Frequently Asked Questions About
Commercial General Liability Insurance
How much does commercial insurance cost?
Costs can vary widely based on industry and are also determined by zip code and often payroll and/or gross sales. Request a free quote to get an exact number.
What kind of business insurance do I need?
Most business owners need General Liability Insurance at the very least. If you have any non-owner employees, you will need workers compensation insurance too.
What is a Certificate of Insurance?
A Certificate of Insurance is proof of coverage. It lists the type and amount of liability coverage you have and other policy information when a third party requests it.
Is business insurance tax deductible?
Yes. you can deduct the cost of commercial insurance premiums. The IRS considers insurance a cost of doing business as long it benefits the business & serves a business purpose.
Auto Service Repair Insurance
Auto Service Repair Insurance. 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 business owner's policy can provide you with protection if you find yourself on the receiving end of a lawsuit.
Auto service repair insurance 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 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 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 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.
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.
Small Business Economic Data & Insurance Regulations
Perhaps you have the next great idea for a product or service that you know will appeal to your local area. Maybe you want to contribute to the economic growth of your community. Whatever the reason is, if you're thinking about starting a small business, it's important to understand pertinent information relating to small businesses in the United States; namely economic information and insurance regulations. After all, if you want your small business to succeed, you have to understand the economic trends organizations of a similar size in your area.
Likewise, you want to ensure that your small business is well protected with the right business insurance and that you are in compliance with the rules and regulations that pertain to commercial insurance in your region.
Read up on economic statistics and insurance information that relates to small business owners in the United States.
Small Business Economic Data In The United States
Here's a look at some information that was compiled by the Small Business Association (SBA) regarding the economic data that pertains to small businesses in the United States:
- In 2015, small businesses in the United States employed an estimated 58.9 million American workers, or 47.5 percent of the nation's private workforce.
- Largest shares = fewer than 100 employees. The small businesses that employed 100 people or less had the largest share of employment amount small businesses.
- Employment increased by nearly 2 percent. In 2018, employment amongst small businesses increased by 1.8 percent, which is an increase of 1 percent from the prior year.
- Increase in proprietors. In 2016, the number of small business proprietors increased by 2.3 percent.
- In 2015, small businesses were responsible for creating 1.9 million net jobs. Organizations that employed 20 people or less had the largest gains, as they added an estimated 1.1 million net jobs.
- There were 5.7 million loans that were value less than $100,000 issued by lenders in the United States in 2016. These loans were issued under the Community Reinvestment Act.
- Small business owners that were self-employed at the incorporated businesses that they owned reported a median income of $50,347 in 2016.
- Small business owners that were self-employed at the unincorporated businesses that they owned reported a median income of $23,060 in 2016.
Small Business Insurance Information
In the business world, there are many risks faced by company's every day. The best way that business owners can protect themselves from these perils is by carrying the right insurance coverage.
The The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is the U.S. standard-setting and regulatory support organization. Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer review, and coordinate their regulatory oversight.
Commercial insurance is particularly important for small business owners, as they stand to lose a lot more. Should a situation arise - a lawsuit, property damage, theft, etc. - small business owners could end up facing serious financial turmoil.
According to the SBA, having the right insurance plan in place can help you avoid major pitfalls. Your business insurance should offer coverage for all of your assets. It should also include liability and casual coverage. The SBA recommends the following insurance plans for small business owners:
- Commercial Property Insurance: In the case of an unplanned disaster - fire, flood, vandalism, theft, etc. - this type of coverage will help you avoid paying for the damage out of your own pocket. Even if you rent the property, you should still carry commercial property insurance.
- Commercial Liability Insurance: In the event that a legal situation arises - a negligence lawsuit, for example - commercial liability coverage will provide financial protection. It will cover the cost of legal defense fees, court fees, and even moneys that may be awarded.
- Commercial Auto Insurance: If you operate a vehicle for any activities that are related to your business - transporting and/or delivering goods, or meeting with clients - commercial auto insurance is legally required for businesses of all sizes, including small businesses.
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.
- Appliance & Electronics Store
- Art Gallery
- Auto Service Repair
- Auto Supply Parts Store
- Bicycle Shop
- Book Store
- Bridal Shop
- Candy Confectionery Store
- Car Wash
- Carpet Store
- Clothing Store
- Collectibles Memorabilia Store
- Convenience Store
- Cosmetics Store
- Dry Cleaning
- Equipment Rental
- Funeral Home
- Furniture Store
- Gift Store
- Hardware Store
- Home Improvement Store
- Hotel Motel
- Ice Cream Shop
- Jewelry Store
- Luggage Store
- Music Store
- Nursery And Greenhouse
- Office Supply Store
- Paint & Wallpaper Store
- Pet Store
- Pharmacy Liability
- Plumbing Supplies Fixtures Store
- Scrap Metal Dealers
- Sewing Store
- Shoe Store
- Sporting Goods Store
- Stationary Store
- Thrift Store
- Ticket Agency
- Tobacco Store
- Toy Store
- Travel Agency
- Wig Store
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.
Quotes from leading small business insurance carriers including: ACE, AmTrust, Chubb, Cincinnati, CNA, Colony, Employers, Evanston, Fireman's, Foremost, Guard, Hanover, Hiscox, Liberty Mutual, LLoyd's of London, Markel, MSA, Nationwide, Penn America, Philadelphia, Prime, Progressive, Scottsdale, The Hartford, Travelers, USLI, Utica First, Western World, Zurich & others.