the installation need to be agreed, i.e. does it include the panels, the geyser the circulation pump. Did the installer cater for the risk of overheating and freezing?
All these factors combined make insuring solar geysers a challenge for any insurer. Please feel free to contact us directly or leave a comment below if you need any additional information or would like to contribute to the conversation.