In order to pick the right garage liability insurance, it is important to know what it is and what it does. If you have a private garage, with your home, don't worry, it is usually covered under your homeowner's insurance policy, unless you have added on a separate garage after you purchased your home.
If this is the case, you may still qualify to have your existing home policy cover the new addition, if not, then you will have to get garage insurance added on.
Garage liability insurance is usually for people who own some kind of repair shop or business garage. It can cover the operations of the garage and the surrounding premises, all products, and completed work.
If you own a service center and someone fell and injured themselves, whether a coworker or customer, this insurance would cover it. If someone were to claim shoddy workmanship, or faulty parts this would also be covered.
While garage liability insurance will cover all vehicles stored or kept there by the company, it does not cover customer's vehicles that are left for repairs or pick up. This kind of coverage is called Garage Keeper's Insurance, and although it may be sold with regular garage policies, it is still separate. The cost of garage and garage keeper's insurance varies, depending on a number of factors.
The costs for these policies depend on how many locations you may have, the amount of employees, as well as the size of the business. Other factors will of course include whatever limitations and deductibles you choose, as well as what your loss history, and claims history is like. In other words, if there are a lot of claims against you, it will cost more to get insurance coverage.
There are of course ways to lower your premiums, just like any insurance policy. If you have a good history without a lot of people getting injured, or filing work or parts suits against you, chances are you are going to get a better premium. Sometimes how many years you have been in business can get you a lower rate, because you are more likely to stay in business, have a well established history of being a good business owner, etc.
Getting a higher deductible, as well as more limits can also lower your premiums, but there is a fine line here. Too high a deductible means more out of pocket expenses, which might cost you down the road. Some people who don't like to pay very many of these can get policies with no deductible, but their premiums are of course going to be much higher.
While it is not often possible, if you pay all of your premiums up front you will more than likely get a discount overall, and if you are not able, you may still get discounted if you have the money automatically withdrawn from your business checking account.
Just like any other type of insurance company, getting garage liability insurance takes some research and looking around for the best rates, and the most features for your money. There are internet companies like Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, and Universal Underwriter's Insurance Company, and these can be found online along with several others. Depending on where your business is located, you may find some good quality local agents that will fit your needs.
There are some tips for helping you find the right agent and the right policy. First there are advantages and disadvantages of using both internet as well as local companies. One of the advantages of using local companies is that you can sit down with a real agent and work out a policy that best suits your companies needs.
They can sit and explain things in detail, you have a chance to look over the policy right there, making changes before you get it. However, local agents often get paid a commission, so they may try to get you to buy more coverage than you need. A local company is not available on the weekends, and you may need to get in touch with them at this time, or after hours.
Online, you can avoid the middle man, and see your garage liability insurance policy, make a claim, or adjust it at any time, day or night. While you may be able to talk to someone over the phone, it just isn't the same as speaking to someone in person, and you may also have to wait for an agent to show up when you have a claim. It really depends on your personal preferences.
http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/dollardiva/20000211e.asp _ I no longer find this particular page on their site so it may be that they no longer deal in this coverage.
Disclaimer: I have done my best to be completely accurate, but this is rather complicated and I am not in the insurance industry. Since I am not a professional insurance agent, if you do any type of business out of your garage, it is very important you consult your agent, whether offline or online, to determine your garage liability insurance needs. Talk to a professional today!
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