Auto Repair and Mechanics Insurance
Auto repair shops and auto technicians face many at work hazards. Because your job is so physical, you are exposed to many more liabilities. Lifting heavy parts may result in an injury, working with hot metal or chemicals leaves you at risk, and even something as simple as a slip or fall could result in a major (and costly) accident.
Making sure you’ve got the proper coverage is key to any body shop or technician’s safety and success. Like many of your customers must tell you, something unexpected can happen when you’re least expecting it. That’s why it’s critical your business has the right coverage.
Here is a breakdown of important insurance policies for you and your business.
General Liability Insurance
General Liability coverage is a good way to protect your operation from many of the things that can go wrong when you own a business. A general liability policy protects you from financial loss resulting from third-party bodily injury, property damage, or personal/advertising injury.
- Bodily injury: A customer is in your garage and slips on an oil slick, breaking their wrist. General liability will cover the medical costs associated with the claim, as well as legal costs should they decide to file a lawsuit.
- Property damage: You’re working under a customer’s hood trying to fix something, and while doing so, you break something else. General liability insurance will pay for the replacement or repair costs.
- Personal/advertising injury: If a customer slaps you with a lawsuit for slander, libel, or copyright infringement, this policy will help cover the fees.
A client visiting you at the repair center is exposed to much more risk than visiting someone they work with at an office park. Auto body shops have more moving parts, more supplies, more equipment, more bodies performing physical labor, you name it. This is exactly why general liability is such an important coverage for repair shops to consider.
Auto technician workers’ compensation insurance
It’s easier to get injured working in a garage than a desk job. If you’re working in an office, the odds are you aren’t exposed to sharp pieces of equipment, high levels of heat, or oil slicks on the floor. That’s where workers’ comp insurance for mechanics comes in. If you or an employee gets hurt on the job, this policy will cover medical costs as a result of the injury.
In the event you or an employee is hurt to the point of requiring time off work, auto repair workers’ compensation insurance will provide lost wages. The policy also offers recovery and back to work programs. If someone is unable to return to work, this insurance coverage may provide long-term benefits.
Though most states require this coverage if you have employees, even if you run a solo shop, workers’ comp insurance is still something to consider. If you are hurt and can’t get back to work, you don’t have employees to rely on to get the job done. Workers’ comp will help supplement lost wages while you take time off to recover. That way, you won’t be at a deficit when you return.
Commercial property insurance
Also known as business property insurance, this coverage protects all of your tools and inventory required to perform your work while on premises. Commercial property protects business property, including the building and its contents, from losses such as theft, vandalism, fire, accidents, and other natural disasters. Not only does the coverage pertain to items within the building, it may also apply to outdoor signage, landscaping, and fencing.
In the event of a property loss this policy can be endorsed to cover loss of business income.
Hired and non-owned auto
Hired and non-owned auto insurance provides protection for vehicles your business hires, rents, or borrows for work related purposes. The coverage also pertains to employees who use their personal vehicle on behalf of you business. So if you have an employee that runs an errand to pick up a part, or someone who is simply running to grab the team lunch, your business is protected.
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If you’re looking for the most bang for your buck, you may want to consider a business owner’s policy, which is commonly referred to as a BOP. BOPs are a packaged policy, combining general liability insurance and commercial property insurance into a bundled deal.
The cost of a business owner’s policy depends on what you do, and what you want to cover. Either way, a BOP is more affordable than purchasing each of the policies separately. If you’re a smaller operation, you may be able to purchase this package for as little as $350/year.