What is Garage Keeper’s Liability?
The Garage Keeper’s Liability coverage is the cornerstone to anyone in the automotive services business. It’s a policy that is able to give business owners protection against vehicle theft, contents theft, or vehicle damage while in the business owner’s care, custody, and/or control.
How is Garage Keeper’s Liability Priced?
Garage Keeper’s Liability is priced a few ways dependent upon the insurance company we find for you. Some insurance companies have a scale based on sales whereas some insurance companies price it into their BOP policy as a coverage enhancement. The larger the automotive repair facility (based on sales), the more likely they’re going to price it on sales.
How is Garage Keeper’s Liability Different Than General Liability?
Great question! A General Liability Policy covers what boils down to “your work.” If your work is faulty, causes injury to others and/or damage during or after installation, etc., that would be covered under the General Liability Policy. Garage Keeper’s is more of a “customer property in my care” coverage. When that customer leaves the keys to their car with you, Garage Keeper’s Liability is what protects your business in the event of a loss. When they drive off and something happens because of your work, that’s General Liability.
Some Common Garage Keeper’s Liability Claims
A vehicle is turned into a body shop for physical damage repair. The vehicle is later stolen from the body shop over the weekend. Regardless if the theft was from an outside person or an inside employee, the Garage Keeper’s Liability policy would cover this claim. It’s a lot like Bailee’s coverage but more strictly designed for vehicles in the care of automotive repair shops since Bailee’s coverage doesn’t typically involve partial theft.
Another common claim that we see is when a customer drops off a vehicle and upon pickup, notices that the vehicle has been bumped into by another car. This is common because of the constant movement of cars in and out of a shop, typically in pretty tight spaces. Since the vehicle was in your care, custody, and control, this claim would be covered under Garage Keeper’s Liability policy. Now most body shop would just agree to repair the damage themselves as long as it was under the deductible and that’s a decision that a body shop needs to make. We have seen this claim on some higher end vehicles where a bumper cover, support, and a headlight might cost upwards of 20,000 dollars thus making it difficult for the body shop to just absorb the cost. We’re looking at you, La Ferrari.
Finally, there’s always the claim that a vehicle didn’t come back with the contents it was put into the shop with. We’ve seen claims of diamond rings, laptops, stereos (does anyone really steal stereos anymore), baby car seats, and even spare tires. While all of these claims would be covered under the Garage Keeper’s Liability, this would be a really good time to implement a Check-In Inventory and Inspection while the customer is present. This step would mitigate the insurance claim from happening by creating an environment where it would be impossible to leave something behind in a checked-in vehicle.
Do You Need To Get A Garage Keeper’s Liability Policy
Our team here at CoVerica would love to help you and your business find the insurance program that fits both your coverage needs and price. Please give our Automotive Services Insurance Agents a call at 972.490.2238 anytime, night or day.