Medical Offices

6 Types of Insurance Coverage every Medical Office Needs

Medical Offices have many unique risks to deal with. The fact that customers are in some cases sick can ad to the frequency and severity of commercial insurance claims. The fact that employees have to spend a large portion of the day on their feet can ad to the amount of injuries if the staff are not in good physical condition. Because of the unique risks faced by medical offices there are certain types of insurance that are necessary. Here is a list of six recommended types of insurance every office should secure.

Medical Offices need Commercial Insurance. Get the best answers to your small business insurance questions at My Insurance Question.com

Minimum recommended coverage:

  • General Liability
  • Medical Malpractice—Professional Liability
  • Property Insurance
  • Commercial Auto
  • Hired and Non-Owned Auto
  • Workers Compensation

 

General Liability

General Liability Insurance is a necessity for a medical office because of the amount of clients coming in and out of the property. General Liability will protect your business from injuries that occur to customers and other third parties that come in contact with your property. The fact that some of the customers are sick can contribute to more risk of other customers becoming sick due to contact with ill patients. Like in most industries that face the public regularly; slips trips and falls are always a risk. Having a safety committee and documenting their activities can help you save in the long run.

Medical Malpractice—Professional Liability

Medical Malpractice is a form of Professional Liability that is unique to the medical profession.  According to the Insurance and Risk Management Institute, professional liability is defined as:

‘A type of liability coverage designed to protect traditional professionals (e.g., accountants, attorneys) and quasi-professionals (e.g., real estate brokers, consultants) against liability incurred as a result of errors and omissions in performing their professional services’.

Conversely, medical malpractice coverage is defined as:

‘Coverage for the acts, errors, and omissions of physicians and surgeons, encompassing physicians professional liability insurance, hospital professional liability (HPL) insurance, and allied healthcare (e.g., nurses) professional liability insurance’.

In laymens’ terms, this coverage protects doctors and nurses from the liability they face regarding they face giving specialized services and advice related to the healthcare profession.  This coverage is a necessity to any business offering medical advice and services.

Commercial Property Insurance

If the business owns the location where it operates, then the business has a need for Commercial Property Insurance. This insurance coverage is very specific and it is different than a traditional home owners policy. The policy can be written on a replacement level value or on a prearranged value agreed upon by the insurer and the insured. Partnering with an independent insurance agent to determine which type of coverage you need is a wise decision.

Business Auto Insurance

If your business owns and operates any vehicles as a part of the business operation, than it needs to secure business auto insurance. Any time that an employee is using a vehicle for business purposes, the liability to third parties is the liability of the business and not the liability of the employee. This means if an employee gets in to a wreck while on the job, the damages to third party vehicles is the responsibility of the business. Now if you have employees who drive their own cars for business purposes you will need a separate policy called a Hired and Non-owned Auto Policy.

Hired and Non-Owned Auto (full commercial auto if vehicles owned)

Hired and Non-Owned Auto Insurance is needed for two main reasons. If a business has employees who use their personal vehicles for business purposes or if employees drive rented vehicles while they are doing something related to their work. This policy is in addition to the insurance coverage you may buy from a rental agency. Hired and Non-owned auto will cover your business for the liability it faces to third parties who may have property or bodily-=injury claims as a result of an accident involving an employee.

Workers Compensation

Workers Compensation Risks are unique for several different reasons. First and foremost the employees are interacting with sick patients in many situations. Spending long hours on your feet can be taxing for nurses and doctors. Encouraging the staff to live a healthy lifestyle can help limit the amount of severe claims due to wear and tear

Medical Offices

 

Physicians Liability Classification Codes

Commercial insurance companies use various liability classification systems in order to classify and rate coverage premiums for Physicians. Here are the most common business insurance classifications for Medical Clinics:

Business Liability Category: Health Care Providers

SIC Business Insurance Codes:

  • 8011: Offices and Clinics of Doctors of Medicine
  • 8042: Offices and Clinics of Optometrists
  • 8031: Offices and Clinics of Osteopathy
  • 8021: Offices and Clinics of Dentists

NAICS Liability Classifications:

  • 621111: Office of Physicians (Non Mental Health)
  • 621320: Office of Optometrists
  • 621320: Office of Dentists
  • 621498: All Other Outpatient Care Centers
  • 621330: Office of Mental Health Practitioners
  • 621399: Office of Other Health Practitioners

Business ISO General Liability:

  • 66561: Medical Office

Common Workers Compensation Class Codes:

  • 8832: Doctors, Physicians and Office Staff

Claims Made Vs Occurrence

Have you ever wondered what the differences are between a Claims Made Vs Occurrence Based Liability Insurance Policy?  

The choice to choose a Claims Made Vs Occurrence Based Liability Policy can have an enormous impact on your business.  Making certain your business has the proper coverage can make an enormous impact to your bottom line, when a claim occurs.  Claims Made Vs Occurrence Policies are typically in relation to a general liability, professional liability, and employment practices liability insurance.  The types of businesses who are more likely to need this type of coverage include contractors, architects, engineers, attorneys and medical professionals.

Claims Made Vs Occurrence Based Insurance Policies

Claims Made

A Claims Made Insurance Policy covers claims filed during a given period of time. In most cases, a claim must be filed during the term of the claims-made policy in order for it to be covered by the insurance carrier. If the claim is filed two months after the policy has ended, the claim will not be covered.  The positive to this type of policy is price. Claims Made Policies are generally less expensive compared to Occurrence Based Policies.

Occurrence

An Occurrence Based Insurance Policy covers claims that arise from damage or injury that takes place during the policy period.  This is regardless of whether the claim was filed during the term or after.  A claim can be filed many years later and still be covered, as long as coverage was in place during the time of the occurrence.  This is important for professionals like architects who give professional advice and services to physical structures that may have a problem years down the road. If it is found the problem with the structure was the result of the engineers faulty work, the engineer can be liable for damages.  With an occurrence based policy in place this would be covered under most circumstances.

For most business owners, an occurrence policy is more appropriate and is commonly purchased.  Only using a claims based policy can be a bit of a gamble.  In most instances, the additional cost of an occurrence policy form is minimal compared to purchasing a claims made policy.

Why are both Claims Made Vs Occurrence Based Insurance Policies Offered.

Why are both Claims Made Vs Occurrence Based Insurance Policies offered?

The primary reason claims made coverage is still around is because there is a demand and because insurance companies may only be willing to write certain types of risk on a claims made basis.  This is because it is much easier for an insurance company to estimate price for insurance premium and measure their profitability with a claims made policy compared to an occurrence policy.  This is because there is a clear start and stop date to coverage. With occurrence coverage, it can take years or even decades for insurance companies to measure their profit and loss.  In the most simple terms, a business owner who purchases an occurrence policy for one year will always be insured for future claims while a claims made policy only covers the insured for that time period unless they purchase additional tail coverage.  If the business owner is willing to take the risk in exchange for a lower premium, claims made policies are still offered.

Painters

Painters or painting, staining and decorating contractors fill a great role within the construction industry. As the economy continues to recover the need for painters continues to grow. With the growth in this industry comes an increase in risk and a need for more insurance coverage. The risks in this industry are much different than if you run an auto repair shop or an HVAC company.

There are certain types of information you will need for a general liability and workers compensation quote. Here are 5 policies every painting contractor needs to secure in order to completely cover them and their employees.

Find the best info about insurance coverage for painters at My Insurance Question.

 

General Liability

General liability insurance is normally the first coverage any small business purchases. This is no different for a painting contractor. In most states this coverage is required by law to be in business. General Liability coverage will cover your liability to third parties for accidents that occur as a part of normal business operations. For painting contractors who work at remote locations, it is important to speak with your independent insurance agent about what exactly is and is not covered when you are operating on the premises of a third party. If you interact with a general contractor who has many contractors operating at one location it is important for you to make sure all of the other contractors have the proper insurance required for the work taking place.

Inland Marine Coverage

Inland marine coverage will cover any specialized equipment you or your employees use as part of your daily operations. This is an important coverage to secure, especially if you have expensive specialized equipment, because most basic policies will not cover this equipment when it is damaged. For instance if you have a van or a vehicle with a trailer carrying extra tools, when a wreck occurs your commercial insurance policy will cover your liability to the other person hurt in the accident and to fix your vehicle, but it will not pay to cover your specialized equipment. This is a coverage your agent can help you determine if you need it or not. Depending upon how much the equipment costs, you may be able to do without this coverage.

Commercial Property Insurance

Commercial property insurance is different from your personal home owners insurance policy. It is different primarily because it is sold one of two ways: Replacement cost or on an agreed upon value of the property. It may be tempting to go with an agreed upon value to save on premium, but this is almost always a mistake. This is because the agreed upon value is usually what the property is appraised at currently. This amount does not include the cost to tear down the dwelling and remove all the debris after a disaster occurs. This additional cost can be extensive.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Commercial auto insurance is also different from a personal auto policy. Commercial auto can be purchased for vehicles your business owns, but it can also be purchased for employees who drive their own vehicles or rented vehicles while on the job. This type of policy is called hired and non-owned auto coverage. Again, with this coverage it is important to take some additional time to speak with your agent about the daily operations of your business. If you are honest with them about what you do on a daily basis they can do their best to prevent occurrences from taking place where your business or your vehicles are not covered.

Workers’ Compensation

Workers compensation insurance is the second coverage a business purchases because like general liability insurance it is required by law in most states. Workers compensation is like general liability, but it applies only to your employees and not to third parties. If your employees are injured at work as a part of what would be deemed normal business operations, workers compensation coverage will pay them for some of their lost wages (typically 60%) and medical expenses. Depending upon the state in which you operate in and the accident occurs, there are time limits on how long the employee can collect workers compensation benefits. Having adequate safety programs and a strong return to work program will help your business from experiencing excessive damage to your experience modification rating.

 

Here at My Insurance Question you can find the best advice on the insurance policies all painters need.

Recommended Insurance Programs for Painters

Minimum recommended coverage:

•   General Liability

•   Inland Marine Coverage

•   Property Insurance

•   Commercial Auto Insurance

•   Workers’ Compensation

Other coverages to consider for Painters:
Business Personal Property, Employee Dishonesty, Contractors’ Equipment (Inland Marine), Umbrella Liability, Commercial Auto Liability, Goods in Transit, Environmental Impairment Liability, Stop Gap Liability and Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI).

Rental Property Insurance

When you own rental property with it comes a certain amount of risk. There are ways to lessen the amount of risk your or your business faces by properly preparing your business and purchasing adequate insurance coverage.  Here are 3 types of insurance you or your business need to secure when you own rental property.

If you own Rental Property, you need to determine what kinds of insurance your business actually needs?

 

If you or your business own rental property, there are certain insurance coverages you need to secure. Find out the best info at My Insurance Question.com

Three Policies every rental property owner should have. 

General Liability Coverage

General Liability Insurance in most cases is the first type of insurance a business or investor purchases. General Liability and Workers’ Compensation Coverage are required by law in 48 out of 50 states. For this reason, most business owners start with these two coverages and later determine if they need additional insurance.  GL Insurance covers a property owner for any liability they might face to thirds parties.  Some liabilities you may face include when a tenant or visitor are injured due to the landlord’s negligence, when a property maintenance issue results in a tenants’ injury or personal property loss or when a tenant is injured as a result of the landlord’s failure to keep the premises safe and in good working order.  Now these are just a couple of the types of liability a property owner may face.  Other risks you or your business face include losses due to fire, storm, tenant or employee theft and even discrimination lawsuits filed by tenants or employees. A lawsuit does not have to be legitimate to cause you or your business to incur enormous legal costs. Having the proper insurance in place can limit the damages to you or your business if you do face a lawsuit.

Commercial Property Insurance

Commercial Property Insurance is frequently the second coverage a property owner will secure.  When looking to acquire a commercial insurance policy it is important to secure an accurate valuation of the property. A Commercial Property Insurance Policy are just a little bit different than a personal home owners policy in that they are sold on either a replacement cost or on an agreed upon value. For most businesses the replacement cost policy is almost always the best type of policy to secure. This type of policy will pay to not only rebuild the property but also to demolish and haul away any and all debris. This additional cost can be substantial.

Business Loss of Income

Business Loss of Income Coverage is the third and final type of insurance all rental property owners should purchase. A business loss of income insurance policy will cover you or your business for the income lost during the period when a rental property is uninhabitable.  For example, if your building is damaged by a hurricane; this coverage kicks in to cover missed rent payments you or your business would have collected while the property is being repaired. Frequently this coverage is paid based upon documented actual revenue, which is good for property owners because you have a lease stating how much revenue the property generates.  Depending upon the policy you can collect payments for lost rent for up to 12 months after a loss.

 

Restaurant Insurance

3 tips to find the best Restaurant Insurance. 

How much insurance do I really need? What are the correct types of insurance for my restaurant? What types of restaurant insurance can I do without? What is the bare minimum I can get away with for restaurant insurance? These are all very common question that insurance agents get asked when a restaurant owner is looking to protect their business for the first time or a seasoned business owner is looking to renew their coverage. The answer to this question is like many things; ‘It depends’. There are many variables that go in to owning and operating a restaurant and those variables bring on many risks. Not every business owner is comfortable with the same amount of risk.  Depending upon how much risk you are willing to take, here are 3 tips to help you make sure you are purchasing the amount restaurant insurance.

Are you classified correctly?

First off, the small business owner needs to make sure their business is classified properly. This applies for both workers compensation and general liability insurance. Each state has their own governing body for these coverages.  The best way to determine if you are properly classified is to ask for help from an experienced independent insurance agent. When talking with your agent, it is crucially important to be honest with them.  This is important for the time you are open, how much and what types of alcohol you serve and what exactly your employees do.  Restaurants are classified different based upon the risks they face. Being properly classified can save your business immensely.

Pay as you go option

Workers comp coverage is required by state law in 48 out of 50 states. getting this coverage in place is an enormous cost.  Pay as you go workers’ compensation is s a great option for seasonal or cash strapped businesses. Pay as you go workers’ compensation allows a business to pay premium based upon the amount of payroll as opposed to an estimate of the monthly payroll. For many businesses they can get coverage in place for as little as a few hundred dollars.

Determine the proper type of Commercial Auto Insurance

Many business owners do not think they need any type of commercial auto insurance. Just because your business does not own vehicles, doe snot mean you do not need to secure some form of commercial auto insurance. If you do own vehicles that are going to be used for business purposes you most definitely need commercial auto insurance coverage. Also, if you have employees who use their own vehicles for business purposes than the business is liable for all accidents. Hired and Non-Owned Auto Coverage is a policy that kicks in when your employees use their own vehicle or a rented vehicle not owned by the company. Regardless of how small the activity may seem, when the employee is using any vehicle to do business activity you are liable.

 

 

3 Benefits of a Business Owner’s Policy.

What is a BOP?  If you work in insurance long enough, this becomes a question you receive quite frequently.  Many small businesses shop their policy around themselves to many different insurance companies. This can save those businesses some money, but it does come at the expense of the business owner’s precious time. Most insurance companies attempt to remedy this problem by offering a Business Owner’s Policy (BOP).

Find the answers to your questions about a Business Owner's Policy at My Insurance Question.com

A Business Owner’s Policy is an insurance package designed for businesses in a particular industry. These packages can be adjusted to fit the needs of each individual business, but they most commonly come in packages specific to each industry.  Over time, insurance companies have found certain coverages are needed by all businesses in a particular industry.  Because they have a unique insight in to the loss history of many businesses in that particular industry they tend to recommend a certain package of policies for that industry.  By offering a business owner’s policy, insurance companies can make sure there are no gaps in coverage.  At the same time they can make sure the business is not carrying too much or unnecessary coverage. Carrying a BOP benefits a business owner in three main ways.

Pricing

Pricing is one of the first aspects that attract business owner’s to choosing a BOP.  Insurance carriers are more likely to give businesses a discount if they know they are going to sell a business multiple policies. Business Owners can do the shopping for themselves, but they have to spend time searching for better coverage and price instead of working on their business. With the help of a good independent insurance agent, a business owner can allow the agent to shop the policy around to many insurance carriers. This allows the agent to negotiate the best price and the most complete coverage. For this reason, it is important to choose an insurance agent who has relationships with many insurance providers, not just a select few. Many agencies work exclusively with just a few carriers and this does not allow the agent to shop around your policy if you are in a tough classification code or have a negative claims history.

No gaps in coverage

Another great reason to consider a BOP is to ensure there are no gaps in coverage. Shopping for your policies individually might save a business a few bucks on the front end, but it be very detrimental to your business when a claim occurs.  This is a portion of the insurance industry where a few grey areas occur. When an incident occurs and a business has policy from many different carriers, at best they business will have to wait additional time while the carriers determine who is liable for the claim.  At worst, having several different carriers can cause the claim to not be covered at all.  On the contrary, if the policies are all with one carrier, the underwriter will just determine which policy needs to kick in and then processes the claim.  This is because, if you have a BOP with just one carrier typically there is General Liability, Professional Liability and an Umbrella policy. In this case the insurance company just determines which policy is in effect and processes your claim. When every policy is carried with one insurance carrier, that carrier can ensure there are no gaps in your policy.

Certificates

The final way businesses benefit from carrying a Business Owner’s Policy is when there is a need for a certificate. This occurs when businesses are involved in projects they are contracted on. Many artisan contractors do work for several general contractors. Take an electrician as an example. For each general contractor an electrician does a project for they need a certificate proving insurance coverage. If each coverage is with a different carrier that is an additional call the electrician has to make. If that electrician has a BOP they call one agent and can get a certificate for all of their policies.

These are three of the many benefits business owners get when they go with a Business Owner’s Policy. BOP’s are a win-win situation because the insurance company benefits from more business while the business owner benefits from having better service, more complete coverage and usually a better price. When in need of a business insurance quote it is also important to consult with an insurance agency who partners with many carriers. This will allow their agents to shop the policy to more carriers and ensure your business is getting the best coverage at the absolute lowest rates in the industry.

Business Interruption Insurance

Business Interruption Insurance is the key when disaster strikes your business.

Business Interruption Insurance is the key to protect your business when disaster strikes.

Having good commercial insurance is essential to the long term stability of your business.  It is a product that is necessary for you business, but a product you hope you never have to use. When there is a disaster that strikes your business, the quality of your coverage can mean the difference between a bump in the road and the end of your business.  One key policy to help your business whether the storm when a disaster strikes is business interruption insurance.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, “Business interruption insurance compensates you for lost income if your company has to vacate the premises due to disaster-related damage that is covered under your property insurance policy, such as a fire. Business interruption insurance covers the revenue you would have earned, based on your financial records, had the disaster not occurred. The policy also covers operating expenses, like electricity, that continue even though business activities have come to a temporary halt”.

This policy is normally offered as part of a Business Owners’ Package, but not always.  It is important to confirm with your agent if this is included in your package.  If it is not they will more than likely bring it to your attention as an add-on.  It is a policy to strongly consider for your business.  This business can help you pay necessary bills, retain key employees and may just be the difference between success and failure when a claim occurs.

In most states general liability and workers compensation insurance is required by law, but those are the bare minimum coverages any business should secure. Most businesses need several additional coverages to properly protect the organization.  If you own property or vehicles their is a need for commercial property and auto coverage.  If you own specialized equipment there may be a need for inland marine coverage.  The one frequently forgotten coverage is business interruption coverage.  Many small business owners fail to anticipate how they will pay their bills in the event a claim causes their business to be closed for a period of time.  When this occurs the bills keep coming and payroll has to be met.  If you are a cash strapped company, failing to secure this coverage may cause the ultimate failure of your business.

HVAC Contractors

Heating and Air Conditioning Contractors ( HVAC Contractors ) are those business that provide services for and repair heating and air conditioning units.  They provide these services for both commercial and residential clients.  They have to be knowledgeable about both duct and vent work, the different types of fuel sources for heating equipment, which can be natural or LP gas, electric, steam, solid fuel, coal, or fuel oil.  Many contractors also install, service, and repair air conditioners. While air conditioning units are normally electric-powered, they are charged with different coolants, some of which may be hazardous.

All of these different types of work bring their own unique risks to the contractor. For this reason, it is very important for you to have an extended conversation with your insurance agent about all of the types of work you do and do not participate in.  It is equally important to inform your agent if there are certain types of work you do not partake in. There are more than one classification code for this industry and the types of risks you take on can dramatically impact what you pay in premium for a number of commercial insurance policies.  Below are 6 policies most HVAC Contractors need to secure in order to protect their business properly.

•   General Liability

•   Property Insurance

•   Hired and Non-Owned Auto (full commercial auto if vehicles owned)

•   Inland Marine

•   Business Income with Extra Expense

•   Workers’ Compensation

General Liability Insurance

General Liability Exposures at the contractor’s office or shop are generally limited due to lack of public access to the premises. Retail sales increase the possibility of customers slipping, falling, or tripping if customers visit office to view products.

Property Insurance

Property exposures at the heating contractor’s own location are generally limited to those of an office, shop, and storage of materials, equipment, and vehicles. Operations may also include retail sales. The fire exposure is generally light unless repair operations involving welding take place on premises. Welding involves the use of tanks of gases that must be stored and handled properly to avoid loss. The absence of basic controls such as chained storage in a cool area and the separation of welding from other operations may reflect a greater risk.

Commercial Auto

Automobile exposures are generally limited to transporting workers, equipment and supplies to and from job sites for HVAC Contractors. Hazards depend on the type and use of vehicles and radius of operation with the main hazards being upsets. Vehicles may have special modifications or built-in equipment such as lifts and hoists. Large heating systems may be awkward and require special handling and tie-down procedures. Age, training, experience, and drivers’ records, as well as the age, condition and maintenance of the vehicles are all important items to consider. If employees utilize their own personal vehicles for work related tasks then Hired and Non-Owned Coverage should be purchased.

Inland Marine Coverage

Inland marine exposures include contractors’ tools and equipment, including ladders and scaffolding, hoists, and portable welders, the transport of materials, and installation floater. Goods in transit consists of tools and equipment as well as products purchased by the customer for installation at the job site. HVAC units can be of high value and susceptible to damage in transit; they frequently require expertise in loading to prevent load shift or overturn.

Workers’ compensation

Workers compensation exposures vary based on the size and nature of the job. Both residential and commercial work involves lifting, work with hand tools, wiring, and piping. Cuts from the fabrication and installation of sheet metal for ducts and vents are common. Lifting injuries such as hernias, strains and sprains plus back injuries may occur. Electrical burns are common; electrocution can occur from the use of high-voltage lines. Any time work is done above ground, injury or death from falls and being struck by falling objects can occur. Slips and falls, foreign object in eyes, major and minor burns, and inhalation of fumes are all potential hazards.

Electrical Contractors

Insurance needs and concerns for Electrical Contractors

Electrical contractors carry unique risks that many other businesses in the construction industry do not face.  With those risks come additional types of insurance needs.  Each electrician is unique in the scope and capacity in which they operate their business.  Depending upon the type of work each electrician partakes’ in, there may be a number of types of coverage an electrician needs to secure in order to properly secure their business.  Here is a list of 5 commonly carried coverages most electricians secure.

 

  • General Liability
  • Commercial Property
  • Commercial Auto
  • Inland Marine (Tools and Equipment)
  • Workers Compensation

General Liability

Exposures at the contractor’s office are generally limited because of the lack of access to the premises. Storing materials outdoors may create vandalism and attractive nuisance hazards.  Electrical voltage is always a risk for electricians.  This is due to the risk of electrical burns or electrocution to employees or other third parties.  An electricians’ employees can cause damage to the client’s property and can cause bodily injury to members of the household, the public, or employees of other contractors.  These are risks that are covered by a general liability policy.

Commercial Property

If you own a property; no matter how small, your business needs to secure commercial property coverage. Property exposures at the contractor’s premises typically are fairly low for electricians.  This is generally limited to those of an office and storage for supplies, tools, and vehicles.

Commercial Auto

Automobile liability exposure is higher for electrician than other brick and mortar businesses.  Most electrical contractors are in transit to transport workers, equipment and electrical supplies to and from job sites.  A driving hazard is a huge risk for insurance companies to insure.  The more time your business spends driving the higher the likelihood of claims.  Those claims tend to rise in both frequency and severity.  Implementing a safe driving program and keeping up to date driving records for all employees can help limit what you pay in premium.  Age, training, experience, and drivers’ records, as well as the age, condition, and maintenance of the vehicles, are all important items to consider.

Inland Marine

Inland marine is also commonly called ‘Floaters’ coverage.  It is meant for specialized equipment that is frequently in transit as a part of business operations. The exposures often include owned or rented equipment, building materials, as well as materials being transported to and from the job site.  This is commonly needed for businesses that transport their equipment to a third party site for use delivering a service.  The most basic example of an industry that needs this coverage is a landscaping company.  It can also include any business that takes equipment away from the premises for use as a part of normal business operations.

Workers’ Compensation

Workers compensation insurance is required by law in 48 out of 50 states.  Each state has their own specific exclusions depending upon the number of employees and the scope of your work.  It is important to check with the proper governing agency in your state to determine if you are required to purchase this coverage. Even if you are not required to purchase this coverage in many cases it is still beneficial to your business to secure it.  The coverage provides you with protection from lawsuits that may result from injured employees who are injured as a result of normal business practices.  Employees give up the ability to sue for normal injuries, but get back coverage for their medical expenses and some portion of their wages while they are hurt and not able to work.  Typically they are reimbursed 60 percent of their normal wages for the time they are not able to work.

 

Garage Liability vs. Garagekeepers

The difference between Garage Liability coverage and Garagekeepers coverage is the difference between liability insurance and physical damage insurance. The first covers the insured’s liability for operations and autos and the other covers damage to customer’s vehicles. All garage risks need both coverages to properly insure their loss exposures.

A typical garage business has an auto exposure (owned, non-owned and hired) as well as premises/operations, contractual and products/completed operations exposures. Rather than writing two separate policies, the Garage policy allows you to combine the coverages into one Policy. Garage Policy is a combination Business Auto Coverage form and a Commercial General Liability Coverage form. Garage liability insurance is an absolute necessity for the owner of a car dealership, a local mechanic, a tire dealer or a company doing oil changes. These policies are for employers who make a living working on cars. These programs are also for companies installing stereos or satellite radios. Do not make the mistake with the assumption believing Garage Liability Insurance would cover the loss of a customer’s auto while in your care. A separate Garage Keeper’s Policy or addendum to the garage (service center) policy already in place must be in place. Under the Garage keeper’s Coverage, there are two options for the auto service operator to consider. One is called direct excess coverage that pays up to the value of the destroyed vehicle above the owner’s coverage, and the other is direct primary coverage in which the service owner’s carrier shares the loss with the car owner’s insurer.

If you have a repair center that has a fleet of tow trucks or dispatched repair vehicles, those assets are covered under Garage Liability Insurance. However, the customer cars sitting outside waiting for service, or inside on that lift are not covered and this is the reason why you need the keeper clause for your protection. Please note that most Garagekeeper’s Policies excludes loss to non-factory installed sound equipment,.

Garage Liability Insurance providers may become extremely discriminatory regarding the requirements for getting the insurance, such as strict loss prevention or risk management efforts by the auto service owner. To cut costs and keep premiums lower, indemnity companies are often refusing to underwrite such things as wind and hail damage for company and customer vehicles. And tolerance by insurers for multiple incidents at a garage is limited.

Make sure every employee and officer of the company is on the policy. Coverage is usually only afforded to the locations and drivers listed on the coverage. Employees that get a DUI or go over their point allowances may be excluded from driving privileges and non-company drivers need to be discussed with the agent.

Getting and keeping garage liability insurance can be daunting. Proper night lighting, well landscaped grounds, well maintained signage and windows as well as a freshly painted exterior as well as clean floors and bathrooms inside can make or break a policy being approved.