As the owner of an auto service shop, you spend your days taking care of customer vehicles and getting them back in good working order. You also have a shop to manage, staff to oversee, equipment to maintain, and an inventory to keep updated at the same time. You understand risk management and the importance of safety, but some risks come with your industry. At Long & Company, we provide insurance solutions designed to help you protect your business and income when a wrench gets thrown in your plans.
Service Shop Risks
Whether you provide routine maintenance services, such as oil changes and inspections, or you offer more extensive repair services, a lot can go wrong when you are responsible for someone else’s physical property or when you have workers and clients on your premises. For example:
- You could be sued when a customer’s engine is destroyed after a service employee forgets to put the oil cap back on.
- You could be responsible for medical bills if a toddler pulls a pot of hot coffee on himself in the customer waiting area.
- A worker could experience life-altering injuries if a lift smashes his leg.
- It could take months and hundreds of thousands of dollars to rebuild your shop after a fire.
Types of Auto Service Shop Insurance Coverage
Auto shops need several types of coverage to manage risk and reduce exposure to financial loss. This means having multiple policies that work together to safeguard your business against the unexpected. Your insurance portfolio may include coverage for:
Virtually all businesses need commercial liability coverage to protect against third-party damages and injuries. This coverage can help you pay for legal fees if you are sued, as well as any financial damages your shop may be responsible for, up to the limits of your policy.
Garagekeepers Insurance (Garage Liability)
This type of coverage can be added to your liability protection to provided expanded protections specifically for damages to a client’s vehicle while it is in your care. It is specifically designed for auto service and repair shops, as well as other business models that take custody of a customer’s vehicle, such as tow truck service providers and auto dealerships. Whether a customer’s car falls off a hydraulic lift or one of your employees scratches the body of a car while operating heavy machinery, garage liability insurance can help spare your business the cost of repairs or replacement.
Commercial Property Insurance
Your shop is the foundation of your business. Without it, you can’t generate revenue. If a fire or tornado takes out your building and everything in it, commercial property insurance can help you start over again from the ground-up. This coverage typically extends to damages and loss caused by a wide range of events, including theft and vandalism. Talk to your agent to better understand what types of damages are covered and whether you may need additional endorsements or stand-alone coverage to expand your protection against excluded events.
In the wake of a disaster, you might be forced to close your shop’s doors until you can make necessary repairs and replace damaged or stolen equipment. Business interruption insurance is designed to help you pay for ongoing business expenses despite a loss of incoming revenue due to a covered event. It can help pay your financial obligations, including payroll expenses until you can resume normal operations.
When equipment breaks down in your shop, you need to get it replaced right away to continue servicing cars. This can be costly – especially if you have to pay additional fees for expediting tools or replacement parts. Equipment breakdown coverage can help cover the cost of getting your equipment running against as soon as possible.
Whether you run a small shop with just a couple of employees or you employ a large staff or part-time and full-time workers, your business needs insurance that covers staff members against workplace injuries. Not only is worker’s compensation insurance a legal requirement in Wisconsin, but it can also help safeguard your business against employee injury litigation. This insurance is no-fault protection, meaning workers can file a claim for lost wage compensation and medical expenses related to their injuries and recovery.
Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI)
You try to run your business as fairly as possible, but you never know when you could be accused of unfair employment practices. EPLI can help cover your repair shop against accusations of discrimination, workplace harassment, and more.
Commercial Auto Insurance
Some repair shops have vehicles that offer onsite services or perhaps even provide drop-off and pick-up services for clients. If your business operates one or more vehicles for business purposes, talk to your agent about coverage that can protect you against physical damages, as well as vehicle-related liability.
Commercial Umbrella Insurance (Additional Liability)
There is no way to know if you will ever face a multi-million dollar lawsuit, but it is comforting to know that your auto shop is protected against costly litigation expenses and judgments if the unthinkable were to occur. Commercial umbrella insurance provides supplemental liability protection when you exhaust the limits on your primary liability coverage.
Request an Auto Shop Insurance Consultation and Quotes
At Long & Company, we are happy to meet with you to discuss your business risks and coverage needs. We can help you shop and compare insurance options and put together coverage recommendations based on your unique exposures.