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Garage Insurance in California

If you own an auto repair business in California, you need a specialized insurance policy to protect you. Coffer Insurance can insure auto repair businesses such as:

  • Auto Body & Repair Shops
  • Auto Detailing
  • Oil & Lube Shop
  • Auto Paint Shop
  • Engine Repair Shop
  • Brake Repair Shop

California Garage Liability Insurance

In addition to the auto dealer surety bond legally required for retail car dealers, California dealers should also purchase garage liability insurance. Learn more about this policy below, and request a quote from Absolute Surety today.

What Is It?

Garage liability insurance combines key features of general liability insurance and commercial auto insurance. Garage keeper’s insurance, though typically a separate coverage, is often combined with garage liability insurance. All of these coverages can be combined with Worker’s Compensation, Business Property, Business Interruption, and Defective Parts and Workmanship coverages to create a custom, comprehensive business owner’s policy (BOP) for an auto dealership or other business that involves servicing and repairing motor vehicles.

Who Needs Garage Insurance

In California, liability insurance is not mandatory for any business. However, there is no cap on the amount of damages that a court can award a plaintiff in a liability suit, and California judges tend to make high damage awards. So, it makes good business sense for businesses that have a significant risk of bodily injury or property damage to purchase a liability insurance policy with a high coverage limit.

Auto dealerships that perform vehicle maintenance and repairs on their premises are prime candidates for garage liability insurance, as are other auto-related businesses, such as:

  • All auto repair shops
  • Towing services and impound lots
  • Car washes and detailing services
  • Restaurants and hotels that offer valet parking
  • Independent valet parking services

In short, any business that has temporary custody, care, and control of customers’ vehicles or that face the risk of potential injury to customers in the course of its normal operations should give serious thought to purchasing garage liability insurance.

How Does It Work?

Garage liability insurance is essentially a general liability policy that is custom-tailored to the needs of a given business. It typically combines key aspects of general liability insurance with important features of commercial auto insurance. It also usually includes a coverage known as garage keeper’s insurance, which covers some losses not covered by general liability or commercial auto policies.

General liability policies cover bodily injuries and property damage or loss suffered by non-employees as a result of normal business operations, but it does not cover damage to customers’ vehicles that occurs while those vehicles are in the custody, care, and control of the business. To protect against damage to customers’ vehicles on the business’s premises or being driven or worked on by an employee, you’ll need to add garage liability coverage.

Garage liability coverage will pay for damages to a vehicle in the custody, care, and control of the insured business, whether it is caused by the actions of an employee or those of a thief or vandal. It also covers damage from fire, severe weather, or other events beyond the insured’s control. It does not, however, pay for damage to or the loss of personal property in the vehicle, such as a portable GPS unit, briefcase or laptop.

How Much Does It Cost?

Most business owners will pay annual premiums in the range of $300 to $2,000 dollars for garage liability insurance. The exact amount will depend on factors such as the specific coverages included, the dollar limits on claims, and the size of the deductible selected by the insured when the policy is established.

For more information about garage insurance or to start a free quote, contact your Coffer Insurance agent today!  Please call (714) 237-0000.

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