Repairing electronics – from computers to cellphones and TVs – is complicated. You need to be knowledgeable about complicated systems from multiple manufacturers as well as constantly learning updated skills as new technologies emerge. And if software or data on a computer or cellphone are lost, damaged or mishandled, your customers can claim serious harm.
Electronics repair businesses need comprehensive business insurance tailored to their needs in order to protect their assets and avoid financial destruction.
Computer and Electronics Repair Businesses Face Unique Risks
The items that you take into your possession for repairs are highly valuable to their owners and can contain sensitive information that must be protected. In addition, computer owners are often highly inconvenienced when they must part with a PC, laptop or cellphone in order for it to be fixed. You need to get the work done right, quickly, with no errors.
Imagine all of the adverse events that could take place, whether you are working in your shop or even in a customer’s home. You can trip and fall while holding a computer, smashing it to pieces. Your employee can drop and break a cellphone while it is in your shop. Your shop can catch fire, damaging everything inside. Like any retailer or shop owner, the possibility for property damage to your building and business property, or your customers’ property, is endless.
You need insurance to protect:
- your building or shop.
- your own office equipment, computers tools and equipment.
- your customers’ physical well-being on your premises.
- your customers’ property while in your care.
The specific business insurance policies that you need depend on the place where you work (in a shop, at your home or at your customers’ homes or businesses), the number of employees you have, and the types of services that you provide.
Business Insurance for Computer and Electronics Repair Shops
Computer and electronics repair shops need commercial general liability (CGL) insurance to protect them from payments due to bodily injury and property damage they cause while doing business. You are as susceptible to weather, fire, vandalism, theft and customer accidents on your premises as any other shop or retail establishment.
General liability insurance offers broad protection for a variety of liability risks that your business is exposed to, from customer slips and falls to claims of advertising liability, slander, libel and more. Your CGL policy pays for your legal defense, attorney and court costs, and any settlements or judgments that you must pay, up to your policy limits.
Many electronics and computer repair technicians make house calls. Your CGL policy should cover you for bodily injury and property damage claims that occur either in your shop or while working at a client’s home.
Your customers place a great deal of faith in your professional expertise. If you make a mistake that leads to a financial loss for a customer, you can be sued, and your CGL policy may not provide appropriate protection. Computer and electronics repair technicians need professional liability, or errors and omissions (E&O) coverage, designed for computer repair shops. If, for example, work you perform leads to a data breach for your customer, it is likely that you will be held responsible and sued for damages. E&O coverage helps pay for the costs associated with these types of lawsuits.
Your insurance agent can help you determine whether you need a separate professional liability policy or a professional liability endorsement to your CGL policy. In addition, discuss with your agent how to protect your business from occurrences where valuable customer data is lost. This is a somewhat gray area; your agent can help you find the best strategies for insuring against this risk.
Like most other businesses, computer and electronics repair shops need business property insurance to protect building(s) and contents from costs associated with weather, fire, smoke, vandalism, theft and other types of property damage. Business property insurance protects not only your building but also your own computer systems, fixtures, parts inventory, tools and other equipment that you use in your operations.
Your business property policy should also include business interruption coverage, which provides income protection if you must temporarily cease operations due to a covered loss (fire, weather, etc.).
Your independent insurance agent can help you determine if you should purchase a business owners policy, which is a small business insurance policy that includes property, liability and business interruption coverage in one affordable package.
Another major concern for computer and electronics repair businesses is business autos. Do you make deliveries or pick up customers’ property from their homes or places of business? If your business owns vehicles or you or your employees drive personal vehicles for business use, you need commercial auto insurance. Commercial auto insurance covers your business autos just like your personal auto insurance covers your personal vehicles. However, if you or your employees drive personal vehicles for business use, you need nonowned commercial auto insurance to cover the drivers and vehicles.
Bailee's Coverage for Electronics Repair Businesses
Most electronics repair businesses will want to consider bailee’s coverage. Because standard business property and liability policies only cover your own business property, you need special coverage for your customers’ property that is in your possession. Bailee’s coverage insures nonowned property that is stored at your shop or is in your possession.
Insurance for TV and Cellphone Repair Shops
TV repair shops and cellphone repair shops face many of the same risks as computer repair shops. You keep valuable equipment on-site; you risk property damage to your building, tools and equipment; and probably you have customer property often in your shop. You also face a serious risk of theft as well as loss or mishandling of customer data.
Like computer repair businesses, TV and cellphone repair shops need:
- commercial general liability insurance.
- commercial auto insurance.
- business property insurance.
- business interruption/business income coverage.
Other Coverage for Computer, Cellphone and TV Repair Shops
In addition to the policies described above, it is highly likely that electronics repair shops need additional types of coverage depending on their specific business. Many of these policies can be tailored to the exact needs of the business and the risks it faces.
- Employee theft and crime coverage protects you from instances of employee theft, fraud or other crimes against your business.
- Workers’ compensation insurance is usually required for any business that has employees, and it pays for lost income and medical expenses for employees that are injured on the job.
- Inland marine coverage protects tools, equipment and supplies that you bring off-site to make repairs. Commercial property and commercial auto policies typically exclude coverage for those items once they leave your business premises.
- Cyber liability insurance provides coverage in the event of a data breach involving your business (this is different from coverage you might need for loss/damage to customer data that is on their cellphones or computers).
How to Find the Best Insurance for Electronics Repair Businesses
Electronics repair businesses come in all shapes and sizes, and their business insurance should reflect that. You need customized business insurance programs, not a one-size-fits-all solution. In order to find the best combination of coverage at a fair price, you need to work with an independent insurance agent who knows your business. Your agent can find insurance companies who specialize in coverage for computer, TV or cellphone repair businesses, ensuring that you will get the coverage and service you need. Contact an Independent Insurance Agent today.