Because no two gas stations are exactly alike, gas station insurance is a complex and personalized policy. A pre-packaged gas station insurance policy will probably cover one or two areas you don’t need and can easily leave out the best parts of your business, like a restaurant, picnic area, or deli counter. If, for instance, you were a gas station and tavern in San Diego, you would want a liquor liability policy that covered injuries, assaults, and accidents on and off the premises, along with normal coverage for the pumps, snacks, and employees. We’re here to help you understand how every aspect of your gas station can be protected with a personalized and comprehensive insurance plan.
Every commercial building needs a bevy of insurance policies, from vandalism to storm damage, and your gas station is no exception. Make sure your policies extend out to the canopy and pumps as well as the convenience store and restaurant. Protect yourself from the high costs of damaged property by making sure to include these categories in your building insurance policy.
- Natural Damage – earthquakes and water/wind/hail damage caused by storms
- Vandalism and Lost or Stolen Property
- Equipment Breakdown – especially the pumps and car wash that are vital to daily business
- Plumbing, Sewers, and Drains
- Glass – picture windows are expensive to replace
- Off-Premises Sign Coverage – make sure your sign is covered in the policy
Your gas station is a living business, subject to all the needs and liabilities of any small company or franchise and you need to have your operations fully covered. Make sure to have a policy that covers everything that you can reasonably expect to deal with, and a few rare but still very important items. While your specific insurance needs may vary, consider the items listed when choosing a policy:
- General Liability – protection from most third party claims, or damages caused by your products
- Workers Compensation – Gas stations have an unusually high number of injury hazards
- Crime – theft, identity fraud, securities, counterfeit currency, extortion, forgery, etc.
- Employee Dishonesty – protection from employee theft, fraud, and embezzlement
- Security System and Electronic Data Recovery
Storing, moving and selling gasoline has special high risks that must be insured. Regulations vary from state to state, but in general, you want to prepare for spills, equipment damage, and employee illness. Consider including these items to cover your pumps and tanks:
- Pollution Cleanup – spills are not just a fire hazard, they can damage nearby ground water
- Fuel Tank Endorsement – covers contamination resulting from surface water
- Repairs – be ready to fix a broken pump or tank at any moment
The Snacks and Restaurant
The convenience store half of any gas station sells food in packages, and many sell freshly toasted hot dogs and sandwiches and some even include an entire restaurant for tired road-trippers to rest and have some lunch. Because food can spoil and make people sick, you need your insurance bases covered for any eventuality. If you have a restaurant, make sure to include special coverage for the equipment, food handling, and cooks and study up on the special health and safety rules.
- Food Spoilage – protect yourself from profit losses and lawsuits
- Spoilage-On-Premises – protects you from spoilage that occurs in a vehicle or trailer on the property
- Products Recall Expense – if a product you carry is recalled, protect yourself from losses incurred by pulling it off the shelves
- Restaurant Insurance – this special combination of food safety and equipment insurance is often available as a package deal including product liability and contamination coverage for the food you serve.
Every state has different rules about selling alcoholic beverages and liquor in particular. In California, you probably want a Type 20 Beer & Wine License, along with insurance that covers selling alcohol and any damage caused by intoxicated patrons who buy alcohol from you or even bring it with them onto the premises. You will want to consider the added risk when building your insurance policy.
- Liquor Liability – a standard insurance package, make sure it aligns with the laws of your state
- Assault and Battery (A&B) Insurance – does not come standard, useful if you serve alcohol in a bar or tavern
- Crime Risk – you may want more robust crime coverage based on the security of your store
Every gas station is unique, and even franchises can have special circumstances. If your business has unmentioned features like trucker-friendly diesel pumps and extra parking lots, a meat counter or deli, or even something rare like a flower shop, you will need additional insurance to cover it all. Your insurance package should be molded to the company, not the other way around. For a consultation on your unique gas station insurance needs, contact us today.