What if a fire broke out at your automotive repair shop overnight and some of your customers’ vehicles were destroyed? What if a client’s car was seriously damaged in a motor vehicle accident while being towed to a garage? What if a valet at your hotel accidentally dinged a guest’s brand new Mercedes while parking it in your lot?
These are just a few examples of times that having garagekeepers insurance can prove beneficial. Independent insurance agents in Maryland can help you find a comprehensive policy at a competitive price. Contact an insurance agent near you to get started.
What Is Garagekeepers Insurance?
Garagekeepers insurance is an optional coverage endorsement that can be added to your business insurance policy. It is designed to cover against potential liability risks whenever your customers’ vehicles are in your business’s custody, care, or control.
What Kinds of Businesses in Maryland Should Purchase Garagekeepers Insurance?
If your business offers any kind of automotive service, you should consider adding garagekeepers insurance to your business insurance policy package.
The types of businesses that usually carry garagekeepers insurance include the following.
- Automotive repair shops
- Service stations
- Towing companies
- Vehicle detailing firms
- Auto body shops
- Car washes
- Any venue that provides valet parking services
Basically, if your company repairs, services, tows, attends, parks, or stores your clients’ vehicles, you should consider investing in a garagekeepers insurance policy.
How Much Does Garagekeepers Insurance Cost in Maryland?
Your business’s cost for garagekeepers insurance will be calculated according to several different factors such as the following.
- The type of business you are insuring
- How often your business is in possession of other people’s vehicles, and for how long
- Where third-party vehicles are kept when in your company’s custody
- The crime rate and weather risks in the ZIP code where your business is located
- Your company’s claims history
- The size of your deductible
On average, businesses in Maryland pay an average of about $100 a month for their garagekeepers insurance coverage.
To find out how much a policy will cost for your business, you can consult a local independent insurance agent. These agents can help you obtain and compare customized policies and quotes from some of Maryland’s top insurance providers.
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What Does Garagekeepers Insurance Cover?
Garagekeepers insurance is designed to cover your business against the risks it faces when it assumes responsibility for your clients’ vehicles. There are three different types of garagekeepers coverage.
- Legal liability coverage: This provides coverage for your business’s court costs, legal defense fees, settlements, judgments, and other associated costs if it is sued for damage done to a vehicle that was left in its custody, care, or control.
- Direct primary coverage: This covers damage to your clients’ vehicles that were not the fault of your business, but that happened while the vehicle was in your business’s care. This can include damage caused by hazards such as fires, hurricanes, hailstorms, floods, and property crimes.
- Direct excess coverage: This works the same as direct primary coverage but it will only cover whatever your customer’s car insurance will not. This means that if your customer carries comprehensive insurance, their own insurance company will need to provide the first line of coverage, and then your policy will pay for anything that their insurance does not, such as deductibles and costs that go beyond their policy’s coverage limit.
A local independent agent can help you choose the coverage that is most appropriate for your Maryland business.
What Is Not Covered by Garagekeepers Insurance?
As with any kind of insurance policy, garagekeepers insurance has some limitations. For instance, your policy will exclude coverage for the following.
- Damage to your clients’ vehicles due to shoddy workmanship
- Auto theft if the vehicle was stolen by someone who is employed by your business, such as if a valet parker took a clients’ vehicle out for a joy ride
- Theft of personal property that was kept in the customer’s car unless the stolen property was something that was permanently installed in the vehicle (such as stereo equipment).*
* Some garagekeepers insurance providers will allow policyholders to purchase an endorsement that will also cover personal property kept in the customers’ vehicles.
Talk to a local independent insurance agent to learn more about what your garagekeepers insurance will and will not cover.
What Is the Difference Between Garage Liability Insurance and Garagekeepers Insurance?
While their names are similar, garage liability insurance and garagekeepers liability insurance are two different kinds of policies.
- Garage liability insurance: This is similar to premises liability insurance. It covers your business against third party injuries or property damage that occur as a result of an accident that takes place on your business premises for which your business can be held accountable.
- Garagekeepers liability insurance: This is similar to bailee's insurance. It covers loss or damage to your customer’s vehicles when they are in the custody, care, or control of your business.
Some businesses, like automotive service stations and carwashes, will likely want to purchase both kinds of coverage.
Where Can I Find the Best Garagekeepers Insurance in Maryland?
When you are shopping for garagekeepers insurance for your Maryland business, a local independent insurance agent can help. These experienced professionals are available to answer your insurance-related questions, provide trustworthy advice, and shop around to find a suitable policy at a competitive price.
There are more than 200 independent agents in Maryland so it should be easy to find an insurance agent near you.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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