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Calgary car dealership spends $500,000 to take shelter from storms

Click to play video: 'Calgary car dealership spends $500,000 to take shelter from storms' Calgary car dealership spends $500,000 to take shelter from storms
WATCH ABOVE: Severe weather can take a financial toll, and trigger insurance rates to go up. As Jill Croteau reports, one Calgary business has shelled out hundreds of thousands of dollars to take shelter from the unexpected storms – Jul 6, 2016

It’s a cringeworthy sound: the pings of hail penetrating the bodies of vehicles. It’s unavoidable damage for most car dealerships–until now.

The first car lot in Calgary has invested $500,000 for three tents to act as protective shields from the damaging frozen rain pellets.

Jill Croteau / Global News

The Stoney Trail Mazda dealership’s general sales manager Bobby Tulio said the company could no longer afford the losses for insurance claims and premiums.

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READ MORE: Alberta hit with 4 tornadoes in 4 days

Tulio said clients don’t want to purchase damaged vehicles and the dealership’s bottom line suffers when they blow out the hail-damaged cars in a hail sale.

“You can’t afford to fix 200 vehicles and not have proper insurance. The deductibles are so high,” Tulio insisted. “It comes to a point where you say, ‘can we afford to do that? Can we get the adequate coverage to protect our investment?’ So we decided to be more proactive and get the facility to look after ourselves.”

A car lot in Calgary has invested $500,000 for three tents to act as protective shields from hail. Jill Croteau / Global News

Car owners also see their insurance rates go up after hail events.

A risk management and insurance expert from the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business said firms are having a tougher time trying to predict what they should set their premiums at because of the “unpredictability” of mother nature.

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“It’s not been linear in terms of losses in Alberta,” Anne Kleffner said. “It’s gone up much more than we would have ever expected.”

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