Munich Re is the world’s first insurer to offer a product that covers battery performance. The product allows manufacturers in the booming battery market to offer long-term performance guarantees—whose value is backed by the insurance coverage.
The new coverage allows battery manufacturers to insure their customer warranties. For example, if the repair or replacement costs of defective or weak battery modules exceed a predetermined amount, the insurance then covers the rest. Manufacturers can thus unburden their balance sheets.
It will also become easier to obtain project financing, because the maximum costs for any warranties are capped by the insurance cover. This constitutes a distinguishing feature for investors. The product makes it significantly easier for manufacturers to ramp up deployment of battery capacities, thus making renewable energy more dependable and widely available.
The coverage can optionally be expanded to protect selected investment projects directly, so that the insurance will pay even if the manufacturer who issued the warranty files for insolvency within the warranty period.
The insurance cover is primarily aimed at major projects, such as those to ensure grid stability or to cover peak demand periods. In a second phase, the product will be introduced onto the mobility market, for example to insure performance of batteries in electric vehicles.
The first customer for the new insurance product is the US battery manufacturer ESS Inc., whose redox flow batteries will now be sold with Munich Re’s performance warranty cover. ESS produces stationary battery modules that allow energy from solar parks and network operators to be stored over long periods. . . .
Personally, my feeling is that the battery manufacturers should be the ones to warranty their product. After all, they're responsible for the design and testing, and if they put a product on the market that can't hack it, that should be on them. But I can see it benefiting companies like Nissan.