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Car DealershipAs an independent used car dealer, your goal is to sell vehicles to the public. Yet, with all the risks involved in running a business, yours has unique hazards as a result of having a location where accidents (like slip and falls) can happen onsite, injuries can occur while driving on the road, weather and vandalism threats are an unwelcome part of reality and the privacy rights of your customers are a primary concern, especially if you provide financing.

Having adequate insurance can drastically help you to protect your investment and livelihood and give you the support you need to keep your business operational.

Getting the right business insurance coverage for your dealership is essential. As a used car dealer, you might find that garage insurance fits your needs. When working with your insurance agent to procure coverage, the ultimate goal will be to determine what types of risks apply to your company and, without a doubt, what type of insurance best covers those risks.

Let's take a closer look at some of the elements that make up a garage policy that may fit your needs.
  • Liability — Bodily Injury and Property Damage to Third Parties (not you or your employees): This coverage helps minimize risks associated with accidents that occur from garage-related operations both onsite and on the road. Besides auto liability coverage being required by law. it makes good sense to secure a limit that will protect you when an accident occurs. Limits start out at $85,000, and go up to $1 million. This might sound like a lot, but think about how many vehicles alone are valued at that amount and above these days — and that doesn't even include paying the medical expenses for the driver and passengers! Careful thought should be used when determining the liability limit and you should always have a few quotes that include higher limits for reference. You'd be surprised how little a higher limit could cost and often it equals the cost of selling just one more vehicle.
  • Physical Damage: This type of coverage applies specifically to vehicles you own, including those held at your location for sale. You may hear this type of coverage referred to as dealer's open lot coverage. Without this coverage, you're self-insuring all your vehicles. Accidents, vandalism, unexpected hail storms are all on you. That can be a frightening feeling when dark clouds show up and you see tens of thousands of dollars of yours out in the open and exposed to disaster.
  • Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist: When someone has no insurance or lacks enough insurance to pay for damages to your vehicles, this policy kicks in to support your claims.
  • Garage Keepers: This type of coverage helps pay for damages to your customers' vehicles if they are left at your location. If you are storing them for sale later, making repairs or even housing them overnight for an estimate on value, this policy can help you.
  • Medical Payments/Personal Injury Protection: This type of coverage pays for the medical bills of someone injured in your vehicle.
Additional coverages are available and equally important. For example, did you know that if you let someone test drive alone, they don't bring the vehicle back and you find that the license and insurance documents they gave you aren't real, there's no coverage? Yep, not on an unendorsed garage policy. Oh, of course theft coverage is included — but this isn't theft. Can you guess why? Think about what you gave them right before they walked out the door, never to be seen again. Yep — the keys! You gave them the keys — so how can it be theft if you gave them the keys? Don't worry, though, there's coverage that can be added that will cover this type of issue as well as others you may haven't thought about.

This is why it's important to work with an agent or broker that has experience in insuring dealerships. It can make the difference between filing a claim or having to deal with a financial disaster when you find out you're not covered.

In addition to these types of insurance, you'll also need to consider the value of property coverage (real property), business interruption insurance, worker's compensation insurance and other policies that particularly apply to the size and type of business you have.

Get the coverage you need. Call Southwest Commercial Insurance at (512) 771-6091 today to learn more about the garage insurance policies we offer. We'd love to have the opportunity to work with you.
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