Montana Tire Store Insurance Policy Information
Montana Tire Store Insurance. Being the owner and operator of a tire store can be a lucrative business opportunity.
With an estimated 273.6 million vehicles on US roadways and given the fact that tires are a pretty vital component of cars, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles - and, well, every other type of vehicle out there - it's pretty safe to say that starting up a tire shop can be a smart investment.
Tire shops sell new and used tires and may repair or patch old tires for customers. Some do retreading, vulcanizing, or other tire repair. Most tire operations will install or replace one or more tires of customers' vehicles while also performing other services such as rotating all the vehicle's tires, alignments, and balancing.
The shop may stock auto accessories or offer other automobile repair services such as routine maintenance, oil and filter change, lubrications, and tune-ups.
Whether you're thinking about starting an independent tire shop to serve your local community or you're planning on launching a chain of stores, a lot of preparations need to be done. During all of the excitement and planning, there's a crucial element that you don't want to overlook: Montana tire store insurance coverage.
Why is insurance so important for tire store owners? What type of policies will you need to carry? For more information about this critical part of your business operation, keep on reading.
Montana tire store insurance protects your business from lawsuits with rates as low as $37/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do Tire Stores Need Insurance?
Just like any other MT business owner, as the proprietor of a tire shop, you're liable for anything that goes wrong - and in the world of business, a lot can go wrong. A display of tires could topple on top of a customer and she could sue you for the damages.
A piece of equipment could malfunction and injure an employee while he's putting tires on a vehicle. A fire could engulf your store in flames. A vandal could break into your shop and steal thousands of dollars in inventory.
A customer could claim that their vehicle was damaged because one of your employees didn't properly install them and file a lawsuit against you.
The above are just a few examples of the issues that could arise, and in each example, you would be responsible for any related expenses; medical bills, legal defense fees, damages, etc. As you can imagine, these expenses can be exorbitant.
If you're properly insured, instead of paying these expenses yourself, your carrier would cover them for you. In other words, Montana tire store insurance can protect you from serious financial losses and could even potentially prevent you from losing your business.
What Type Of Insurance Do Tire Stores Need?
There are several types of insurance coverage that a tire shop should have in place. The specific type of coverage varies and depends on a number of factors that are unique business; where your operation is located, the size of your shop, and what type of services you offer, for example.
Since coverage needs vary, it's important to speak with a reputable commercial agent to determine exactly what type of polices you'll need to have in place in order to properly protect your business.
Regardless of the circumstances that are related to your individual business, there are some key Montana tire store insurance coverages that all MT tire shop owners should have in place. Examples include:
- Commercial General Liability - This coverage protects you from third-part bodily injury and property damage liability claims. If a display of tires were to topple over onto a customer and she were to file a lawsuit against you for damages, commercial general liability insurance would cover the cost of your legal fees and any damages you are required to pay.
- Commercial Property - If your shop were to catch on fire, commercial property insurance would help to pay for any repairs that your building requires, as well as assist with paying for any inventory or other items that were damaged in your shop and need to be replaced. This policy covers the physical structure of your business, as well as the contents within it, from acts of nature (fires, storm damage, pipe bursts, etc.), as well as acts of vandalism and theft.
- Workers' Compensation - As an employer, you are responsible for providing your employees with a safe work environment. Should a piece of equipment malfunction and injure an employee, workers' comp insurance would cover his medical care. It would also compensate him for lost wages if he is unable to work as a result of his injuries.
The above-mentioned policies are just a few examples of the type of Montana tire store insurance coverage you should consider.
MT Tire Shops' Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is high due to the number of visitors to the shop. A customer waiting area should be provided for customers waiting on tires being installed and balanced.
All stock should be on shelves that are easily accessible to customers. 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.
There should be a disaster plan in place for unexpected emergencies. If customers are permitted to service their vehicles on premises, housekeeping and supervision are critical.
Parking lots and sidewalks need to be in good repair with snow and ice removed, and generally level and free of exposure to slip and fall. If the premises is open after dark, there must be adequate lighting and appropriate security for the area.
Personal injury exposures include allegations of discrimination and from apprehending suspected shoplifters, which may result in claims of assault and battery, false arrest or detention, unauthorized or intrusive searches, or wrongful ejection from the premises.
The use of closed-circuit camera systems prevents such incidents from evolving into a "he said, she said" situation. Employees must be trained to deal with such delicate situations properly.
Products liability exposure is normally low unless the shop repairs vehicles or assists vehicle owners with their do-it-yourself repairs. If the shop directly imports or reconditions items for resale, the exposure will be that of a manufacturer.
The completed operations exposure for patching or reconditioning tires, brake turning or other service work must be considered due to the potential for an accident in the event of product failure.
Environment impairment exposure can be very high if the operation disposes of lubricants, oils, degreasers, solvents or batteries. Spillage and leaking of pollutants into the air, ground, or water can result in high cleanup costs and fines.
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.
Workers compensation exposure is high due to lifting of tires and the use of a hoist for tire installation. Hoists must be well maintained and procedures in place to prevent vehicles from falling off. Brake turning, welding or other repair work must include appropriate safety equipment, especially eye protection.
Workers can slip and fall, or incur back injuries, hernias, sprains, strains 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.
Property exposures can be high due to flammables such as lubricants, oils, degreasers, and solvents used in the repair operations. They must be properly labeled, separated, and stored away from combustibles. Tires do not catch on fire quickly; however, when they do burn, the fire is difficult to put out and an oily black smoke permeates the entire area.
Aerosols and flammable additives contribute to the overall fire load. Smoking must be prohibited. Additional ignition sources include electrical wiring, heating and air conditioning systems. All machinery and equipment must be inspected and maintained regularly to avoid wear and tear or overheating losses.
Tires and auto parts are target items for thieves. Appropriate security controls must be taken including alarms, lighting, and physical barriers prohibiting access to the premises after hours. Premises alarms should report to a central stations or police department after hours.
Equipment breakdown exposure is high as the business is dependent on its machinery for conducting operations. Replacement parts may be difficult to obtain quickly.
Inland marine exposures are from accounts receivable if the store offers credit, computers to monitor inventory, transact sales, and provide diagnostics, goods in transit if tires or auto parts are delivered to customers, and valuable papers and records for customers' and vendors' information.
Backup copies of all records, including computer records, should be made and stored off premises.
Crime exposure is high for both employee dishonesty and theft of money and securities. Background checks should be conducted on all employees. Money should be regularly stripped from the cash drawers and placed in a safe away from the front door.
Irregular drops should be made to the bank to prevent a substantial accumulation of cash on the premises. All ordering, billing and disbursements must be handled as separate duties. Regular audits must be conducted.
Commercial auto exposure is generally limited to hired and non-owned for employees running errands. There may be a small fleet if there are multiple locations and the owner and managers travel between locations.
All employee drivers should have an appropriate driver's license and an acceptable MVR. All vehicles must be maintained with documentation kept. There should be written procedures for personal and permissive use of vehicles furnished to employees.
Garagekeepers exposure comes from damage that can occur to customers' vehicles while in the tire shop's care, custody and control. Keys to customers' vehicles should be kept in a locked box to prevent unauthorized access.
Proper identification should be required to prevent handing a customer's car to the wrong owner. Lots must be well lighted, with chains in place to prevent transport. Fences and other security also may be appropriate.
Tire Store Insurance - The Bottom Line
To find out more about the specific types of Montana tire store insurance policies you'll need, how much coverage your business should carry - speak with a reputable insurance broker.
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 Retail Insurance
Read valuable small business retail insurance policy information. In a retail business, you need to have the right type of commercial insurance coverage so that your store, employees, and inventory are protected.
- Adult Novelty
- Antique Dealers
- Appliance & Electronics Store
- Army Navy Surplus Stores
- Art Dealers
- Art Gallery
- Arts & Crafts Supply Stores
- Bicycle Shop
- Boat Dealers
- Book Store
- Bridal Shop
- Candy Confectionery Store
- Carpet Store
- Cell Phone Stores
- Clothing Store
- Collectibles Memorabilia Store
- Consignment Stores
- Convenience Store
- Cosmetics Store
- Costume Stores
- Dry Cleaning
- Embroidery Services
- Equipment Rental
- Fabric Stores
- Fish Markets
- Flea Markets
- Funeral Home
- Furniture Store
- Gift Store
- Greeting Card Stores
- Hardware Store
- Harness & Saddle Shops
- Home Improvement Store
- Infant, Baby & Children's Clothing Stores
- Jewelry Store
- Lamp Stores
- Lingerie Store
- Luggage Store
- Meat Market & Butcher Shop
- Men's Clothing Stores
- Music Store
- Office Supply Store
- Paint & Wallpaper Store
- Pawn Shop
- Pet Store
- Pharmacy Liability
- Plumbing Supplies Fixtures Store
- Poultry Dealers
- Rent To Own Stores
- Scrap Metal Dealers
- Sewing Store
- Shoe Store
- Sporting Goods Store
- Stationary Store
- Thrift Store
- Ticket Agency
- Tire Store
- Tobacco Store
- Toy Store
- Travel Agency
- Trophy Stores
- Tuxedo And Formal Wear Rental Store
- Vending Machine Operators
- Wig Store
- Women's Clothing Stores
Retail stores are susceptible to premises liability claims because of customer traffic, but large department and specialty stores are more susceptible than most.
All retail stores have significant property exposures. The on-hand stock represents a considerable investment, but the amount on hand fluctuates seasonally. For this reason, physical damage insurance on this property must be arranged carefully. When the insured occupies a non-owned building, insurance coverage must be arranged for the insured's interest in extensive improvements and betterments made to the premises.
Crime insurance, in the form of employee theft and money and securities coverage, is also very important.
The businessowners policy was designed with retail exposures and operations in mind. For this reason alone, it should always be the first type of package coverage to consider. However, for those risks not eligible for the business owners policy program, the commercial package policy (CPP) is a practical and convenient way to combine a number of coverages into one policy.
Retail businesses generate income through interaction with customers. This interaction is also how a customer can sustain an injury and then sue the retailer for damages. Hazards, exposures and operations both on premises and off are important and must be covered, but liability the retailer may incur because of the merchandise sold must also be considered and insurance protection arranged.
Inventory or stock is the major property exposure for most retail operations. Because stock values tend to fluctuate or have significant peaks at certain times of the year, value reporting or peak season valuation options should be considered. Business income coverage, including business income from dependent properties coverage, may mean the difference between a retail operation staying in business or being forced into bankruptcy following a loss.
When the insured occupies a non-owned building, insurance coverage must be arranged for the insured’s interest in extensive improvements and betterments made to the premises.
Most retail businesses offer endless opportunities for a variety of criminal activities. For this reason, the coverages needed must be carefully evaluated. Holdup and robbery losses may be the most obvious concerns but employee theft, fraud and counterfeit money losses are also serious issues that cannot be dismissed.
Retail businesses are gaining greater exposure to international issues because of the growth in sales via the internet. As these sales increase, the added exposures faced by these retailers must be evaluated. While their operating horizons are expanding so are their potential loss exposures.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Business Income and Extra Expense, Equipment Breakdown, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits, Umbrella, Hired and Non-owned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Building, Earthquake, Flood, Leasehold Interest, Real Property Legal Liability, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Bailees Customers, Goods in Transit, Jewelers Block, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices, Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage and Stop Gap Liability.
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Also find MT local small businesses by General Liability Class Code 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.