Key figures in renewable energy production on Thursday urged the insurance industry to develop a policy to cover all aspects of the emerging industry.
This idea, put forward at a forum by Principal of the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology (SJPIT) Ian Drakes, was quickly supported by co-founder and director of electric car importer MegaPower Ltd, Joanna Edghill.
Following a Green Economy forum at the Sandals Royal Barbados during the Skills for the Future Summit, Drakes put forward the idea while speculating on whether drivers of electric vehicles were currently experiencing any problem in getting insurance coverage.
Drakes said: “I am asking if you see in this industry, someone out there needs to become a broker in insurance, someone with a new vision insuring renewable and electric vehicles, somebody in Barbados to create, don’t wait until Lloyds or one of them come in.
“I am going to put it on the table.
“There are other jobs and I am asking if there is a drawback right now in terms of people who want to make claims.”
Edghill backed Drakes’ suggestion, declaring that there were several “electric vehicle-friendly” insurance companies in Barbados, but agreed there was need for more.
She said if existing insurance companies were to really provide full coverage for electric vehicles “the full outlook on the insurance companies and policy writing need to be relooked at”.
Edghill added: “I have been encouraging them to really look at statistics, can we prove that electric vehicle drivers are safer drivers, maybe or maybe not, but what does the statistics stay?
“So building that helps.
“That needs to change for 2030.”
Government’s National Energy Policy has set 2030 for Barbados to be 100 per cent dependent on renewable energy.
The EV car importer expressed hope that by then, individuals seeking to change their vehicles would buy electric vehicles or other renewable forms of transport.
Edghill said she was already engaging insurance brokers and companies in discussion “looking at how do you create policies that are electric vehicle friendly”.
She said: “So if I write off my electric vehicle I want to drive another electric vehicle.
“Don’t give me a gas car when I am still waiting out there, and also other factors.
“So if I break the cable on my charging lead that should be part of my policy, or if a fuse goes on my charging point at home, build that into the policy.”
The renewable energy executive also proposed that existing insurance policies carry riders for solar photovoltaic and other forms of renewable energy systems.
She said: “[It should be] similar for solar PV on roofs of buildings, don’t create new policies for solar.
“People hate new policies. We want one policy that includes what we have in our home and roof, but speaks to the components, speaks to inverters, has the language of renewables and of energy efficiency built into it.” [email protected]