When your dealership has a customer’s car in for service, you are Ωnow responsible for one of their most important possessions. Anything that happens to the car, whether it’s the fault of the technician or something completely out of their control, it’s critical to have the insurance coverage to handle a damage claim or risk a lawsuit.
An act of vandalism. Hurricane force winds knocking down a tree. A lift malfunctions while the customer’s car is in the bay.
This is where Garage Keepers Insurance can give your dealership the protection it needs against all manner of calamity that can happen while you have the customer’s car on the lot.
What is Garage Keepers Insurance?
Garage Keepers Insurance is a type of insurance policy that provides coverage for any business that stores or services a customer’s vehicle. Typically dealerships, parking garages, and as the name implies, auto repair facilities carry this coverage.
Any new or used car dealership needs this insurance coverage if they have a service lane and a lot for cars that may have to be held overnight on premises.
What is Typically Covered Under a Garage Keepers Policy?
- Extreme weather
- Collision damage (if someone crashes into the car while on the lot - porter, other tech, customer test driving)
- Damage from faulty service or parts
- Employee theft
- Customer possessions inside the car (non-factory stereo equipment or other custom accessories).
- Liability protection from bodily injury
- Property damage from an accident
Be sure to ask your insurance provider for any other exclusions so your dealership is not caught ill-prepared.
What Are The Types of Garage Keepers Insurance Available?
- Legal Liability: This is the most common coverage that protects a customers vehicle from harm resulting in dealership negligence of some sort. If it’s the fault of the dealership, this kicks in to help handle the claim.
- Direct Primary: Any damage caused by outside forces like theft or extreme weather would be covered here where there is no specific person or persons at fault.
- Direct Excess: A less common coverage that pays damages in excess of your cost deductible. Some may not opt for this but if there is room in the budget to add it, it’s worth it.
How much does Garage Keepers Insurance cost?
Cost can vary depending on the carrier of course and several factors, much like the personal auto insurance we all buy.
Your type of business (dealership in this case), the numbers of vehicles stored at a given time, coverage limits you choose, and deductible chosen are the most important factors used when creating an annual premium cost.
In the last few years, more carriers are also looking at whether or not a business is in a high crime area as an additional risk factor to consider.
Typical annual premiums range from $1000 to $1300, with an overall range of $800 to $2000 when looking at some of the factors above.
How can you get cheaper Garage Keepers Insurance?
By using strategies similar to how we shop for our personal auto insurance, Garage Keepers Insurance can be made more affordable by using the following tips…
- Always compare quotes as premiums can vary widely between insurers. Never take the first quote. Shop around.
- Identify any risks first. Analyze your dealership for any risks such as high crime areas or being in a known flood/extreme weather area.
- Try bundling policies. Like we do with personal and home insurance, you can do the same with other commercial insurance. Adding Garage Keepers Insurance to an existing General Liability policy can often provide a discount.
- Don’t be afraid to go ‘direct’. Agents are fine but when you go direct to an insurer, you often get a better rate since there is no middle-man involved. DealerSure can help you with your policy without having to go through an agent.
But What’s the Difference Between Garage Keepers Insurance and Garage Liability Insurance?
It’s easy to mix these two up. Garage Liability Insurance protects your dealership against claims from accidents that occur during business operations but harm to the customer’s vehicle is not included.
That’s where Garage Keepers Insurance works to cover any damage to or theft of the customer’s car while it’s in your possession.
Garage Keepers Insurance is there to help protect your dealership from the financial ruin that comes from lawsuits and other claims of damage to a customer's car while it’s on your lot or in your service bay. It’s a small price to pay each year to be fully protected and to have your customers know that their cars are protected, too.
DealerSure is here to be the provider for all of your dealership commercial insurance needs. Reach out here to have us compare your current policy coverages, including Garage Keepers Insurance, and let us show you how you can save more today.