by Ed Sneneh, CLU, ChFC

There are certain commonalities and differences between garage insurance and garage keeper liability insurance. The main commonality, and perhaps the only one, is that both coverages are needed in the businesses that are associated with using vehicles. The differences are several, and to understand the differences we will start with defining both concepts. 

Garage Liability. This is necessary to provide protection for bodily injury and property damage resulting from garage operations.  Garage operations refer to activities associated with ownership, maintenance, and use of sites for garaging businesses. Garage Liability includes two major coverages:

1. Garage Liability - Covered Auto: This is probably the most important coverage that a garage businesses need to have. Garages have  different auto liability exposure, and for that reason they may have to have different types of coverage. The insurance industry came with a Symbol System for Auto Liability. This is a brief description:

  • SYMBOL 21 = Any Auto. This is the most broad symbol where coverage applies to any auto.
  • SYMBOL 22 = All Owned Autos. Coverage under this symbol applies to any and all autos that are owned by the business, including trailers that are pulled by the owned autos.
  • SYMBOL 23 = Owned Private Passenger Autos Only. Coverage associated with this symbols includes all owned private passenger cars.
  • SYMBOL 24 = Owned Autos Other Than Private Passenger Autos Only. Coverage here applies to  other than private passenger type vehicles owned by an insured, including trailers towed by an owned autos.
  • SYMBOL 25 = Owned Autos Subject to No Fault. This symbols applies to any auto which is owned by an insured in any no-fault states.
  • SYMBOL 26 = Owned Autos Subject To A Compulsory Uninsured Motorist Law. This applies to any auto that is owned by the insured in states where uninsured motorists is a mandatory coverage.
  • SYMBOL 27 = Specifically Described Autos. Coverage applies to only certain vehicles that are specifically listed on the policy.
  • SYMBOL 28 = Hired Autos Only. Coverage applies to vehicles that the insured leases, hires, rents, or borrows from any one who is not an officer, owner or employee of the business.
  • SYMBOL 29 = Non Owned Autos Only. Coverage applies to vehicles that the insured does not own, lease, hire, rent, or borrow, but that are used in the business. This includes vehicles owned by own partners, staff, or any members of the business while these vehicles are used in the business transactions.
  • SYMBOL 30 = Autos Left for Service/Repair/Storage. This applies to vehicles that are left at auto service businesses for maintenance or repair.
  • SYMBOL 31 = Autos on Consignment. Coverage applies to any and all autos left on the premises of the insured for sale based on consignment basis. This does not apply to dealers.

2. Garage Liability - Other Than Covered Auto: This includes elements of the Commercial General Liability, other than auto liability.  CGL coverages such as premises (ie slip and fall) are normally covered here.

Garagekeepers Liability Insurance.  This is physical damage coverage on clients vehicles that are left in the custody of the insured for repair or maintenance. The coverage options are collision, comprehensive (any thing other than collision), specified causes of loss (fire, lightning, or explosion; theft; or mischief or vandalism).

Garagekeepers can be included as primary or legal. Garagekeepers Legal Liability (also called Garagekeepers Direct Excess, coverage applies to losses in excess of the vehicle owner's coverage. In other words, the policy will pay after the client's auto policy pays, and only if the insured is legally liable for the damage of the vehicle. Garagekeepers Primary Liability (also referred to as Garagekeepers Direct Primary,) the garage insured would share the loss with the auto owner's insurer, regardless of who is at fault. Garagekeepers Primary Liability offers more protection for garages.


Businesses Needing Garage Liability. The following are examples of businesses that need garage liability:

Towing Operations, Car Dealers, Mechanic Shops, Auto Body Shops, Valet Parking, Lube Shops, Car Washes, or any businesses that deal with vehicles.

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randall kirse said...
i own a mobile detail business and the truck is mine i use it for(office on wheels), I explained to my agent exactly the type of coverage i requested i made it clear that he provide me with enoiugh coverage besides my regular auto policy to insur the entire truck in addition to reg auto policy, I felt good that I purchased it incoprorated licensed and insured within my logo, I was rear ened aug last year, asked agent to send someone, i mentioned they have allstate, Im sure if they would have sent someone to extimate damages I wouldnt have gotten sideswiored 2 weeks later by a mwa st metro vehicle, i calledagaent they automatically came, i mention to agent bad faith, and to make matters worse, the coverage i requested didnt cover my truck as he stated and advised me it would that was the entire reason i insisted, they totalled my truck not included any upgrades or customization and discovered the odometer and mph are off speed 12 mph odometer 48000 miles more than what it should be taller tires, breach of contract, misleading and false representation by claims adjuster and agent
SATURDAY, JUNE 25 2011 3:23 AM

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