Operating a car wash business can be a rewarding career, but it also comes with certain dangers. For example, your car wash could suffer from theft, vandalism or fire. Machinery and equipment can break down or severe weather can disrupt business. What’s more, there’s the possibility of damage to vehicles. Even worse, employees or customers could slip and fall on soapy, wet surfaces.
Failing to have adequate insurance coverage can be just as risky as not filling up your gas tank before driving through a desert. If you operate a car wash, here’s what you need to know about car wash insurance and how to choose the right policy.
Self-service Car Wash Insurance
The type of car wash insurance that you need depends on the kind of car wash you run, besides the services that are provided. The main types of businesses are self-service and full-service car washes. If you have a self-service car wash, your business totally relies on machinery and equipment for rendering customer services. This means that if your equipment is damaged or breaks down, you won’t be able to continue operating your business, which can mean suffering from an overwhelming revenue loss.
- Your insurance should start with basic standard coverage, which includes commercial property coverage, which protects your business and property.
- Commercial general liability (CGL) coverage offers protection for lawsuits or claims linked with property damage or bodily injury.
- There’s also business income coverage or business interruption coverage. This covers any lost income and costs from business interruptions, such as inclement weather.
- Equipment breakdown coverage, also known as boiler and machinery coverage, provides coverage for sudden, accidental breakdown of machinery caused by motor burnout, operator error, boil malfunction and other problems. This also includes coverage for technology issues, such as for computers, electrical equipment, boilers and various kinds of pressure equipment.
Full-service Car Wash Insurance
You’ll need even more insurance coverage if you run a full-service car wash, which involves your employees operating the vehicles of your customers. Besides getting coverage for liability and your property and business income protection, you’ll also have to obtain liability insurance or garagekeepers liability insurance. This type of car wash insurance provides coverage for when you get behind the wheel of a customer’s vehicle to wash it, change the oil, do auto body work and perform other types of services. You don’t receive this protection under a standard commercial liability insurance policy.
Other Types of Car Wash Insurance
If you have people working for you, you’ll need additional insurance coverage, including:
- Workers’ compensation insurance—This is needed for covering your employees who become injured at your workplace and includes care management costs, along with lost wages.
- Employee theft and crime insurance provides coverage for expenses caused from employees who steal and commit crimes.
- Employment practices liability coverage—This type of insurance policy is used for when an employee sues an employer for unlawful employment practices, such as discrimination.
Considerations and Warnings
- Consider that your revenue can vary, according to the time for year. A common example is bad weather that occurs during a peak season, which can be especially detrimental.
- Carefully go over every aspect of your car wash business, examining what’s involved in the coverage extensions as well as the insurance limits.
- Be cautious to select the right coverage limits and decide the correct value of your property and buildings.
- You’ll need coverage that meets the specific risks that you’re likely to encounter, rather than general coverage that could not give you enough protection.
- Try to keep your costs for insurance as low as possible. Keep in mind that having too many claims can cause your insurance expenses to increase to the point that they’re not even affordable.
- Your main concern should be the safety of your clients and employees.
- In addition to keeping your machinery and equipment in good shape, only hire workers who have a proven history for treating property with respect and care.
Do you need insurance? Don’t hesitate to call the insurance professionals at Axelrod Insurance Services serving San Diego, California. Our highly trained and experienced insurance specialists offer personal and commercial insurance policies designed to meet your specific needs. Please contact us and learn more about our wide range of insurance services.