A critical investment when starting out is obtaining mobile detail insurance for your operation. Many mobile detail owner/operators start out offering their services to make some extra money on the side. Then, they learn how much demand there actually is and quickly realize their service has great potential to flourish into a steady business. However, many auto detailers when they started out did not think about getting coverage or felt it may be too costly. If this is you, the great news is that it can be affordable and you definitely need it.
Getting your auto detailing business insurance can be obtained even if you’re just starting out. If you happened to not include the insurance aspect in your budget, here are a few reasons why you may want to right away.
– Misconception: The services you provide are not covered under your auto insurance. Your detailing business is a specialty risk that requires the handling and possession of others property.
– Protection: You don’t want to have a lawsuit brought against you because you happened to damage the paint or interior of your customers vehicle. Or perhaps, someone happened to enter your work space and tripped over your hose and injured themselves.
– Growth Opportunities: Don’t miss out on being able to obtain a contract from a dealership or a business with a fleet of vehicles because you’re unable to furnish evidence of insurance.
– Continuous coverage: Length of time with insurance will help get optimum rates as your business continues to grow. Operating without insurance for a great period of time will not look good to underwriters and minimize your carrier options. For some it’s difficult early on but it’s tremendously beneficial in the long run.
When it comes to determining which carriers will insure you, there are a number of factors taken into consideration. The nature of your operations and services offered will influence on whether or not an underwriter will take on your risk. If you plan on servicing high end luxury vehicles like Carbonite Detailing in Silicon Valley, you’ll want to have the right coverage in place. Regardless of what you service or types you offer, we’re sure to have a market for you. The annual premium will be calculated based on some of these below and more.
– Value of vehicles serviced: The max value of any one vehicle as well as the total combined of value of all vehicles in your possession at any given time. It’s important to know so you can know ahead of time if you can service a unit or not.
– Services offered: Do you provide towing services, mechanical repair, performance enhancements, painting, or any other service aside from washing and detailing?
– Driving record: Since your company is in possession of your customers vehicle while servicing, you may need to move it. All employee and non-employee information will be required to run motor vehicle report prior to binding. Any violations or accidents that appear may impact the rate.
– Emergency vehicles: If you provide or plan to service in the future any firetrucks, ambulances, rescue vehicles, or any such kind, it’s important to disclose it on your application.
– Provide rental vehicle: Some jobs may require longer hours to service and your client may need a temporary rental. Although a great service to provide to add value, we recommend sticking to your primary operation of car wash and detail.
– Overnight storage: Your lot type will be important on the storage of your clients vehicles or units. Having the proper safety measures and devices and key handling procedure is important to have in place.
– Heavy trucks & equipment : Are you an auto detailer that offers service to tractor trailers, farm or construction equipment? A supplemental appliction will be required but we still have a market for you!
As you begin the process of buying insurance for your mobile car wash business, you’ll want to be prepared as much as possible for a quick turnaround. Underwriters may still have additional questions to verify but as much detail you can provide upfront, the better. We’ll be there every step to simplify and speed up the process.
– Description of operations: Providing a clear one or two sentence summary of your operation is required.
– FEIN (Federal Employer Identification Number): If you have employees, you should have a number. Many sole proprietors doing this part-time on their own may only have a social security number, but that’s fine.
– Radius of operation: Your service area is a key ingredient to determining your risk.
– Number of years experience in the field: If you’re just opening up your business but have prior experience in this area, you’ll want to indicate that. Having a resume ready in advance to submit with application will speed the process.
– Prior Insurance: Requesting loss runs from your previous insurance to provide together with your application will help your premium.
Most California mobile detailers carry GL insurance with a limit of $1 million dollar. This is important coverage as it protects you, your employees and your business against legal liability for an injury caused by your actions. An example is that you have a hose stretched across a walkway and a pedestrian suffers a slip and fall injury. Your insurance company will defend you in court and pay the judgment or settlement up to your policy limit.
Even though you do not have a garage you need this insurance. It protects you from risks associated with moving vehicles (for instance to a nearby hose). It also protect the vehicle you are working on from damage or theft. One type of incident covered is an incident where you or an employee are buffing a car and buff down to bare metal. Here again, the insurance company provides protection for that vehicle serviced.
The minute you hire a person, the laws of every state including California mandate by statute that you get workers’ compensation insurance (WC). This insurance protects your employee by covering any injury or illness that is job-related. For instance, your employee is buffing a car with an electronic buffer, the buffer suddenly stops working and while your employee is looking at it, it starts again. The employee has severe abrasions from the wheel. He goes to the closest medical provider. The workers compensation pays the bill as are lost wages.
This insurance is alternatively known as Commercial Excess Limits. This policy begins to pay when you reach the ceiling of your liability limits . Let’s say an injured party that resulted from your operations received an award of $1.5 million and your general liability limit is one million dollars, your umbrella insurance pays the added half-million dollars.
Using your own car or a company owned vehicle or an employee owned vehicle for your business means you need commercial auto insurance. It covers your car detail business if you’re involved in accident while driving your business vehicles. Its coverage is nearly identical to a personal auto insurance policy and covers all the risks associated with an insured vehicle. Your umbrella policy also covers any incidents with claim payouts in excess of your auto liability limits.
If you have a business location, you’ll want to make sure your business property is covered as well. Property insurance for your business protects your equipment such as:
If you presently do not have Mobile Detail Insurance or plan on starting a new business or simply want a checkup making sure your coverage is right for your business see or speak to your insurance carrier.
In California, one of the largest producers of this type of special insurance is Precision Insurance. Our phone number is 909-752-0239.
Drop by our office at 4875 W. Mission Blvd, Unit C, Montclair CA 91763 (Map).