Garage Keepers Insurance

Surprise! Your Customer's Car Isn't Covered Under Garage Liability

Business owners who operate towing companies, garages and auto repair shops are not only relied upon to transport or fix their customers’ vehicles, but they are also entrusted with keeping the property safe while it is in their control. Garage liability insurance and garagekeepers insurance policies are designed to help you protect your customers’ property and your business in the event that accidents, injuries or property damage occur. These two types of insurance complement each other and ensure that you don't have any gaps in coverage.

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Examining the Difference Between Garagekeepers and Garage Liability Insurance

A basic garage liability insurance policy is designed to cover bodily injury or property damage caused by an accident arising out of garage business operations. Garage liability coverage is typically purchased by automobile dealerships and repair shops, among other businesses. This insurance provides coverage for:

  • Third-party injuries.
  • Property damage caused by equipment owned by the business.
  • Liability claims such as discrimination and employee dishonesty.
  • Products manufactured or sold by the shop that cause damage to a customer’s vehicle.

If a customer slips and falls at your shop, this coverage will help pay for any legal defense if they decide to sue and help pay for any medical bills the customer had due to the injury. It will also help pay for damages if a vehicle owned by the business causes a collision with another automobile or structure, damaging a third party's property.

A garagekeepers insurance policy protects you if a customer’s vehicle is
damaged while it is at your business. This coverage is not included in a standard garage liability policy. It protects customers' vehicles from damages while in your possession or control as a result of:

  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Extreme weather
  • Vandalism at your place of business.

It does not cover damage that occurs from faulty workmanship or parts or insufficient warranties. Basic garagekeepers liability insurance excludes coverage for the contents of your customers' vehicles, such as the items in their glove box or trunk and any non-factory stereo equipment. You can, however, add an endorsement to your garagekeepers policy to extend coverage to personal property kept inside customers' vehicles. This is not necessary to avoid any liability exposure, but it does encourage goodwill and will bolster your reputation in the event a client's vehicle and its contents become damaged or destroyed.

Garagekeepers liability insurance is usually sold with a garage liability policy, but it is still a separate contract. The contents of a customer’s vehicle are not covered under a garagekeepers policy, which only covers vehicles, not personal property inside the vehicles. Garage owners can add endorsements for coverage of customers’ personal property that is in their care.

Which Businesses Need Garagekeepers or Garage Liability Insurance?

The difference between garage liability coverage and garagekeepers liability insurance is subtle but important. In general, both are needed to make sure you have adequate protection. Garage liability insurance and garagekeepers insurance are recommended not only for auto repair shops, but also for:

  • Service stations
  • Tow truck operators
  • Auto body shops
  • Detailing operations
  • Auto glass installers
  • Oil change and lube shops
  • Vehicle painting and pinstriping operations
  • Sound repair and installation shops
  • Emissions testing sites
  • Vehicle interior restoration shops

No matter which type of business you own, you know the importance of having insurance, yet doing your best to never need to use it. You can avoid having to file a garage liability or garagekeepers insurance claim by:

  • Installing video surveillance equipment to deter theft and vandalism.
  • Ensuring proper lighting is available around your business at night.
  • Developing fire prevention policies, making sure that extinguishers and smoke detectors are up-to-date and functioning, and installing a sprinkler system.
  • Hiring qualified employees with good driving records.
  • Making sure each of your employees is covered by the insurance policy or policies.

Finding the Right Insurance Policies for Your Business

The cost of a garage liability and garagekeepers insurance package will depend on several factors, including:

  • The limits you choose.
  • The deductible you opt for.
  • The coverage options you elect.

It is always a good idea to compare garage liability and garagekeepers liability insurance policies from a few different carriers to see what is available and at what price. A policy with a higher limit and a lower deductible will have higher premiums than one with a lower limit and a higher deductible. Also, adding an extension, such as coverage for a customer's personal property kept inside a vehicle, will increase the premiums you pay.

There is much to consider, and you may still have questions about these insurance coverage options. Knowledgeable, independent insurance agents with Trusted Choice® are always available to answer any queries, assist you by locating several garage liability and garagekeepers insurance policy quotes from a number of different providers, and even help you file a claim. These agents have ample experience in helping businesses navigate their liability exposures and finding the right policies to ensure your business keeps on trucking. Talk to a local agent today.

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