This was a spec piece that was never actually used, but I don’t have a lot of material in the business insurance field and I still think it’s a good piece.
Whether your garage is a small shop or a large specialty garage, it’s important to make sure that you’re properly insured. All the usual insurance policies like liability and building insurance are necessary, but a business garage may want to consider some additional policies to help them minimize their risk.
A general liability policy is sometimes called a “slip and fall” policy, because it can protect your business if an employee, vendor, or customer slips and falls on your premises. But a general liability policy provides protection against liability claims for any damages that you or your employees might cause.
Much like homeowner’s or renter’s insurance for your residence, commercial building insurance covers your building or property and many of its contents. Fire, theft, vandalism, and other risks can damage your business, your equipment, or your customer’s property. Commercial building insurance protects against many of these common concerns.
Workers’ compensation covers your employees if they’re injured on the job. It may cover replacing their wages and paying for medical or recovery-related bills. Having adequate workers’ compensation coverage helps to prevent your employees from suing your company in the event of an injury. In an industry like automotive repair, worker injuries are not rare, so it’s important to have a plan in place to help your employees if they are injured at work.
Your personal auto insurance usually won’t cover you if you’re using your car for business purposes, but a commercial auto insurance policy will cover you whether your vehicle is personally owned or owned by the company. Not all business garages will need this coverage, but many will. If you send your employees to the parts store, they’re using a vehicle for business purposes, and you should consider commercial auto coverage.
Your general liability policy will usually cover the cost of repair or replacement for things like computers, equipment, and furniture that’s damaged due to certain accidents. However, what happens when the fire destroys the business’s ability to remain open? If your business must close for repairs due to a covered event, business interruption insurance will help you to cover the loss of income that a business interruption will bring.
This policy may not be necessary for all business garages, but some small businesses may want to consider this policy for additional protection, especially if they’re running under a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or an LLC. In some cases, a person suing the company may attempt to go after the personal assets of the directors or officers. This type of policy protects those assets.
You don’t have to be Amazon to need cyber liability or data breach insurance. Even small garages often use computerized systems that contain personal information about their customers, and if this information is attacked or stolen, the company may be liable for failing to adequately safeguard the information. Not all business garages will need this type of coverage, but some will benefit from it.
Many small garages use tools and equipment that is reliable, easy to fix, and not too expensive to replace. But some of the more modern garages are using equipment that is extremely expensive, temperamental, or hard to fix. If these costly machines break down, will your garage lose money? If the answer is yes, you might want to consider equipment breakdown coverage, which helps to repair or replace damaged equipment and compensate you for some business losses.
Most garages are small outfits, and in many states they are not required to help their employees with health insurance. However, providing some health insurance coverage for your employees is not only good for morale and overall health; it can also save you money. If your employee can visit a doctor after tweaking his ankle on that weekend hiking trip, he’s less likely to fall and sprain his ankle while working in your garage. Health insurance can also help you to recruit and retain good employees.
Most garages won’t need this type of coverage, but if your garage works frequently with the type of materials prone to cause environmental damage, this type of policy can help you if you’re ordered to perform environmental cleanup of any hazardous or toxic spills or leaks.
There’s a lot of information about insurance policies, and REDACTED can help you understand what will work best for you and your company. We can put together a Business Garage policy that incorporates several different types of coverage to help you get the insurance you need to keep your business safe and profitable. Not every garage needs the same coverage. You have unique needs, because your business, your location, your employees, your customers, and your services are different from the other garages in your local area. A REDACTED representative can help explain the different policies to you so that you can put together a plan that works for you, not something designed for your closest competitor.
The coverage of your policy will depend on which options you’ve selected. REDACTED can get you quotes from many different insurance providers and put them all together in a single insurance package. This way, you have one bill and one point of contact, but you have the ability to check premiums and coverage levels from several different policies. At a minimum, Business Garage packages will include general liability insurance, commercial building/property insurance, and workers’ compensation. Additional policies may be added to increase coverage and help you minimize losses from specific risks.
The limitations will vary depending on which policies and which options you select. If you have specific concerns like flooding, employee dishonesty, crime, or expensive equipment, make sure to speak with your REDACTED representative to make sure that your concerns are covered.
The cost of your overall policy varies based on several factors:
As a general rule, the right amount of insurance falls into a “sweet spot” – it’s enough insurance to keep you covered but not so much that you’re overinsured. It can be challenging to strike the right balance between having enough insurance and having too much, but your REDACTED representative can help you find the right ratio of cost to benefit.
© Antle & Associates, 2016