Owners of garages and auto repair shops need business insurance to protect their assets from the risks associated with making repairs to other people’s vehicles. Any kind of injury, error or property damage can result in a costly claim or lawsuit.
But with appropriate business insurance tailored to your needs, you can face your risks and stay in business for the long term.
Automotive repair shops, car mechanics and auto body shops are not only entrusted to fix their customers’ cars, but they are also entrusted to keep those cars safe while in their control. In addition, auto repair shops face the following types of business risk:
You need a variety of business insurance policies to protect your business from these risks. In addition, garage liability insurance and garagekeepers insurance help you protect your customers’ property and your business in the wake of accidents, injuries or property damage.
Auto repair shops should work closely with an independent insurance agent to determine their need for the following types of business insurance:
Since auto repair shops vary significantly in the services they provide, you must work with your insurance agent to determine if you need some type of specialty insurance product. These special products combine relevant business insurance policies into one comprehensive package that includes coverage such as the following:
Garagekeepers liability insurance is specialty business insurance coverage designed for auto repair shops as well as service stations, auto body shops, detail shops, vehicle electrical and repair shops, auto glass installers, oil change and lube shops, emissions testing sites, and just about any other type of establishment that provides parts or service for vehicles and provides temporary storage for those vehicles on-site.
Garagekeepers liability insurance protects you if a customer’s vehicle is damaged due to your negligence while it is in your care, custody or control. This protection is not included in the standard garage liability policy. There are a number of ways in which a customer’s vehicle can be damaged while in your possession such as fire, theft, weather events, vandalism, employee test drives and lift accidents – to name a few.
Garagekeepers liability insurance does not cover the contents of a customer’s vehicle, nor does it cover damage that occurs as a result of faulty workmanship, parts or insufficient warrantees.
Accidents happen, even in the safest workplaces. Auto repair shops are dangerous places, particularly for the employees who do the work. The potential for smashed hands and crushed limbs from machinery or falling vehicles is with you and your employees every day. And if one of your employees gets injured while on the job, he or she may not be able to work until fully recovered.
Workers’ compensation insurance protects your employees and your business from the costs associated with work-related injuries and illnesses. It provides coverage for medical care and income protection for an injured worker while he or she is unable to work. Workers’ compensation insurance also helps protect employers from lawsuits by injured employees.
Each state has workers’ compensation insurance laws. Most states require nearly every business that has employees to provide this coverage. Your state’s workers’ compensation statutes determine the amount of benefits injured workers are entitled to, which impairments or injuries are covered, how those impairments will be evaluated and how medical care will be delivered.
Talk with your business insurance agent about workers’ compensation insurance. Your agent should be able to educate you about your state’s workers’ compensation requirements and help you find adequate coverage.
Insurance companies typically keep lists of preferred body shops for their customers. If a customer is in an accident, the insurance company will offer its list of local preferred shops as a resource for the insured if he or she is unsure of where to go for repairs.
Body shops that welcome the insurance company referrals must adhere to certain requirements. In general, body shops must be able to show proof of consistent, honest, fast and good quality work that results in happy customers. What’s more, body shops must accept the insurance company’s scheduled rates for certain types of repairs, with the goal of making the process simple, straightforward and convenient for the customer.
Body shop owners need to apply with individual insurance companies and meet their requirements in order to participate.
You may have some things in common with other businesses, but in many ways your business is unique. Don’t trust your business – your livelihood – to a faceless quote or an insurance company representative that doesn’t know the ins and outs of your business. Take time to find a local, independent agent who will get to know you and your business.
Independent agents can work with numerous reputable insurance companies that specialize in your type of business. Together you can review a variety of proposals and choose the best mix of coverage that meets your needs and budget.