Skyward Specialty Insurance Group and climate risk solutions provider Understory have allied to launch a new insurance solution for US dealership markets.

The new product combines Skyward Specialty’s underwriting, claims, and captive experience with Understory’s weather technology and risk reduction know-how.

It is aimed at helping target customers control the soaring cost and instability of dealership inventory coverage, or dealers open lot (DOL).

With affordable premiums and member ownership and control, the programme is said to enable dealerships make decisions to improve their asset protection.

The programme, which went live on 1 September 2022, has the support of several of the leading reinsurers in the sector.

Understory co-founder and CEO Alex Kubicek said: “To date, insurers have not addressed the growing threat of hail, which is the biggest risk within standard open lot coverage. Instead, they have asked dealerships to write bigger checks for less coverage.

“Marrying our weather modelling and technology with their track record and expertise in P&C and captives solves dealerships’ ongoing struggle to find superior coverage in a market that continues to see increasing rates and volatility from standard DOL models.”

Skyward Specialty CEO Andrew Robinson said: “The severity and unpredictability of hailstorms and other risks have driven the market to provide inadequate insurance solutions for dealerships.”

“Applying this level of data science to solve the climate challenges unique to this market and combining it with our highly specialised underwriting and claims talent will ultimately reinvent risk management and risk transfer for owners of automotive dealerships.”

In April this year, Skyward Specialty allied with propeller to strengthen its transactional commercial and subdivision surety writing capabilities.