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Car Wash Insurance Policy Information

Car Wash Insurance

Car Wash Insurance. 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.

Some car washes are totally self-service, with the customer doing the cleaning. A few car washes offer off-premises services that clean customers' vehicles at their home or place of employment.

Owning a car wash can be a really exciting and lucrative business. But if you want to be successful and protect yourself when things go wrong then you are going to need certain types of commercial insurance. Let's take a look at some of the reasons that you might need insurance as a car wash and what options are available to you.

There are definitely some risks associated with running a car wash. A car wash can be a dangerous place no matter which type of you have. Some of the potential risks that come with having a car wash include fire or vandalism, theft, wrongful termination claims and employee injury claims, damage to equipment or premises due to weather or natural disasters, the breaking down of expensive car wash equipment and damage to vehicles that are being watched your facility.

You definitely want to look at the risks in protect yourself from as many of them as you can with the right car wash insurance plan.

Car wash insurance protects your business from lawsuits with rates as low as $67/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.

Below are some answers to commonly asked car wash insurance questions:


What Is Car Wash Insurance?

Car wash insurance is a type of insurance that specifically covers businesses that operate car washing and detailing services.

It typically includes coverage for property damage, liability, and injuries that may occur on the premises. It may also include coverage for damage to customers' vehicles while they are being washed or detailed.

This insurance is designed to protect the business and its employees from financial losses due to accidents or other unexpected events.

How Much Does Car Wash Insurance Cost?

The average price of a standard $1,000,000/$2,000,000 General Liability Insurance policy for small car washes ranges from $67 to $79 per month based on location, size, payroll, sales and experience.

Why Do Car Washes Need Insurance?

Car Wash Rotating Brush

Car washes need insurance for a number of reasons. First and foremost, insurance protects the business in the event of a liability claim. If a customer slips and falls on the premises, or if their vehicle is damaged while it is being washed, the car wash could be held liable. Insurance can help to cover the costs of these types of claims and protect the business from financial ruin.

Additionally, car washes often have a lot of expensive equipment that needs to be protected. This may include pressure washers, drying machines, and other specialized equipment. Insurance can help to cover the cost of replacing this equipment if it is damaged or stolen.

Finally, many states and localities require businesses to carry certain types of insurance in order to operate. This may include liability insurance, workers' compensation insurance, and other types of coverage. Car washes need to be sure that they are in compliance with these regulations in order to stay in business.

What Type Of Car Wash Insurance Do I Need?

The type of car wash that you operate will have a great deal to do with what type of insurance you need. There are basically two different types of car washes:

  • The first type of car wash is the self-serve. These are usually unattended and everything is automated (in-bay automatic). This is a significant investment, but it can be run 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, without having to manage it yourself or hire employees.
  • The other type of carwash is the full-service. A full-service carwash is usually only open during certain hours and has actual employees that will clean cars, including the interior detailing and hand wash - so it will require different insurance options than the self-serve car wash.

Full service car washes need more coverage due to employees, custody of customer vehicles and other circumstances.

What Types Of Car Wash Insurance Are Available?

There are multiple types of car wash insurance available, but these are some of the most common:

Commercial General Liability - The first type of insurance is general liability insurance. This covers things like someone slipping in your place of business or a part of your carwash malfunctioning and damaging someone's vehicle or injuring them. Commercial liability insurance is absolutely vital for a carwash business.

Property Insurance - Property insurance is a good idea for any business that has premises where employees work or where customers come. Property insurance protects you from fire, natural disasters, vandalism, theft and more. Property insurance and liability insurance are sometimes grouped into the same umbrella policy.

Garage Liability - One of the unique types of car wash insurance you may want to consider is garage liability insurance. This is a special type of insurance that auto repair shops and car washes can sign up for that protects them much more fully if someone's vehicle is damaged, the car is stolen or something else happens. If you are providing a service for a vehicle such as mechanical work or a car wash, then you probably want to sign up for garage liability to make sure that if a major incident ever does happen that your business is protected.

Equipment Breakdown - A car wash requires a great deal of expensive equipment, and when that equipment breaks down, it can be detrimental to the business owner and the employees that work there because the carwash will not function. Equipment breakdown insurance protects you against this possibility.

Business Income and Extra Expense - If your carwash must has to close foe repairs due to a covered loss, this coverage can replace your lost income and help with temporary extra expenses if you must relocate your business operations for a period of time.

Workers Compensation - If you have a full-service car wash, then you might have employees that work for you, and if that's the case then you most likely are going to need workers comp. Worker compensation insurance is there to pay for medical bills from work-related accidents, illnesses or injuries.

Do Car Washes Need Garagekeepers Liability insurance?

Car washes do need garagekeepers liability insurance as it covers damages that occur to vehicles while they are in the care of the car wash. This type of insurance is important for car washes as it protects them from financial losses if a vehicle is damaged while in their possession.

For example, if a car wash employee accidentally dents a customer's car while washing it, the garagekeepers liability insurance would cover the cost of repairing the damage. Without this insurance, the car wash would be responsible for paying for the repair out of pocket, which could be costly.

In addition to covering damages to vehicles, garagekeepers liability insurance also covers any legal fees that may arise from a claim. This is important as it can protect the car wash from financial ruin in the event of a lawsuit.

Overall, it is important for car washes to have garagekeepers liability insurance as it provides protection for both the car wash and its customers. Without it, car washes could face significant financial losses and legal issues if a vehicle is damaged while in their care.

Car Wash's Risks & Exposures

Car Washing

Premises liability exposure is from slips and falls due to public access to the premises. If there are customer waiting areas, 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. Proper attention to housekeeping is required to prevent slips and falls from water, detergents or waxes or from icing during winter months.

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. All machinery and equipment used in the operation should be well maintained to prevent property damage to customers' vehicles. Car washes done at customers' premises can result in damage to the customer's real or personal property.

Environmental impairment exposures are due to the detergents and waxes used in the car washing operations and the solvents used for cleaning and maintaining equipment. Adequate procedures should be in place to prevent these hazardous wastes from contaminating the soil or polluting water sources. Contracts should be in place to dispose of all environmentally dangerous chemicals.

Workers compensation exposure can be high due to the potential for slips and falls and for employees to be injured by vehicles or automated washing equipment. Proper attention to housekeeping is required due to the water, detergent and waxes used in operations and to prevent icing during winter months. All equipment used in the operation must be properly maintained to prevent vehicles from rolling off conveyances.

Improper lifting can result in back injuries, sprains, strains, and hernias. Exposure to the elements can result in sunburn, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke during the summer and frostbite and hypothermia during the winter. The use of soaps and waxes can cause dermatitis. Due to the large amounts of cash on hand, hold-ups are possible. Employees should be trained to respond in a prescribed manner.

Property exposure comes from the machinery used to wash, wax, and dry vehicles as they are conveyed through the car wash. All electrical wiring must be well maintained and meet current codes. If the car wash is self-service, there is a potential for vandalism. Attendants help cut down on problems. Locations should be on well traveled and patrolled areas that are well lighted.

Equipment breakdown exposure is high as the business is dependent on its machinery for conducting operations. Replacement parts may be difficult to obtain on a timely basis.

Crime exposures are from employee dishonesty and theft of money and securities. Employee dishonesty is controlled through background checks, inventory monitoring, control of the cash register, disciplined controls and division of duties. Theft of money and securities prevention requires controls of monies kept in the cash drawers and bank drops made throughout the day to prevent a buildup of cash on the premises.

Self-serve car washes may include coin- or currency-operated vending operations. These should have automated coin counters. An attendant should be on duty at all times to prevent vandalism and break-ins.

Inland marine exposures come from computers due to automated machinery used in car wash operations, signs, and valuable papers and records for customers' and vendors. There may be accounts receivable if the car wash offers credit to business customers and goods in transit if there are multiple locations.

Commercial auto exposure is generally limited to hired and non-owned for employees running errands. If there are owned vehicles, any regular driver should have a valid license and an acceptable MVR on record. All owned vehicles must be maintained with documentation kept.

Commercial Insurance And Business Industry Classification


Description for 7542: Car Washes

Division I: Services | Major Group 75: Automotive Repair, Services, And Parking | Industry Group 754: Automotive Services, Except Repair

7542 Carwashes: Establishments primarily engaged in washing, waxing, and polishing motor vehicles, or in furnishing facilities for the self-service washing of motor vehicles.

  • Bus washing
  • Carwashes
  • Cleaning and polishing (detailing)
  • Detailing (cleaning and polishing)
  • Laundries, automotive
  • Truck washing
  • Washing and polishing, automotive
  • Waxing and polishing, automotive

Car Wash Insurance - The Bottom Line

You should definitely talk to a insurance broker and find out what your commercial car wash insurance options are. When you have a car wash, there are some options above and beyond the normal types of insurance that every business needs.

Understanding what these additional options are and how you can get the best umbrella insurance plan will allow you to be fully protected while still saving money on insurance premiums.

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 Service Insurance

The auto service and repair industry is an essential part of the transportation sector, responsible for maintaining and repairing vehicles to keep them running smoothly and safely. However, this industry also comes with inherent risks and liabilities, which is why commercial insurance is necessary to protect both the business and its employees.

First and foremost, the auto service and repair industry deals with hazardous materials and equipment on a daily basis. There is a risk of accidents and injuries occurring in the workshop, and insurance can provide financial protection in the event of a workplace accident or injury.

Additionally, the auto service and repair industry is subject to the risk of property damage. There is a potential for damage to vehicles in the workshop, as well as damage to the business' own property, such as tools and equipment. Business insurance can cover the costs of repair or replacement in the event of such damage.

Furthermore, the auto service and repair industry is vulnerable to liability claims from customers. If a customer's vehicle is not repaired properly, it can result in further damage or accidents on the road, leading to liability claims against the business. Insurance can provide coverage for these types of claims, protecting the business from financial loss.

In conclusion, the auto service and repair industry needs commercial insurance to protect against the risks and liabilities inherent in this line of work. Without insurance, businesses in this industry would be vulnerable to financial loss and legal action, which could ultimately lead to their failure.

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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