Envision yourself as a small business owner running your own auto repair business.
You’ve started this business from ground zero. It began as just you doing everything, and now you’ve evolved and have five people working for you. Each day you expect your employees to work with a sense of urgency to try and keep the customer happy. You certify your mechanics to ensure they are doing the best quality of work, and you tell your employees to always test drive the vehicles before signing off on them and giving them back.
As the mechanic gets into your customer’s car and takes off down the road to test drive the vehicle, where in your commercial insurance policy is that driver covered? For most auto repair shop owners, it would be easy to believe that the basic liability portion of your commercial package policy would cover your mechanic as he’s test driving your client’s car; but, in reality, it is not that simple.
Let’s figure out what additional coverages the business owner should consider in order to protect what he’s worked so hard to build.
Garage Liability vs. Garagekeepers Liability
The two terms (garage liability and garagekeepers liability) should always be discussed with anyone owning any sort of auto repair business (i.e. auto body shop or car dealership). In a case-by-case basis, these two terms might apply together, separately, or not at all.
Garagekeepers liability insurance can be a daunting term to understand for someone not in the insurance industry. To help alleviate the intimidation, think of garagekeepers liability insurance as insurance that covers someone’s vehicle while it is being stored at an auto repair shop. The individual owner of the car would not carry a garagekeepers liability policy, but it would need to be purchased by the business owner who is in possession of the client’s car. For example, if the repair shop was broken into overnight while a client’s car was being stored there, and the burglars damaged the client’s car, the repair shop’s garagekeepers liability policy would cover the damage to the client’s car.
In regards to the previous example of the mechanic, the garage liability policy would come into effect when the mechanic test drives the customer’s vehicle before signing off that everything is complete. For instance, if the mechanic gets into the customer’s car, drives down the road, and is at fault for rear-ending another vehicle, the repair shop’s garage liability policy would cover the damages done.
Protect Your Auto Repair Business
If you own and operate an auto repair garage, you need to take the necessary steps to reduce risk. Garage and garagekeepers liability insurance are two necessities that most auto repair businesses can’t live without.
For auto repair businesses in Indiana, Kentucky, and Southern Illinois, Kincaid Insurance is ready to help. We can compare rates from multiple companies to ensure you get the coverage you need at a price that fits your budget. With clients in Evansville, Newburgh, Jasper, Vincennes, Henderson, Mt. Vernon, and beyond, we are ready to help you find a policy that fits your needs.Request a Free Quote