Auto Service Repair Insurance Montana Policy Information
Auto Service Repair Insurance Montana. Automobile repair shops offer a wide variety of mechanical services, from engine repair to tune-ups. The operation may be stand-alone or be part of another business such as an automobile dealership or filling station. They may specialize in a specific type of automotive repair, such as transmissions or brakes, or service other types of motorized vehicles, such as snowmobiles or recreational vehicles. Some repair or rebuild parts such as brake drums, or custom-make old, difficult-to-replace parts. Operations may include gasoline or diesel fuel sales or the retail sales of automobile accessories and tools. Normally, auto repair shops perform body work or painting only when incidental to other repairs.
Additional services can include towing, auto club affiliations, pickup and delivery of customers, and the loan or rental of replacement vehicles. Some will have a mobile unit to perform repairs to stranded vehicles or at the customer's location.
Is your auto shop totally protected from liability? If you own an auto service shop or garage, then having the right business insurance coverage in place makes a lot of sense. Just one lawsuit can really negatively affect your bottom line and leave you holding the financial bag for monetary awards. With a business owner's policy, known as a BOP policy in the insurance world, you effectively mitigate your risks and put your business in a better place for success.
A auto service repair insurance Montana business owner's policy can provide you with protection if you find yourself on the receiving end of a lawsuit.
Auto service repair insurance Montana protects your garage from lawsuits with rates as low as $57/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
What Is An Auto Service Repair Insurance Business Owner's Policy?
This auto service repair insurance Montana protects you from the many potential cliams your garage faces. Local drivers no doubt depend on your business to keep their autos running in optimal condition. If your auto business faces a peril that causes a business interruption, how quickly can your current insurance help you recover? Many different events loom as possibilities, threatening day-to-day activities of running your business. With a complete insurance solution, you can enjoy peace of mind in knowing that you are protected from having to be out the money to settle with a litigant.
How Can a Business Owner's Policy for Auto Businesses Help?
A BOP policy combines commercial property insurance, commercial liability insurance, garage keepers and business income insurance into one package. Commercial property insurance protects your physical building and location along with its contents should you experience a covered event, such as a fire, burst pipe, or weather phenomena that causes your business damages. A liability policy protects your auto business when a customer slips and falls on your premises or your workers or the products and services that you sell cause damage to customers, other people, or property. Garage keepers protects you fro damages done to your customers vehicles while they are you in care, custodya nd control. With a business income policy, your business is protected from income loss due to a covered event. For example, if a tornado hits your shop, then you are protected from loss income while reasonable repairs are made.
This auto service repair insurance Montana is one of the most affordable means to cover your business and affords a minimal amount of protection against potential pitfalls. However, you can invariably bundle other policy types with a BOP policy to get a more comprehensive layer of protection to shield your business from financial loss and the fallout of any claims against you. Some of the most common addendums to BOP policies and rider policies that are sold to garage and auto repair shops include:
- Garage liability insurance. This type of coverage enhances the commercial property liability coverage that you carry. It ensures complete coverage for your shop and covers damages arising from the operation of your garage. It is an essential policy for most garage owners.
- Garage keeper's insurance. Keeping customers' autos on site means carrying garage keeper's insurance. This policy protects your customers' vehicles from damage during the course of being storage in your facility. Your business may need this coverage in order to operate in your state, but either way, it is a valuable coverage to own.
- Medical payments coverage. If someone is injured on your premises, whether you own or lease your garage, this type of insurance pays for any medical expenses related to the injury.
- Commercial auto insurance coverage. For any vehicles that your business uses in a business capacity, you need to carry auto insurance rated for commercial use. This includes service vehicles that you deploy to help stranded motorists as well as any vehicle used for strictly business purposes.
- Equipment breakdown protection. Guard against the financial loss that follows a mechanical breakdown, power surge, operator error or burn out with this type of coverage.
- Employee dishonesty policies. If an employee steals from you, then you can recover damages under this policy. This is a must-have policy type in most shops.
- Employment practices policies. Choose an employment practices liability policy to protect your business from financial damages due to harassment, discrimination or wrongful firing.
Other Auto Service Repair Insurance Montana Coverages
If you have several employees, you should also consider worker's compensation as a bundled add on to your other policy types. This coverage provides workers who are injured at work or who become ill due to a work-related peril with wage replacement and medical payments. In most states, this coverage is a requirement, and in some states, the cost comes right out of your business taxes. Work with your agent to find out the requirements and stay compliant with local and state laws.
Finding the right level of protection when you operate a garage or auto repair shop is important to your ongoing success. Working with a seasoned independent agent has its advantages, since your agent doesn't work for a specific company and can help you check the rates available with several big insurance companies at once. This ensures you get the best deal on your coverage without cutting corners. As a bonus, your agent can also help you understand the nuances of your industry so that you choose the right coverage types and policy limits to totally protect your business.
Montana Automobile Service Repair Shop's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure comes from slips and falls due to public access to the premises. Customer waiting areas should be provided for customers waiting on repairs. Customers must not be permitted in the garage area. Floor coverings should be in good condition with no frayed or worn spots on carpet and no cracks or holes in flooring. Steps and uneven floor surfaces should be prominently marked. Sufficient exits must be provided and be well marked, with backup lighting systems in case of power failure.
Parking lots and sidewalks need to be in good repair with snow and ice removed, and generally level and free of exposure to slips and falls. If the premises is open after dark, there must be adequate lighting and appropriate security for the area. Cars in the parking lot present an attractive nuisance hazard. Chains should be in place to prevent entrance after hours.
Garagekeepers exposure comes from damage that can occur to customers' vehicles while in the repair shop's care, custody and control. Access to these vehicles should be prevented. Keys to customers' vehicles should be kept in a locked box, with proper identification required to prevent handing the customer's car to the wrong owner. Lots must be well lighted, with chains in place to prevent transport. Fences and other security may also be appropriate.
Workers compensation exposures are high. Brake turning, welding or other repair work must be handled only with appropriate safety equipment, especially eye protection. Lifting of a vehicle by hoists, jacks, and other mechanical means can result in injury should the equipment malfunction. Hoists must be well maintained and procedures in place to prevent vehicles from falling. Workers can slip and fall, or incur back injuries, sprains, strains or hernias from lifting.
If the shop sells batteries, leakage or spilling of battery acids can cause burns on contact with skin and respiratory problems when inhaled. Employees should be provided with safety equipment, trained on proper handling techniques, and have conveying devices available to assist with heavy lifting. Employees performing maintenance or repair work on customers' vehicles should be properly trained.
Products liability exposure can be high due to the potential for an accident in the event that the vehicle is not properly repaired. There should be a check-off procedure in place prior to release of the vehicle to the customer to prevent its being returned to the customer with vital functions not working properly. If the repair shop directly imports or reconditions items for resale, the exposure increases to the point of a manufacturer.
Environmental impairment exposures can be significant due to the disposal of used lubricants, oils, degreasers, solvents and batteries. Adequate procedures should be in place and must be followed to prevent any leakage or contamination. Contracts should be in place to dispose of all environmentally dangerous chemicals.
Property exposure comes from flammables such as lubricants, oils, degreasers, and solvents, used in the repair operations. They must be properly labeled, stored and separated. Aerosols and flammable additives contribute to the overall fire load. Welding is often a part of the operation and needs to be evaluated for proper handling of the tanks and gases, as well as adequate separation from the other operations with either a separate room or flash/welding curtains.
Tires do not catch on fire quickly; however, when they do burn, the fire is difficult to put out and an oily smoke permeates the entire area. Theft is a concern because auto parts are considered to be target items. Appropriate security controls must be taken including alarms, lighting, and physical barriers prohibiting access to the premises after hours.
Crime exposures are from employee dishonesty and theft of money and securities either from holdup or safe burglary. Employee dishonesty is controlled through background checks, inventory monitoring, control of the cash register, disciplined controls and division of duties. Physical audits should be conducted at least annually. Theft of money and securities prevention requires controls of monies kept in the cash drawers and regular bank drops.
Inland marine exposures are from accounts receivable if the repair shop offers credit, computers to monitor inventory and for diagnostics, goods in transit if parts are delivered to customers, and valuable papers and records due to customers' and vendors' records. Backup copies of all records, including computer records, should be made and stored off premises.
Commercial Auto exposures are generally limited to owned vehicles being used for errands to pick up needed supplies. All employee drivers should have an appropriate driver's license and their MVRs regularly checked. All vehicles must be regularly maintained with records retained. Towing presents a more serious exposure due to the potential for damage to the vehicles being towed. All tow truck drivers must be experienced in towing. Towing vehicles must be regularly checked, particularly the hoists and tow bars.
If vehicles are rented to customers, the dealership should keep a copy of the renter's driver's license and proof of insurance. The rental contract should identify permitted drivers and state that unlicensed or minor drivers are not permitted. It should also include a hold-harmless agreement in which renters agree to assume responsibility for the operation of the vehicle to limit the business's exposure to only vicarious liability.
If a collision damage waiver is offered, the customer's signature is needed to document whether this was purchased or declined. The customer should also be required to sign a pre-inspection form to minimize disputes when the vehicle is returned with damages. Vehicles that are rented should be inspected and reconditioned before being rented again.
Montana Economic Data, Regulations And Limits On Commercial Insurance
Thinking about starting a new business? Already own a successful business and want to expand your operations? Whatever the case may be, if you want to experience as much success as possible, you are going to want to ensure you choose the best possible location for your specific industry.
No matter how outstanding your goods and services may be, if the area where your business is located doesn't offer a healthy climate that will support your company, chances are you'll struggle to succeed.
If you are thinking about opening up a business in Montana, being familiar with the state's economic trends can help you determine if it's a good location for you. It's also wise to know what type of insurance you'll need to invest in so that you can plan ahead.
With that said, below, we provide an overview of the economic trends in the state of Montana, as well as the commercial insurance requirements for business owners in the Treasure State.
Economic Trends For Business Owners In Montana
As of December, 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate in the state of Montana was 3.4%; that's 0.1% lower than the national average, which was 3.5% at the same time. This rate remained steady throughout the entire 2019 fiscal year, and it is expected to either continue remaining steady or improve in coming years, according to economists.
Unemployment rate is a vital statistic for business owners, as it indicates the job market of a location, which is a strong determining factor in the success of businesses in the region.
There are several areas throughout the state of Montana that are seeing economic booms and where businesses are flourishing. Among those locations include the following cities and the areas that surround them:
- Great Falls
Several industries are seeing substantial growth in MT; however, there are particular sectors that are really thriving in Montana. Among those sectors include:
- Advanced manufacturing
- Hospitality and tourism
- Information technology
- Oil and gas production
- Retail development
If you are considering opening a business in any of the above-mentioned areas, your chances of success in Montana are favorable.
Commercial Insurance Requirements In Montana
The Office of the Montana State Auditor, Commissioner of Securities and Insurance regulates insurance in MT. Montana mandates very few forms of insurance coverage by law. They enforce worker's compensation.
Montana requires you to have worker's compensation insurance if you hire even one employee on a regular basis. This includes part-time employees, family members, minors, and immigrant employees. It is not required for independent contractors or domestic employees, though you should check to make sure any contractors you have are true contractors, and not employees.
Montana also requires all business-owned vehicles to be covered by commercial auto insurance. Other types of business insurance that business owners should carry depend on the specific industry.
Additional Resources For Auto Service & Repair Insurance
Read useful small business auto service and repair insurance policy information. In an aotu related business, you need to have the right type of commercial insurance coverage so that your garage, employees, and customers vehices & other property is protected.
- Auto Dealers
- Auto Detailing & Mobile Car Wash
- Auto Dismantlers
- Auto Garage
- Auto Glass Repair Shops
- Auto Paint Shops
- Auto Service Repair
- Auto Supply Parts Store
- Car Rental
- Car Wash
- Gas Station
- Motorcycle Dealers
- Parking Lot
- RV Dealers
- Snowmobile Dealers
- Truck Rental
- Used Car Dealer
There is a Auto Service Risks Program is an enhancement of the Commercial Package Policy that is available to certain Auto Service Operations.
Automobile repair shops and garages offer a wide variety of mechanical services, from engine repair to tune-ups. The operation may be stand-alone or be part of another business such as an automobile dealership or filling station.
Gasoline stations are normally limited to the dispensing of gasoline, kerosene, diesel or fuel oil with incidental sales of auto accessories and pre-packaged snack food items. Larger gasoline stations may offer other services, such as auto repair, retail sales of food or auto parts, snack bar or restaurant, propane tank exchange, towing, or baths and overnight lodging facilities for truckers.
Car washes provide facilities for cleaning automobiles and other motor vehicles. Some are drive-through with either partially or fully automated conveyance of the vehicle throughout the operation. Hand washing, waxing, or interior cleaning of the vehicle may be offered, with customers sent to a waiting area. Damage to the customers' vehicles is the primary exposure as machinery and washes can break antennas, pull off stripping, crack glass and damage tires.
The three basic types of risks that are contemplated by the Auto Service Risks Program include:
- Repair Shops - operations primarily engaged in auto repair. This includes shops that do body, fender, radiator, ignition service and paint work.
- Service Stations- operations primarily engaged in servicing autos. The sale and installation of auto accessories are a part of this category as long as major engine or bodywork is not performed. Car wash facilities are eligible.
- Storage garages and other parking places.
The following classifications are specifically listed as eligible: Automobile:
- Quick Lubrication Services
- Repair or Service Shops
- Repair Shops–Self Service
- Car Washes–self-service and full-service
- Convenience Food/Gasoline Stores–self-service, full-service and combined
- Gasoline Stations–self-service, full-service and combined
- Parking–public-open air and not open air
Automobile, motor home, mobile home, trailer, and motorcycle dealers are NOT eligible for this program.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Building, Business Personal Property, Business Income, Equipment Breakdown, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Signs, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits, Environmental Impairment, Underground Storage Tank Liability, Umbrella, Hired and Non-owned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Earthquake, Flood, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Goods in Transit, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices, Business Automobile Liability and Physical Damage, Garagekeepers and Stop Gap Liability.
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Also find Montana insurance agents & brokers and learn about Montana small business insurance requirements for general liability, business property, commercial auto & workers compensation including MT business insurance costs. Call us (406) 637-8400.