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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.

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.

The Type of Car Wash You Operate

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.

Types Of Insurance 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.

Car Wash's Risks & Exposures

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

  • SIC CODE: 7542 Car Washes
  • NAICS CODE: 811192 Car Washes
  • Suggested ISO General Liability Code(s): 10367, 10368
  • Suggested Workers Compensation Code(s): 8380

Find Out What Your Business Insurance Options Are

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.

Types Of Small Business Insurance - Requirements & Regulations

Perhaps you have the next great idea for a product or service that you know will appeal to your local area. If you've got a business, you've got risks. Unexpected events and lawsuits can wipe out a business quickly, wasting all the time and money you've invested.

Commercial insurance steps in to help you manage these risks, avoiding a situation which requires you to pay exorbitant costs out-of-pocket.

Small Business Information

Insurance is so important to proper business function that both federal governments and state governments require companies to carry certain types. Thus, being properly insured also helps you protect your company by protecting it from government fines and penalties.

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.

Types Of Small Business Insurance

Choosing the right type of coverage is absolutely vital. You've got plenty of options. Some you'll need. Some you won't. You should know what's available. Once you look over your options you'll need to conduct a thorough risk assessment. As you evaluate each type of insurance, ask yourself:

  • What type of business am I running?
  • What are common risks associated with this industry?
  • Does this type of insurance cover a situation that could feasibly arise during the normal course of doing business?
  • Does my state require me to carry this type of insurance?
  • Does my lender or do any of my investors require me to carry this type of policy?

A licensed insurance agent or broker in your state can help you determine what kinds of coverages are prudent for your business types. If you find one licensed to sell multiple policies from multiple companies (independent agents) that person can often help you get the best insurance rates, too. Following is some information on some of the most common small business insurance policies:

Business Insurance Policy Type What Is Covered?
General Liability InsuranceWhat is covered under commercial general liability insurance? It steps in to pay claims when you lose a lawsuit with an injured customer, employee, or vendor. The injury could be physical, or it could be a financial loss based on advertising practices.
Product Liability InsuranceWhat is covered under product liability insurance? I pays an injured party's settlement or lawsuit claim arising from a defective product. These are usually caused by design defects, manufacturing defects, or a failure to provide adequate warning or instructions as to how to safely use the product.
Commercial Property InsuranceWhat is covered under business property insurance? General liability policies don't cover damages to your business property. That's what commercial property insurance is for. It protects all of the physical parts of your business: your building, your inventory, and your equipment, giving you the funds you need to replace them in the event of a disaster. If you work from home, you might consider a Home Based Business Insurance policy instead.
Business Owners Policy (BOP)What is covered under a business owners policy (BOP)? This is a policy designed for small, low-risk businesses. It simplifies the basic insurance purchase process by combining general liability policies with business income and commercial property insurance.
Commercial Auto InsuranceWhat is covered under business auto insurance? This type of insurance covers automobiles being used for business purposes. This could include a fleet of business-only vehicles or a single company car. In some cases it might cover your car or your employee's car while they're being used for business. These policies have much higher limits, ensuring you can cover your costs if one of these vehicles gets into an accident.
Commercial Umbrella PoliciesWhat is covered under commercial umbrella insurance? This type of policy is a sort of "gap" insurance. It covers your liability in the event that a court verdict or settlement exceeds your general liability policy limits.
Professional Liability (Errors & Omissions)What is covered under professional liability insurance? This type of business insurance is also known as malpractice oe E&O. It covers the damages that can arise from major mistakes, especially in high-stakes professions where mistakes can be devastating.
Surety BondWhat is covered under surety bonds? Bonding is a contract where one party, the SURETY (who assures the obligee that the principal can perform the task), guarantees the performance of certain obligations of a second party, the PRINCIPAL (the contractor or business who will perform the contractual obligation), to a third party, the OBLIGEE (the project owner who is the recipient of an obligation).


Who Needs General Liability Insurance? - Virtually every business. A single lawsuit or settlement could bankrupt your business five times over. You might also need this policy to win business. Many companies and government agencies won't do business with your company until you can produce proof that you've obtained one of these policies.

Business Insurance Required by Law

If you have any employees most states will require you to carry worker's compensation and unemployment insurance. Some states require you to insure yourself even if you are the only employee working in the business.

Your insurance agent can help you check applicable state laws so you can bring your business into compliance.

Other Types Of Small Business Insurance

There are dozens of other, more specialized forms of small business insurance capable of covering specific problems and risks. These forms of insurance include:

  • Business Interruption Insurance
  • Commercial Flood Insurance
  • Contractor's Insurance
  • Cyber Liability
  • Data Breach
  • Directors and Officers
  • Employment Practices Liability
  • Environmental or Pollution Liability
  • Management Liability
  • Sexual Misconduct Liability

Whether you need any or all of these policies will depend on the results of your risk assessment. For example, you probably don't need an environmental or pollution policy if you're running an IT company out of a leased office, but you would need data breach and cyber liability policies to fully protect your business.

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

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
  • Rustproofing
  • Storage
    • 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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