One under-served market for commercial solar carports is car dealerships in geographical areas where hail can cause serious damage to vehicles. In these markets auto dealers can reap the benefits of reduced hail insurance rates in addition to the traditional incentives for commercial solar carports. These rate reductions can exceed the value of power production in many cases. Because Quest’s solar carports offer more coverage than the traditional solar carports, insurers are more likely to offer deductions with Quest’s double cantilever design.

U.S. insurers paid out $15.5 billion to cover claims related to severe storms that produced conditions such as hail and fierce winds during the first half of 2017, the second-costliest on record for such damage, according to Aon PLC’s reinsurance broker, Aon Benfield.[i]

Wind and hail coverage for automobile dealerships varies drastically by region. In some regions, primarily coastal areas and states known for high wind like Oklahoma, wind and hail coverage is not easily obtained. In some coastal regions, policies carry wind, hail and flood exclusions if lots are within 25 miles of the coast. For lots more than 25 miles from the coast, some insurers will not offer wind and hail coverage without solar carport protection over the automobiles. The value of the assets on a parking lot plays a large role when determining the cost of coverage.

A typical policy in regions where wind and hail are a concern includes a $750 – $1000 deductible per vehicle with no aggregate limit. The only way to guarantee policy terms (deductible, premiums, aggregate/no aggregate) is to give a broker or underwriter the lot’s specific location and total value of the fleet so they can generate a quote.

There are benefits to adding a QuadPod™ solar canopy to your commercial auto dealership.

  • Covering lots with commercial solar carports allow policy holders without an aggregate limit to obtain an aggregate limit. For example, assume a dealership lot with 100 uncovered cars experiences a hail storm, and fifty of the automobiles are hit with hail. Typically, the policy only allows a $1000 per occurrence deductible with no aggregate limit. In this situation, each vehicle is treated as a separate occurrence/claim, and the dealership is responsible for paying $1000 for each vehicle that gets damaged by hail. By adding canopy coverage to a lot, a dealership is likely to be offered an aggregate option. If the aggregate is included in a policy, the policy holder will not pay more than the aggregate limit and may instead pay one aggregate amount, roughly $20,000, to get all fifty automobiles repaired.
  • Covering lots with commercial solar carports may help a dealership receive a credit on their commercial lot wind and hail premiums. Depending on a dealership’s region, premiums may be reduced up to 20%. If a dealership is in a high wind region where wind and hail coverage is not offered, the QuadPod canopy may help the dealership obtain wind and hail insurance.

Interested in how to take advantage of this market opportunity? Contact the Quest Renewables business development team to find out more.

[i] Suzanne Barlyn, Insurers Pummeled by Car Dealers’ Claims for Hail-Damaged Vehicles (Insurance Journal, July 2017)