Other Articles - April - 2019

How’s Your Insurance Coverage?

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It’s been a busy week at your shop… very busy. So busy that you have more customer cars than usual in your lot. This in itself wouldn’t be a problem, except for the very large oak tree that just came crashing down on your parking lot and everything parked in it.

Your mind races in a number of directions. How do we get this tree moved? How bad is the damage? And maybe most important, will my insurance cover this?

Well, maybe. It depends on how your insurance policy is set up: Your insurance might pay the whole thing or they could tell your customers to pound sand (which is likely to result in a less-than-5-star Yelp review).

In the example of a tree falling on cars (not super common unless your shop sits in the middle of a forest), the huge question would be whether your shop has garagekeeper primary damage or just legal liability.

There’s a good chance I lost your attention in that last sentence, as insurance lingo is about as exciting as watching paint dry, but the distinction is important.

In a garagekeepers legal liability policy, your insurance will only pay for the customer’s car if the damage was legally your fault. Assuming you didn’t chop the tree down — please don’t do that — the accident wouldn’t legally be your fault, so hopefully your customers have good insurance with comprehensive coverage.

If you had direct primary insurance, your customers’ cars would be paid for, no questions asked. So the distinction is a big deal.

Honestly though, how often does a tree fall on a customer’s car? (And would anyone hear it?). Well, not often, but other business calamities could occur which may or may not be covered by insurance.

How about an ADA lawsuit because your paper towel holder is two inches too high in your bathroom? Or what if your diagnostic software gets a virus and shuts you down for a week? These are things that can be hugely expensive for businesses and insurance plays a key role in helping them get back on their feet.

The number and complexity of insurance policies for small businesses, such as ATRA Member shops, have grown significantly in the past 10 years. ATRA has identified this as an issue of concern, both because of the cost of insurance and the chances of a claim not being covered because of inconsistencies in policies.

Gaspar Insurance Services has created a special insurance program just for ATRA Members to make sure these risks are addressed and insured. And the program comes with a low-price guarantee. Gaspar Insurance guarantees they can beat your current rate and any competitor’s rate for apples-to-apples coverage, or they’ll pay the difference plus 10%.

Whether it’s through the new ATRA Program with Gaspar or through your local insurance agent, now’s a good time to look at your insurance as opposed to waiting to hear the crack of an oak tree in your parking lot.