RV Dealers Insurance Virginia Policy Information
RV Dealers Insurance Virginia. As the owner and operator of an RV dealership, you face quite a few risks. Not only do you have to make sure that your inventory is protected, but you also have to ensure the safety of your dealership, as well as your staff and anyone else you may enter your property.
In the event that something goes wrong, you'll be responsible for any related expense. In order to protect yourself from serious financial losses, investing in the right type of RV dealers insurance Virginia coverage is an absolute must.
Recreational vehicle dealers sell new and/or used vehicles and generally provide other services, such as financing and insurance for vehicle purchasers. Most sell parts and accessories, provide repair and body work, and offer vehicle rental and leasing. Some provide towing services.
Most VA dealerships purchase new recreational vehicles directly from manufacturers, financing the purchase through arrangements with either the manufacturer or a bank. Used vehicles are generally obtained as trade-ins from customers purchasing newer models, or from auctions.
While a selection of vehicles may be displayed in a showroom, most are stored in open lots outside the building.
What kind of insurance coverage do RV dealerships need? Why is being insured so important?
Below, you'll find the answers to these questions so that you can properly protect yourself, your business, and the people who work with your dealership.
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Why Do RV Dealers Need Insurance?
Just like any other type of business owner in any other industry, as an RV dealership owner, you are exposed to a number of risks. Some of those risks are similar to the risks that other businesses are exposed to; however, some of those risks are unique to your specific business.
For example, someone could steal or vandalize one of the RVs on your lot, your dealership could go up in flames, you could be forced to close down for a while, or one of your employees could get injured on the job.
No matter what happens, as the owner and operator of an VA RV dealership, you will be responsible for anything that goes wrong. The costs that are associated with property damages, medical care, and legal fees, for example, can be exorbitant. If you needed to pay those expenses out of your own pocket, you could end up in serious financial trouble.
By the right kind of RV dealers insurance Virginia coverage, if something does happen, instead of having to pay the related expenses yourself, your carrier would cover them for you.
In addition to protecting you from serious financial losses, having the right type of insurance coverage ensures that you are compliant with local laws. RV dealerships are legally required to carry certain types of insurance; if they fail to, they could be hit with stiff fines and could potentially end up losing their business.
What Type Of Insurance Do RV Dealers Need?
There are quite a few different types of insurance coverage that RV dealers will need to carry. The exact type of insurance you'll need depends on the specifics of your dealership; where it's located, the type of inventory you carry, the size of your operation, and more.
Because insurance needs vary from dealership to dealership, consulting with an insurance agent who has experience with the unique needs of your specific type of business is important. To give you a basic idea of RV dealers insurance Virginia coverages that most will require, however, take a look below:
- Commercial Property: To protect your business property, including the buildings on your dealership, as well as the contents within those buildings, you'll need to carry commercial property insurance. This type of coverage protects you from certain perils, such as fires, pipe leaks, storm damage, vandalism, and theft.
- Commercial General Liability: This policy offers broad coverage for third-party bodily injury and property damage claims that are caused by you or one of your employees. For instance, if a customer were to claim that you damaged their RV while it was in your care and file a lawsuit against you, this coverage would help to pay for your legal defense fees, as well as any compensation that you may be required to pay out.
- Business Interruption: Should some type of event occur that would shutter your RV dealership for a period of time, business interruption insurance would help you recoup your income losses until you can reopen. For example, if there were a fire in your dealership, business interruption would compensate you for the income you might lose while your business is shut down during repairs.
These policies are just a few examples of the type of RV dealers insurance Virginia you'll need to carry as the owner and operator of an VA RV dealership.
VA Recreational Vehicle Dealerships' Risks & Exposures
Property exposure is high due to flammable fuels, paints, lubricants, oils, degreasers, and solvents used in the repair operations. These must be properly labeled, separated, and stored away from combustibles. Spray painting should be done in spray booths with good ventilation, UL-approved wiring and fixtures, and adequate controls.
Welding is often a part of the repair and body work operation that needs to be evaluated for proper handling of the tanks and gases. It should be done away from the other operations with either a separate room or flash/welding curtains. Smoking should be prohibited. Poor housekeeping is a serious fire hazard. Unless stored and disposed of properly, oily rags can spontaneously combust and cause a fire.
Work areas must be cleaned regularly and trash removed from the building. Recreational vehicles and their parts are target items for thieves. Appropriate security controls must be taken including physical barriers such as chains, fences, or gates, lighting to deter access to the premises after hours, and an alarm system that reports directly to a central station or the police department.
Business income and extra expense exposures are high as replacement facilities may not be readily available.
Inland marine exposures are from accounts receivable if the dealership offers credit, computers used to monitor inventory and provide diagnostics, floor plan coverage for recreational vehicles furnished by manufacturers and held for sale, goods in transit, signs, and valuable papers and records for manufacturers', parts suppliers' and customers' information. Backup copies of all records, including computer records, should be made and stored off premises.
Vehicles stored in open lots are particularly susceptible to damage by hail, wind, flood, vandalism, and theft. Lots should be well lighted with chains, fences, or gates to prevent access and transport. The more expensive models should be moved inside to the showroom.
An alarm system that reports directly to a central station or the police department should be used. Security guards may be appropriate in some areas.
Crime exposures are from employee dishonesty, forgery or alteration, theft of money and securities, computer fraud, money orders, and counterfeit paper currency. Background checks, including criminal history, should be performed on all employees handling money. Dealers' operations involve a number of transactions and accounts that can be manipulated.
There must be a separation of duties between persons handling deposits, billing, ordering, disbursements, and reconciling bank statements. 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.
Auto dealer liability exposure is high due to the number of visitors to the premises. To prevent slips and falls, floor coverings inside the showroom 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. Waiting areas should be provided for customers whose vehicles are being repaired. Customers should not be permitted access to the service area.
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 should be adequate lighting and appropriate security for the area. There should be a disaster plan in place for unexpected emergencies. Vehicles in open lots can pose an attractive nuisance.
Chains and fences should be in place to prevent entrance to the dealership after hours.
Personal injury exposures include allegations of discrimination, false arrest or detention, unauthorized or intrusive searches, or wrongful ejection from the premises.
Repair operations and sales of used vehicles are the major products/completed operations exposures. Compliance with all manufacturers' instructions is critical. There should be a check-off procedure in place prior to the sale or release of vehicles to the customer to prevent its return with any vital functions not working properly.
Commercial auto exposure is high due to employees being provided with demonstrator models and customers who take vehicles for test drives. All employee drivers should have valid licenses with their MVRs regularly checked. All vehicles must be regularly maintained with records retained.
There should be written procedures for personal and permissive use of vehicles furnished to employees. For test drives, there must be set procedures, such as salespersons accompanying the customers. In order to prevent the conversion of the vehicles, driver's licenses and other forms of identification should be verified in advance of the customer removing the vehicle from the premises.
Towing presents a more serious exposure due to the potential for damage to the vehicles towed. All tow truck drivers must be experienced. Towing vehicles must be regularly checked, in particular, the hoists and tow bars.
If the dealership rents recreational vehicles, they should keep a copy of the renters' driver's license and proof of insurance. The rental contract should identify all drivers and state that unlisted, unlicensed, or minor drivers are not permitted to operate the vehicle.
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 vicarious liability only.
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 vehicle pre-inspection form to minimize disputes when the vehicle is returned with damages.
Garagekeepers exposure is from damage that can occur to customers' vehicles left with the dealership for servicing or repairs. 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 vehicle to the wrong owner.
Environmental impairment exposures can be significant due to the storage of fuel in underground fuel tanks and the disposal of used oils, solvents and other hazardous wastes from service and repair operations. All tanks and pipes, underground or above, must meet state or federal regulations and be routinely tested for leakage.
Spillage and leaking of pollutants into the air, ground, or water can result in high cleanup costs and fines. Spill procedures must be in place to prevent the accidental discharge of sludge from water reclamation systems used in washing vehicles.
Contracts should be in place to dispose of all environmentally dangerous chemicals. If there are underground storage tanks, a UST policy will be needed.
Workers compensation exposure is moderate from repair and maintenance activities on vehicles. Employees performing maintenance or repair work on customers' vehicles should be properly trained. Employees can incur injuries from slips, falls, back sprains, strains and hernias, hearing impairment from noise, and foreign objects in the eye.
Welders may suffer burns. Repair areas should be properly ventilated. Proper safety equipment is required. Hoists need to be regularly inspected to prevent vehicles from falling off. The proper use of lifting techniques and of dollies should be encouraged. Safety equipment should be provided.
Refueling should be done only in well-ventilated areas to minimize inhaling of fumes. Information regarding chemicals should be available to employees along with early warning signs of problems.
Test drives, pickup, and delivery of customers or vehicles can result in injury due to vehicular accidents.
RV Dealers Insurance - The Bottom Line
As mentioned, in order to determine exactly what kind of RV dealers insurance Virginia coverage you'll need to fully protect your dealership, speak with a reputable broker who specializes in commercial insurance.
Virginia Economic Data & Small Business Insurance Information
If you're planning on starting a business, a lot of planning and factors need to be taken into consideration. Of course, having a great business model and offering valuable products and services are all keys to your success; however, there's something else that you need to take into consideration: where you're going to set up shop.
In order to reap the success that you hope for, you need to choose a location that offers favorable conditions for your specific business. If you operation isn't located in a location that can benefit from what you plan on offering, you aren't going to achieve the success that you desire.
For entrepreneurs who are thinking about Virginia as a location for their headquarters or a branch of their company, it's important to familiarize yourself with the economic trends in the commonwealth. It's also essential that you have a keen understanding in regard to the type of insurance coverage you'll need to carry to protect yourself, your clients, and your employees.
Business Economic Trends In Virginia
In regard to job growth, VA exceeds the rate of national job growth. As of February 2020, unemployment rates were at a historic low in The Volunteer State, with a rate of 3.2% throughout the state; 0.1% lower than the last historic low of 3.3% in October of 2018. That's lower than the national unemployment rate, which was reported to be 3.8% in February of 2019. Economists are forecasting continued job growth throughout the state into 2020.
The Commonwealth of Virginia has seen a dramatic upswing in economic growth in recent years. As of late 2020, the unemployment rate had fallen to a record low of just 2.9 percent; a significant difference compared to the national unemployment rate, which was 3.7 percent. In a one-year period, nearly 65,000 jobs were added. In 2019, the unemployment rate and economic growth of the state continues to be positive, and it expected to remain in the green well into 2020 and the future.
In regard to areas that offer the most favorable conditions for business owners, there are several. Metropolitan areas, including northern (Arlington, Fairfax, etc...), central (Richmond, Ashland, Lynchburg, etc...), and southern (Chesapeake, Newport News, Hampton, Norfolk, etc...) all afford great opportunities for entrepreneurs. However, virtually any location in the Commonwealth of Virginia can be considered favorable for business owners.
Industries that offer great promise in Virginia include:
- Education and training
- Information technology
- Travel and tourism
Commercial Insurance Regulations & Limits In VA
The Virginia Bureau of Insurance regulates insurance in Virginia. Just like any other state in the country, there are regulations in place regarding commercial insurance. Business owners are required to carry certain types of coverage to protect themselves, their clients, and their employees.
Small businesses with 2 or more employees are required by VA state law to have workers comp insurance coverage.
If you use certain types of motor vehicles for business-related purposes, you'll also need to invest in commercial auto insurance coverage to protect your drivers, as well as other drivers on the road.