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How to Get Garage Keeper Insurance?
Business owners who own and operate businesses where they are constantly in custody of third party vehicles, such as towing companies, automobile repair shops and garages need only two policies to protect themselves against the risk of accidents: insurance and garage liability insurance. In this article, we discuss in depth what insurance policies are, what they cost, how they’re different from garage liability insurance and why they are necessary.
What Is a Garage Keepers’ Insurance Policy?
Garage keepers insurance (also called “storage location insurance” in certain US states) essentially provides protection or insurance against any damage to a vehicle by theft, vandalism, collision or fire. Though an optional policy, garage keepers’ policies are highly useful, designed specifically for business owners who operate service centers or offer the service of towing. This policy protects the customers’ vehicles while they are in the custody of such business owners, whether the vehicle is parked, stored or being serviced.
Is a Garage Keepers Policy Necessary?
Like we said, garage keepers insurance protect a customer’s vehicles from damage. Let’s consider a scenario where the business owner doesn’t have a garage keepers’ policy in place. In the case of any damage such as theft or vandalism, the owner would have to pay the concerned expenses from his own pocket. However, with a policy, such expenses would be covered.
Thus, if you own or operate any of the following businesses, garage keepers’ liability might be a necessity for you:
- Auto repair shops
- Auto body shops
- Oil change and lube shops
- Tow truck companies
- Detailing operations
- Service stations
- Auto glass installers
- Vehicle painting and pinstriping operators
- Sites for emission testing
- Businesses that restore vehicle interiors
- Sound repair shops
A garage keepers’ insurance policy protects the customer’s vehicle in the following cases:
- Vandalism (if it occurs at your business site)
- Extreme weather conditions
What the policy may not cover is:
- Damages from faulty workmanship
- Insufficient warranties
- Any items or equipment inside the car, such as in the trunk or glove box, though such coverage can be endorsed into the policy, which also increases goodwill among your clients
Generally sold along with garage liability policies, the two are complementary and give business owners a nearly seamless coverage. Even insurance for customers’ personal property that is in the care of the business can be endorsed into the policy.
As we said, garage keepers and garage liability insurance policies go hand in hand. A liability insurance covers or insures against any injury or accident and resulting damage that occurs out of garage business operations. Typically bought by automobile dealerships and repair shops, garage liability insurances cover the following:
- Property damage caused by equipment that the business owns.
- Any products manufactured or sold by the business or shop that cause damage to a client’s vehicle.
- Liability claims such as discrimination or dishonesty of employees.
- Third-party injuries such as collisions or accidents that damage a third party’s property.
This policy also helps pay for any legal defense or expenditures in case a customer sues you or files a lawsuit against you as well as any medical expenses the customer faces, if any.
A garage keepers’ policy may vary in costs due to various factors, such as the limits you choose, the amount of deductible you opt for, the nature of your business, the type of vehicles you service, your business’ location, the number of vehicles you hold at a given point of time and the coverage options you choose. It can also depend on whether you’re purchasing a garage liability as well with it (in which case, you may get a discount) or not.
Though costs vary from company to company on a garage keepers’ insurance, on average, businesses spend $1,000-1,300 on garage keepers’ liability insurance.
Believe it or not, there are ways that you can get your garage keepers’ policy for cheaper rates. The following tips may help:
- Assess Your Risk: Insurance companies always look for low-risk situations as high risk means more accidents leading to more claims leading to a loss for the insurance company. Ensure that you lower your risk factors by taking certain precautions which convince insurance companies to invest in you, such as paying the premium on time.
- Decrease Workplace Accidents: Decreasing workplace accidents may be as simple as implementing a few safety measures in the workplace, leading to fewer accidents and lesser risk.
- Limits and Deductibles: Ensure that you put ample thought and research into your limits and deductibles. A policy that has a low limit and high deductible value will definitely be cheaper than one with a high limit and low deductible. Increasing your deductible leads to cheaper insurance policies.
- Payment Plans: Paying your premium in installments will end up costing you more than a single one-shot payment. Try to pay your premium in one go at the beginning of the year to save you money in the long run.
Research Your Options: To get the best deals and quotes, ensure that you do your research and look at various companies before settling on one. Compare at least 3 quotes before you select one instead of just picking the first one you come across.
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