Owning a parking garage may seem like a fairly simple business – cars come and go while employees or automated systems take payment and operate gates. But this overly simplistic view doesn’t scratch the surface of the true liability risks that parking garage owners take on. When customers are on your premises, you can be held liable for injuries and damage to their vehicles. One lawsuit can turn your profitable business into a nightmare.
You need comprehensive parking lot insurance that focuses on liability coverage in order to protect your livelihood from lawsuits and other financial wreckage caused by accidents, trips and falls, and property damage that can occur on your premises.
Liability insurance, in various forms, protects your business from financial losses related to third-party property damage or injuries. It also protects your customers if a vehicle is damaged or someone is injured on your garage premises.
A commercial general liability (CGL) policy provides broad protection from a variety of hazards. It protects you from the costs of lawsuits related to accidents, property damage and a variety of other mishaps.
Talk to your independent insurance agent about your need for garage liability insurance, which provides several forms of liability insurance more specifically designed for the needs of garages. It may or may not be necessary depending on your operations, but if you provide valet services, you likely need this specialty coverage.
In addition, you should work closely with an independent insurance agent to determine your need for the following types of parking lot insurance:
One of the most important components of your parking lot insurance package is garagekeepers liability coverage.
As a business that accepts a client’s property (cars) for storage (parking), you assume a legal responsibility called bailment. Garagekeepers liability insurance addresses your bailment exposure. It protects you if a customer’s vehicle is damaged due to your negligence while it is in your care, custody or control. (Note: This coverage is separate and distinct from garage legal liability insurance.) Your garagekeepers liability coverage limit will likely be written based on the number and value of the vehicles that are typically parked on your premise.
Garagekeepers liability coverage varies depending on the needs of the business owner. It can be added as an endorsement to your CGL policy, garage liability policy or even a commercial auto insurance policy. Your independent agent can help you determine the coverage specifics that best mitigate your exposures.
As an owner of a parking lot or garage, safety and security should be your number one priority. Not only do you want to protect your customers, but also you want to avoid the financial losses that accompany injuries and property damage that occur on your premises.
Here are some steps you can take to mitigate your risks:
Parking lots are truly a niche business with unique insurance needs. Many insurance companies may not write the special types of coverage that you need, leaving you with cookie-cutter coverage and potentially devastating gaps.
An independent insurance agent can work with multiple insurance companies to find the right type of specialty coverage to protect your parking lot business from claims of injuries or property damage. When you need tailored coverage for unique business risks, an independent agent is your best bet. Contact an independent insurance agent today.