Owning a boat is a luxury and when that luxury breaks down, owners want their floating hobby back in the water as soon as possible. As a boat repair shop, your job is not only to fix your client's boat but protect their expensive property while it's in your hands. With precious cargo in your possession, it's crucial that you have a comprehensive insurance package that protects you and your business should something go wrong.
Business insurance can help protect your boat repair shop from risks ranging from claims of slips and falls on-site to natural disasters that may put you out of business for several months. Finding the best insurance is easy with an independent insurance agent who can shop policy quotes and find you the best rates and package to protect your business against these risks.
Why Does My Boat Repair Shop Need Insurance?
Boats can be complicated vessels and boat repair shops may conduct repairs on their own property or on-site. Whether you work from a shop or travel to a marina, there are a variety of events that can occur.
In addition to the risks you and your employees face while repairing a boat, you're also responsible for a very expensive product while you work. Your customers are trusting you, not only to fix their boat, but also to keep it safe while in your care. Proper insurance can protect your boat repair shop from events like:
- An employee slips and falls while working on a boat and needs medical attention.
- You replace a part of a customer's boat with a faulty part.
- A fire burns down your shop and you have boats inside.
- A customer's boat is damaged while being transferred from your shop to the water.
- Important materials are damaged while in transit to a job site.
- An employee gets in a car accident while transporting products or going to and from a job site.
- An employee is caught stealing materials or money from you.
As you can see, there are many things that can go wrong at any time, which is why you need an insurance package that will cover all aspects and risks for your boat repair shop.
Necessary Insurance for Your Boat Repair Shop
Depending on the location of your boat repair shop and the services you offer, insurance packages will vary from business to business. However, most boat repair shop owners need at least the following basic business insurance coverage.
- Commercial general liability (CGL) insurance: Commercial liability insurance for businesses is designed to protect you from the most basic liability issues that your boat repair shop may face. This includes being sued for damage to a third party's property or injuries as a result of the actions of your employee. Examples include an employee driving a boat into a dock, or a heavy piece of equipment falling on a customer. CGL insurance pays for legal fees and medical bills associated with these events.
- Business property insurance: Even though you're working on a boat, you most likely still have an office with equipment and machinery to help you run the business side of things. You also may keep an inventory of common repair parts, all of which would be protected under your business property insurance. Even if you don't think you have a lot of business property, speak with your agent to get a full assessment, as most businesses have more property than they think.
- Business income: Also referred to as business interruption coverage, it's essential for covering your expenses if your repair shop has to suddenly close. Closing your doors means lost income, lost wages for your employees, and other financial hiccups, yet your rent and business expenses will still be due. Business income insurance helps pay for these costs in the event of an unforeseen business closure.
- Building coverage: Not to be confused with business property insurance, building coverage protects the actual building of your business, while property insurance protects the property you own inside the building.
- Bailee's insurance: If you're housing a boat in your repair shop and the pipes burst and flood your shop and damage the boats in your care, you're responsible for the damage to your customers' property. Bailee's insurance, sometimes referred to as bailee's liability coverage or bailee's customer insurance, helps pay the costs to repair or replace the damaged or destroyed property.
Additional Insurance Options to Consider for Your Boat Repair Shop
- Equipment floater insurance: If you'll be moving boats from one location to another, you may want to consider equipment floater insurance. This coverage will protect your business should the boats be damaged while being relocated. It's a form of inland marine coverage.
- Product liability insurance: This protects you from certain types of legal liability associated with a product defect that causes personal injury or damage associated with its use.
- Premises liability insurance: If a customer is walking on your property to pick up their boat and trips over a piece of inventory, you're liable for any injuries sustained. Premise liability provides protection should someone get injured while on your business property.
- Equipment breakdown coverage: This policy provides indemnification in the event of loss with respect to and arising from the ownership, use, and operation of boilers, machinery, and other commercial equipment. Equipment breakdown can involve machinery, equipment, electrical systems, and more.
- Commercial auto insurance: If you plan on offering boat repair services on-site, you'll want to purchase commercial auto insurance. Should an employee get injured going to or from a repair site, this would protect your business. If you plan on towing boats between locations, you'll also need to look into boat towing insurance.
- Business owners policy: Often referred to as a BOP, this is a package policy designed for small businesses. It combines property, liability and business interruption coverage in one affordable policy.
How Much Does Boat Repair Shop Insurance Cost?
The cost to insure your boat repair shop will be determined by a number of factors. Every repair shop is different in size, offerings, and location, which all can affect how much you pay. Some of the factors that will determine your premium include:
- The size of your business
- The weather and crime risks in the ZIP code where your store is located
- The value of your inventory and other business property
- The number of workers you employ
- The types of business insurance coverage you are purchasing
- How high you need your coverage limits to be
- Your store’s claims history
Why Online Quotes Aren’t Always the Best Way to Shop
Getting your insurance quotes online can be tempting. Sure, it’s fast and easy, but are the quotes you're getting actually accurate? And are you getting quotes for all the different types of coverage your business needs?
Online quotes cannot give you the whole picture. They often leave out important coverage, which may result in you being unable to get compensation if something disastrous happens. And they can leave out cost-saving opportunities such as discounts and bundling opportunities that an independent agent can help you take advantage of.
Instead of getting an online quote, find an independent insurance agent near you, and schedule a one-on-one consultation to discuss your options for the best coverage for your repair shop.
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The Benefits of an Independent Insurance Agent
Insurance policies can be complex and searching through options can be confusing, time-consuming and frustrating. An independent insurance agent's role is to simplify the process.
They’ll make sure you get the right coverage that meets the needs of your boat repair shop. Not only that, they’ll also break down all the jargon and explain the details, so you understand exactly what you're getting.
And when it comes time to file a claim, you’re not alone. Your agent will be right there to help guide you through every last step and get your life back to where it all was. How great is that?
Independent insurance agents have access to multiple insurance companies, ultimately finding you the best coverage, accessibility, and competitive pricing while working for you. Find an independent insurance agent in your community here.