Sustainable relationship with Solarif

The story behind Solarif, RealXS en OpenC

Harry Wolkenfelt

In 2024, Solarif consists of three companies: Insurance, Risk Management and Matchmaker. With a stable customer base of approximately 850 customers and thousands of insured solar power installations, Solarif looks optimistically to the future. The introduction of battery storage, wind energy and hydrogen into the insurance offering testifies to the continuous adaptation to market developments. But the first years were not so prosperous.

A business instinct for sustainability

It all started 15 years ago, not from a deep-rooted passion for sustainability, but from a business instinct. Harry Wolkenfelt, then owner of Exté Ventures, saw an opportunity and decided to seize it. The idea came about during an evening of brainstorming with two friends who owned a solar panel installation company. Not only selling and installing solar panels, but also being permanently involved in maintenance and providing recurring income through a subscription model. And tackle the risks with insurance solutions. That became the plan. Without a background in insurance, but with a conviction that this had a future, Harry took up the challenge to insure these risks. With a team of experts that Harry had gathered around him, Solarif was born.

Growth and challenges

Solarif soon expanded to Belgium, where the market flourished, while the Netherlands lagged behind. The collaboration with the installation company that went international led to Solarif's expansion to France, Germany, Italy, Spain, England and South Africa.

But in 2012 the installation company went bankrupt. This left Solarif with a significant premium debt. Despite this setback, the company recovered and learned from its mistakes. Solarif then steadily built a customer portfolio with the emphasis on owners of solar power installations, owners of office buildings and energy cooperatives. We said goodbye to private customers.

Innovation and diversification

In the years that followed, Solarif has continuously tailored its offering to the needs of its customers. For example, its insurance offering has been expanded and, in addition to non-life insurance, Solarif also provides liability insurance for solar power installations.

Harry also closely follows the development of renewable energy and the shift to sustainable energy sources: “The shift to alternative energy is here to stay. We are adapting our insurance offer accordingly and will now insure our first battery storage. We are also currently looking into solar panels in combination with hydrogen.”

The importance of RealXS and OpenC for the development of Solarif

A number of years ago, Harry asked a HBO student to conduct thorough market research for Solarif into the suitability of all software packages for Solarif insurance. This student discovered RealXS. The ease of use and the speed with which complex products could be configured convinced Solarif to work with RealXS.

The connecting element in this journey was the company OpenC, which helped Solarif transition to the RealXS software. Remco van Buren from OpenC proved to be a valuable partner with a lot of knowledge, both of the insurance market and of the software required for efficiency and robust portfolio management. Harry says: “Remco has a listening ear and is immediately analytical. He understands the insurance market and the required software, so he combines that knowledge from both sides. That's very nice. It also gives confidence. If you bring an issue to him, you know it will turn out well.”

The future of Solarif with RealXS and OpenC

The collaboration between Solarif, RealXS and OpenC continues to evolve. Harry has positive experiences with the RealXS insurance software: “The software is unique because it enables the fast and efficient design of complex insurance products. Unlike other systems, where it can take months to set up software, RealXS makes this possible within a week. It also reduces the need for expensive consultants, because users can do a lot themselves, especially when setting up products. In addition, the software offers speed and integrity; Once entered, data can no longer be manipulated. And the system is optimally designed for collaboration with Lloyd's, including administration of multiple syndicates in the event of damage claims. With us, everyone works with the software, not only the back office employees but also the insurance advisors.”

The search for continuity and user-friendliness has led to new wishes to further improve the software. Since then, RealXS and OpenC have been working on an even more efficient system. “With this updated RealXS software that we will implement at Solarif in early 2024, I expect everything to become even more user-friendly,” says Harry.

With a growing market for sustainable energy and an established position as a niche insurance agency for solar power installations, Solarif is ready to continue its success story with RealXS and OpenC at its side.

About Solarif

Solarif Group is a fast-growing, international company with three core activities: Solarif Insurance, Solarif Risk Management and Solarif Matchmaker. With Solarif Insurance, the company offers exclusive package policies for solar panel parks and has a branch office in Australia. The company was founded in 2009, is located in Arnhem and has 12 employees.