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what is garage keepers liability insurance
Liability insurance is important for businesses of all sizes. Photo Credit: Adobe Stock

What is Garage Keepers Liability Insurance?

As a professional business owner, it’s important to understand the different types of insurance that your business needs.

Some types of insurance coverage are very different from others. So you might think that standard liability insurance would cover you and your business from damages that you or your employees cause, but you would be mistaken.

Especially if the damage happened while you were in control of your customer’s vehicle. In that situation, you want to know about garage keepers liability insurance and how it can help protect you and your business.

Surprised baby picture, veternarian delivering baby instead of OB/GYN.
Veterinarians shouldn’t be delivering babies. Make sure the right experts are giving you advice about insurance.

Pro Tip: Specialty commercial insurance should only be offered by experienced brokers. Your agent might be great at personal auto insurance, but asking them for Garage Keepers Liability Insurance is like asking a veterinarian to deliver a baby. Sure, they can probably do it, but don’t you want more of an expert for something that important?

In this article, we are going to cover a few important aspects of general liability coverage and answer the question of What is Garage Keepers Liability Insurance and how can it help you.

  • We will learn about Garage Keepers Liability Insurance. What it is. What it is not. And why your business needs it.
  • Discuss the differences between Garage Keepers Insurance and standard liability insurance.
  • Both car detailers with fixed location shops and mobile detailers need to consider Garage Keepers Insurance.
  • Discuss the need for the right insurance coverage for the type of services that you offer.

So let’s get started.

What is Garage Keepers Liability Insurance?

Garage Keepers is a very specific liability insurance policy designed for businesses that work with vehicles or equipment in a garage setting. This type of policy offers insurance protection for your business from liability arising from damage claims caused by you or your employees while conducting your professional services.

These types of liability policies protect your business by extending insurance coverage onto the customer-owned vehicles in your care, custody, and control. That is the 3 C’s that I reference in my article on the subject of auto detail liability insurance.

Sometimes it’s better to talk to a specialist that understands your specific needs.

How is Garage Keepers Insurance Different from Other Liability Insurance?

Standard Liability Insurance protects your business from a long list of other potential issues. Everything from advertising liability to a customer slip and fall in your waiting room.

Garage Keepers insurance extends coverage to customer vehicles while under your care, custody, and control. So if your shop burns down with a customer vehicle inside, Garage Keepers insurance would be the policy you need to help with those claims.

Clearly, it’s important to contact your insurance agent or broker to discuss which types of liability insurance coverages are best for your business.

The differences between the types of liability coverage boil down to what is required to protect your business and customer vehicles while you and your employees are in control of their property.

When you look at the different insurance coverages from this perspective, it makes it easier to understand why you might need to have both in force protecting your business.

Car Detailers Need Garage Keepers Insurance

There are many reasons why car detailers and mobile detailing businesses need garage keepers liability insurance. All of these reasons come down to one issue. How much time is a customer vehicle under your control when there’s a chance it could be damaged?

While you are working on customer vehicles in your garage, there are many times it can be damaged. Think about all the services you offer. Car detailing, washing, buffing, removing paint overspray, engine cleaning, heavy equipment cleaning, paint chip repair, essentially all the reasons that the customer would hire your business.

Customer Vehicles are Protected

All of these services have the potential for causing accidental damage to a customer-owned vehicle. It’s important to make your customers aware that their valuable vehicles are protected while under your care, custody, and control.

Garage Keepers Liability Insurance is the financial protection device that allows you to extend that peace-of-mind protection to your customer.

Cost is obviously an issue for any detailing business. Unfortunately, Garage Keepers coverage can get pricey depending on many factors. Everything from how long you’ve been in business, your claims record, the physical location of your business, and numerous other factors that your insurance agent can discuss with you in more detail.

Mobile Detailers Need to Consider Garage Keepers Insurance

Another item worth mentioning is mobile detail businesses will need to be very specific with your insurance agent about exactly how you perform your services on customer vehicles. The answers to your questions will determine the type of insurance coverage you may need.

It all comes down to how are the cars moved? Do you move them or do your customers? Do you ask the customer to move the vehicle for you? Do you drive the vehicle? Even if you are mobile and set up in a business parking lot, you may still need to move your customer vehicle to another spot after you are done doing work on it.

mobile detailer washing a car outside.
Mobile detailers also need to consider Garage Keepers Insurance

Get the Right Coverage For Your Services

Any of these questions might seem insignificant, but it’s important to tell your insurance agent everything you do so they can offer you the right coverage for the services that you offer.

You might not think it’s a big deal until an employee crashes your customer’s car into several others while moving it across a parking lot. Or accidentally hits another car while pulling out of a driveway.

Problems Happen

Problems happen. All the time. Insurance allows you to focus on your business instead of trying to anticipate those potential problems and protect yourself from the costs associated with paying to fix damages that were caused by your business.

Garage Keepers Liability Insurance is a Valuable Tool

Garage keepers liability insurance is a valuable tool to help keep your business profitable so an occasional accident doesn’t destroy everything you’ve worked so hard to build. You should discuss this with your commercial insurance broker and allow them to quote you prices for comprehensive coverage to protect you and your business.