How to Insure Your Auto Repair Garage
You’re an expert when it comes to repairs and your customers trust you with their cars, trucks, and SUVs.
You might not be an expert, though, in knowing how to get the right insurance to protect your auto repair garage from any mishaps, property damage, injuries, or third-party claims.
What kind of garage insurance package do I need?
You’ll need a garage insurance package to protect you and your garage business in the event of accidents, lawsuits, property damage, or employee injuries.
Without the right package of insurance for garage repair owners, you’d need to pay out of your own pocket for these types of problems.
Go over the types of coverages you need in detail with your Western business insurance expert to make sure your garage repair business is covered for the risks that you face.
As a repair garage owner, here’s an insurance check list:
- Do you have the best business insurance rate for your baking business?
- Do you have the right amount for your deductible and regularly review it to make sure it’s the right amount for you?
- Is your number of employees up to date?
- Do you know the value of your equipment and is it properly insured?
- Have you thought about the consequences of your business getting hacked?
A garage insurance package can help protect you from these 3 common claims:
- A customer slips and falls at your garage on a wet floor, breaks her arm and sues you.
- An employee test drives a customer’s vehicle after a repair and they get into an accident that causes considerable damage to the car. Your customer sues you for damages to the car.
- A customer alleges that your repair work did not fix his car’s problem and sues you for failure to deliver services as promised.
Here are the coverages that you will need for your garage repair business:
Garage Keepers Insurance: This coverage protects your garage in case a customer’s property is damaged while in your possession.
It protects your garage while your customers’ vehicles are kept at your garage for maintenance or services, or storage and parking in the event of fire, theft, vandalism, explosion, or lightning. It reimburses customers should your garage be legally liable for damage to their vehicles.
Garage Liability Insurance: Garage liability insurance helps protect your garage in the case of property damage to your customers’ vehicles and bodily injury resulting from operations.
For example, it covers damages to a customer’s vehicle due to an accident when one of your employees was test driving a vehicle following a repair.
Garage liability insurance is a type of umbrella policy that provides coverage for the day-to-day operations of your garage. It adds a layer of protection to your garage’s commercial general liability policy. Coverage includes bodily injury and property damage from direct garage operations, not covered under most commercial or business liability insurance.
Commercial General Liability Insurance (CGL): This type of insurance protects your garage against common claims like third-party property damage (damage to a customer’s vehicle) or bodily injuries if a customer visiting your auto garage slips, falls, and is injured. CGL may cover a customer’s medical expenses and your legal fees regardless of the outcome of a lawsuit you face.
Without this type of insurance, you would be paying for these expenses out of your own pocket.
Ask your Western business insurance expert to go over the differences in Garage Keepers, Garage Liability and Commercial General Liability Insurance to help you understand how they can protect your garage.
Professional Liability: Professional liability insurance protects you against claims from your customers that allege negligence, misconduct, and failure to deliver services as promised. For example, it can help protect you against an error in repairing or servicing a vehicle.
It offers you coverage if you make a mistake in your professional service. If you don’t have this type of insurance coverage you will be paying out of pocket for a lawyer, court fees and other related expenses.
Commercial Property Insurance: This type of insurance can help keep you protected from property losses, such as theft or vandalism. You can also add earthquake insurance, sewer backup or flood coverage extensions.
Commercial property insurance protects your repair garage and its contents.
Property you may need to insure:
Buildings and other structures
Furniture, equipment, supplies
Documents such as payroll, accounts receivable
Equipment and Tools Insurance: This type of coverage replaces, or repairs damaged, stolen, or lost equipment and tools, accessories, or other property that you use as an auto repair garage. Anything valued at less than $1,500 is considered a tool and anything above that limit is considered equipment.
Pollution Liability Insurance: Pollution liability insurance covers clean-up costs, third-party bodily injuries (such as a respiratory illness), or damage to a customer’s vehicle caused by pollution or toxic substances you use to do your work.
Commercial Crime Insurance: This type of insurance protests you against theft by employees, including any losses resulting from forgery or fraud. It can be purchased as a standalone policy, or it can be added to your existing CGL policy.
Leased, Rented, Borrowed Equipment Insurance: If your repair garage leases, rents, or borrows equipment to do your work, this type of coverage provides financial support for loss or damage to that equipment you use in your garage.
Equipment Breakdown Insurance: Your garage can have expensive equipment on hand. This type of insurance provides coverage for property damage from the sudden and accidental breakdown of insured equipment not automatically covered by a standard commercial property policy.
Go over the specifics of equipment breakdown coverage with your Western business insurance expert and what you need to be covered.
Cyber Liability Insurance: You have your customers’ names, addresses and credit card information. If your computer system is hacked, cybercriminals can steal this information, clone it, and sell it on the dark web.
Without cyber insurance, you will have to pay out of your pocket for the cost of restoring your system. You may also be liable for damages to third parties whose information has been stolen and you may have to pay for notification expenses to inform customers affected by a breach.
Ask your Western business insurance expert how cyber insurance can protect your Victoria repair garage as part of your as part of your garage insurance package.
Business Interruption Insurance: You may want to consider adding business interruption insurance to your garage insurance package.
If there is an insured loss at your Victoria repair garage that’s severe enough to prevent your garage from being open, the expenses associated with getting your business running again will be covered.
This type of policy usually covers vandalism, fire, wind, flooding, and other risks (make sure to understand what your policy covers). Your policy will help compensate you for lost income and expenses that you will need to continue paying even while you are unable to work.
Commercial Vehicle Insurance: If you have a business car, truck, or van that you use as part of your garage business, it needs commercial coverage as part of your garage repair business package. Your personal car or truck insurance usually won’t cover your garage business.
How much garage insurance do I need?
It will depend on the size of your garage repair business and the kind work that you do.
That means it’s unlikely that all garage repair practices would pay the same monthly or annually for their coverage.
Garage owners can carry at least $2 million in liability coverage.
Ask your Western business insurance expert to determine the right level of coverage for your repair garage business.
What do I do if my garage business has an insurance claim?
- Contact your broker immediately after any business-related mishap. Waiting to file a claim can confuse insurers about the severity of the damages to your business.
- Know your policy so that when you contact your broker you are familiar with what will be covered or not.
- Document the damage. Take photos right away and write down what happened.
- Do not throw away damaged goods after taking photos. Keep the physical evidence so that your adjustor can see it.
- Do not invite lawsuits. Don’t say anything that could be used against you, especially if you aren’t sure what happened.
- Be honest about what your damaged property is worth. Damaged commercial property is generally valued according to its actual cash value or replacement value.
Western Insurance has licensed BUSINESS INSURANCE EXPERTS to get your garage business to get the right garage insurance package. Our experts are available now to help you navigate the business insurance journey to protect your business.
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