Whether they cater to clients with heavy duty work trucks, custom sports cars, or family minivans, auto repair shops all perform similar daily tasks. From body work, to fixing a flat tire, to replacing a transmission, auto repair shop owners know that their employees are engaged in various tasks that can pose a hazard to the workers themselves, to the vehicles in their care, custody and control, and to customers. In case of an accident on the premises, resulting in a personal injury claim by a client, or a workers’ compensation claim by an employee, owners of auto repair shops should make sure that they have auto body and repair shop insurance coverage in place.
Besides safeguarding auto repair businesses from potential legal liability in the event of an injury or damages claim, the right commercial insurance policy can also protect a shop’s property and assets in case of a claim, property damage, or unexpected financial loss. A local independent business insurance agent will meet with auto repair shop owners to discuss the available options for commercial insurance coverage, and recommend a policy personalized to fit their shop’s unique needs.
A licensed independent insurance agent, familiar with the concerns of local auto repair shop owners when it comes to choosing the proper policy, will likely inquire about whether a shop has ever been cancelled by another insurance carrier for any reason other than that the insurer stopped writing that particular class of insurance, whether the business has had more than two losses in the past few years, and if so, the amounts of those losses.
The agent might look for special hazards such as paint spraying and proper tool cleaning.
To determine the sufficient commercial insurance coverage for a body shop, an independent insurance agent may also assess whether a repair shop is located in a high crime area, in a building that is more than 40 years old, or on a national or local historic register. Also, an independent business insurance agent will likely ask about whether heating, plumbing, roofing, and electric systems within a shop have been recently repaired and serviced, and whether a shop has a centrally monitored fire or burglar alarm. An independent commercial insurance agent will also want to know about the nature of the auto repair equipment and machinery on site, and whether it is removable or a permanent fixture on the premises. She might ask for an estimate of maximum total values in customer’s vehicles at any one time on premises and a maximum value for any one vehicle. She will look at theft prevention policies and procedures.
To ensure that she is recommending sufficient commercial insurance coverage, an independent insurance agent will likely want to visit an auto repair shop’s facilities. She will examine whether the shop is accessible by automobiles at all times, if the shop’s heating and cooling systems are acceptable, and whether the shop premises is in a one-of-a-kind property or built with unusual materials. Using these and other factors, an independent insurance agent can determine the commercial insurance coverage best suited to a specific auto repair business.
By reaching out to a local independent insurance agent, owners of auto repair shops can get answers to their questions about supplementing existing business insurance coverage, or buying a new policy. They can learn about typical exclusions, limitations, and optional endorsements included in most commercial insurance policies. With an independent insurance agent’s help, auto repair shop owners can purchase insurance to keep their business, and its operations and finances, secure.
As the owner of an auto body restoration or engine service shop, you are responsible for providing your customers with a quality experience. You’re used to dealing with insurance companies when your customers have claims, but what insurance policies do you need to make sure that your business is protected?
Protecting your building & contents for an Auto Repair or Body Shop:
What type of policy do you need in case something happens to damage your building or the equipment inside? Just like a homeowner needs to carry homeowner’s insurance to protect their home and personal belongings against losses, a business owner needs to carry the correct policy to protect their investment.
Property policies should include coverage for your building, your office equipment, tools and equipment, and any stock you may have inside the building. Remember that your contents (business personal property) limit should be adequate enough to include everything inside the building that would have to be replaced in the event of a loss. This includes everything from the large equipment in the shop to the desk and chair in the office.
An extension to your property policy can be purchased to protect against any additional costs involved in the event that the property damage causes a temporary shut down of your business until repairs can be made.
If you or your employees work away from the shop, there may also be a need for a tool & equipment “floater”. This will provide coverage if the event of a loss to those items that are not contained within the building and are taken to off-site jobs.
The standard property policy does not include coverage for ‘crime’:
In the event that someone steals from your business, you must have crime insurance. With the proper coverage, you can protect yourself from theft from employees and non-employees.
As technology improves, so does the potential for the loss of personnel and client data such as names, addresses and credit card information. Data breach coverage is becoming more and more essential as even small businesses rely heavily on computerized record keeping.
An auto body or repair shop may have need of several different commercial auto policies:
If you own vehicles that are titled under the business name or have a privately owned vehicle used for business purposes, you may need to have commercial auto coverage to provide liability for those vehicles. In addition, the liability coverage would be provided for times that you must drive the customers’ cars. But what if you have cars that you loan or rent to your customers while you are doing repairs to their vehicles? Does your commercial auto policy extend to those vehicles? What about the liability exposure you take on when you send your tow-truck out to bring back a disabled vehicle?
Garagekeepers coverage is an important element in the protection of an auto body or repair shop. The standard liability policy will not provide coverage for your customer’s vehicle in your care. What would happen if several of your customers’ cars were damaged or destroyed due to your negligence or legal liability? One way to determine the limit needed is to consider the average value of the vehicles in your care multiplied by the average number of vehicles in your care at a given time. For example, if you normally have 5 cars in your shop valued at an average of $20,000 each, you would want to carry no less than $100,000 in Garagekeepers coverage.
Are you covered for rental and loaner vehicles?
Auto repair shops may cater to repeat customers, or to those who seek one-time body work on a vehicle, but if they provide loaner or rental vehicles to their customers in the course of their business, these companies should make sure to have dependable commercial insurance in place. Adequate commercial insurance can afford coverage for customers’ temporary use of loaner or rental vehicles, and a knowledgeable independent business insurance agent in the region will meet with auto repair shop owners to evaluate their coverage needs, and assist them in choosing a commercial insurance policy suited to their business.
Workman’s Compensation / Employers Liability Coverage
Accidents happen. It’s a fact of life. Every day employees are hurt on the job, regardless of your attempts to maintain a safe working environment. States regulate that all businesses provide this coverage for their employees in case they are hurt on the job.
Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) is a safeguard for you, the owner of the business. Have you ever had to fire an employee? Are you ready to defend yourself against a possible lawsuit for discrimination or wrongful dismissal? Have you ever walked into the service area and heard several of your employees laughing over an offensive joke about you or another employee? Lawyer’s fees alone can drive you out of business quickly. It is important to be certain that the policy you choose also protects you against claims made by a third party such as a customer or vendor who feels that they were wronged by you or one of your employees.
Home Based Auto Repair Business
Those who operate a garage out of their home know that running this kind of business can pose certain challenges. Among those are the challenges associated with certain risks that go hand in hand with running an auto repair shop, especially one that is located at its owner’s residence. Although safety precautions may be taken, an accident on the premises could lead to personal injury to a customer or employee, or an unanticipated loss could threaten a business’s economic stability. To shield their company from potential legal or financial responsibility in the event of a claim, or other damage, or harm, owners of in-home garage companies should maintain comprehensive commercial insurance coverage.
Some shop specialize in certain areas of coverage, such as brake repair or oil changes. One of the most frequent kinds of repair made by employees of these shops is brakes repair. Cars and trucks need dependable brakes in case of slippery streets, steep hills, or sudden stops. For motor vehicles, reliable brakes are important, just like how having quality commercial insurance is important for the auto repair shops that specialize in brakes service.
Oil change shops experience some of the highest flow of customers out of any repair shop. These unique scenarios require unique coverage and you want to make sure all exposures are covered.
Overall, getting the right coverage for your business calls for professional assistance.
Be sure you pick an agent who knows your business and community. They can assist you to make sure that all areas of your business are properly covered. Your business is your livelihood. They can make sure that it is adequately protected.
While the majority of people want an agent involved in their purchase of insurance, many people want to see if they can save money by buying direct from the insurance company. Others want to try a direct quote to make sure the premium they’re now paying through their local agent is fair. If you want a quote for your coverage, click on the competitive quote button on the right side of this page.