Auto service centers assume significant liability whenever they take custody of a customer’s vehicle, and that potential liability only multiplies with each vehicle that’s kept at a center. Should a single car be damaged in a burglary or many trucks be damaged in a hail storm, a service center might be held financially responsible for all necessary repairs. Garage keepers insurance may help service centers in Massachusetts guard against this sort of risk.
Garage keepers insurance is a specialized coverage for auto service centers and similar businesses. It generally protects against damage to customer vehicles while they’re at a service center.
Which businesses in Massachusetts should consider garage keepers liability insurance?
Any Massachusetts business that keeps customer vehicles on its premises may want garage keepers liability insurance. This is often a good way to insure non-owned vehicles stored on a business’ property.
Since many businesses in the automotive industry have customer vehicles on their premises, this coverage is purchased by an array of businesses. For example, the following might include the coverage within a customized insurance policy:
New car dealerships with service centers
Rapid oil change service stations
Independent mechanics and garages
Tow truck operators, and police departments that tow
Trucking companies that manage non-owned equipment
Depots where semis and/or trailers are parked
Additionally, valet parking services might also require garage keepers liability insurance, depending on the specific details of their operation.
In the case of a tow truck operator or police department, claims might be covered when non-owned vehicles are parked or being towed. An insurance agent who’s specialized in garage keepers liability can help businesses check exactly when a policy’s coverage is in effect.
What types of claims does garage keepers liability insurance cover?
The particular claims a garage keepers policy covers are defined by the policy’s terms and conditions. Based on these terms, policies might extend coverage to claims arising from:
Multiple vehicle collisions
Various accidental causes of damage
Severe weather events (e.g. hail)
Theft and vandalism
Do garage keepers policies cover customer belongings?
Most garage keepers policies don’t include coverage for customer belongings left inside vehicles. To address this, most service centers have formal policies that make customers responsible for their own belongings.
If such coverage is desired, however, it might be available through a few policies. A knowledgeable insurance agent can check whether any policies include the coverage.
Do garage keepers policies cover the auto service center’s own vehicles?
Garage keepers policies normally don’t cover vehicles that an auto service center owns. This is because the coverage is primarily for liability risks that could result in lawsuits, namely customer-filed lawsuits if their vehicle is damaged.
Comprehensive and collision coverages for business-owned vehicles usually must be obtained through a standard commercial auto insurance policy. This might be purchased along with or apart from a garage keepers policy.
How much does a garage keepers policy cost?
The premiums for garage keepers policies vary, as they’re influenced by several factors. The number of customer vehicles, average value of customer vehicles, location of the service center, and service center’s recent insurance claims history are just a few details that can impact premiums.
To find out how much insurance will cost in a particular situation, service centers can compare customized quotes with an independent insurance agent.
How can service centers in Massachusetts procure garage keepers insurance?
If you require assistance with garage keepers insurance, contact the independent insurance agents at Roger Keith & Sons Insurance. Our Massachusetts-based agents will work closely with you to find garage keepers coverage that offers robust protection for your business, and we can assist with almost any other coverage your business might also need.
This material is for informational purposes only. All statements herein are subject to the provisions, exclusions and conditions of the applicable policy, state and federal laws. For an actual description of coverage, terms and conditions, please refer to the applicable insurance policy or check with your insurance professional. The illustrations, instructions and principles contained in the material are general in scope and, to the best of our knowledge, current at the time of publication.