Insurance + simple maintenance contract as an alternative to a full maintenance contract? – interview with martina beese

With Martina Beese, lawyer of the law firm Engemann& Partner, Lippstadt, we talked about supplementary insurance and its role as a complement to full maintenance.

Both operators of new plants in the tendering process and lower compensation and operators of plants that will no longer receive government subsidies from 2020 onwards will have to rethink their maintenance and servicing concepts in view of the increasing cost pressure. It is often discussed to conclude a maintenance contract with a lower scope of services instead of a full maintenance contract and to fill the resulting “gaps” with machine insurance policies.

In which cases do insurances represent a sensible supplement to the simple maintenance contract?

Martina Beese: Insurance makes sense in any case, or is even necessary, in order to safeguard the capital asset and the return on investment. Damage is caused by external influences, but also by operational factors. As long as a WEA is in the process of being financed, securing the WEA as collateral is always the basis for credit approval by the financing bank. But it is also important to insure the WEA outside of financing.

Which gaps between full maintenance and maintenance contract insurance can fill and which not?

Gaps that arise in the relationship between “full maintenance” and servicing can only be filled by insurance to a limited extent. The concepts behind it differ substantially. It is therefore a misconception to assume that combining a maintenance contract with machine breakdown insurance will achieve the same effect as a full maintenance concept with availability (all-round carefree package). Cost savings will always result in risks being returned to the operator. Fewer benefits, more risks; you have to be aware of that. Let’s enjoy discussing the opportunities and risks with experts at the BWE Service, Maintenance and Operations Conference.

What operators need to consider when taking out insurance from a legal perspective?

The premium amount is not everything! Here it is like with every contract: It depends on the special and individual conditions. This starts with the scope of insurance, continues with the deduction and depreciation bases and the obligations in connection with maintenance and inspections. Those who are familiar with insurance law know about the pitfalls and the interfaces. Unfortunately, these are not readily available from the usually very extensive terms and conditions. Here, many an operator will be surprised and disappointed in the event of a claim.

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