Is Your Garage Protected with False Pretense Coverage?

As the owner of an auto body and repair shop, it is no secret that the risks your business will face are unique and just about endless. Luckily, garage insurance can be designed to cover every scenario possible.

Take this situation for example…
You have just finished fixing Mr. Smith’s high priced car when a man enters the shop claiming that Mr. Smith has sent him to pick up the vehicle. You check to see the status of the repair. Noting that the repairs are complete and the deductible is paid, you release the vehicle to the gentleman. Several hours later, Mr. Smith comes in and asks about his vehicle. It is only then you realize that the gentleman you gave the vehicle to was not actually sent by Mr. Smith. Does your MA garage insurance cover this?
Generally, policies include a voluntary-parting exclusion, which bars coverage when an insured voluntarily parts with property “if induced to do so by any fraudulent scheme, trick, device or false pretense.” If unendorsed, your policy may not respond.
To get coverage for Mr. Smith’s auto, it would be necessary to buy false pretense coverage. Sounds reasonable, right?
Now, what happens if you have a sneaking suspicion that a relative, long-time employee or close friend had something to do with the situation? Would you want to file a claim?
Typically, when this coverage is purchased, the insured is held to higher standards by the company. Generally, the insured’s duties in the event of a loss, such as the scenario described above, would include taking all reasonable steps to cause a warrant to be issued for the arrest of anyone involved. Failure to cause such a warrant to be issued may invalidate the coverage otherwise afforded. So, if you are looking to get paid from the company for this claim, it may come with a big price tag for someone you never intended or hoped to hurt.
At Wolpert Insurance, we want to make sure you are 100% protected. Many times, it is best to take typical policies a step further and look into the specialized garage insurance options, such as false pretense coverage. Never hesitate to speak with one of our experts if you have any questions or concerns!

Replacing Fobs Would Be Expensive Without the Proper Garage Insurance!

Back in the day, car keys were simple. If you lost it, you would head over to your local locksmith and have a duplicate made for a cheap price. However, the easier it is to copy a key, the easier the access for thieves. Consequently, keys have undergone many changes. These days, transponder keys and fobs are common. Of course, as expected, these keys are also much more expensive to replace due to their exclusive nature (many times, you need to go to the dealer to get a spare key made).

With this technology quickly spreading to lower-priced cars, we have to wonder; will a typical garage insurance policy cover these keys? Let’s take a look at a possible scenario:

You store all FOB’s together in a locked cabinet overnight in your shop. The next day, you show up to find that the shop has been burned or the cabinet has been destroyed. Let’s estimate that each fob costs between $150 and $500. If you are holding 20-30 fobs in your shop, that is an estimated $9,000 worth of keys!

Will your garage insurance policy be able to cover this loss? Surprisingly, most unendorsed policies do not pay for customer’s goods in your care, custody or control. If you want to avoid paying for such a large loss in the future, it is best to ask our experts at Wolpert Insurance! We would be happy to protect your business with the proper garage insurance policies, including protection for destroyed FOBS and much more.


Garagekeepers Coverage vs. Garage Liability Insurance

Have you considered the difference between garagekeepers coverage and garage liability insurance? While many may consider these policies the same thing, we are here to tell you that there IS a BIG difference. In order to consider your business to be properly covered with garage insurance, both policies are crucial to have.

So, what are the differences? The best way to understand is through an example.

Let’s assume an employee spills a flammable liquid or gasoline in the garage. A spark from an employee welding nearby ignites the liquid, burning a vehicle also in your garage. To make matters worse, a customer is injured vacating the building and a laptop and some golf clubs in the truck are burnt.

Garage liability insurance:

According to IRMI Online, garage liability insurance is defined as: “insurance covering the legal liability of franchised and non-franchised automobile, truck, truck-tractor, motorcycle, recreational vehicle, and trailer dealers for claims of bodily injury and property damage arising out of business operations.”

Therefore, it is the general liability policy that would respond to the claims associated with the injured customer. But what about the car and the contents?

The general liability policy excludes from coverage any personal property that is in your care, custody, or control. It does not matter whether this personal property is owned or used in a business.

Garagekeepers coverage:

This particular policy covers the legal liability for garage shops, dealers, repair shops, etc. While a customer’s vehicle is sitting in your shop, there is no telling what might happen to it. Garagekeepers coverage (unendorsed) protects the customer’s vehicle while you are keeping it on location for parking, storing or performing service. It will also provide protection for damages by fire, theft, collision or vandalism. But there is a catch. The garage keeper must have some degree of negligence associated with the claim.

Assume that in the above example it was lightning that ignited the fire. Since that is not the fault of the shop owner, generally they would not be liable for the loss and the policy would not pay even though the vehicle is in their care. While at first glance this may seem awful, in that the garage owner is perceived to fend for themselves, remember that the garage owner is not legally liable and therefore cannot be held liable in court.

But because the source of the fire in this example rests with the negligence of the employee due to the flammable liquid spill, the resulting damage to the vehicle is covered by the garagekeepers policy.

Okay, but what about the contents of the vehicle? The contents are not covered by the general liability because of the care, custody and control exclusion. It is also not covered by the garagekeepers policy because personal property is not a vehicle and that’s all that a garagekeepers policy covers; vehicles.
So where do we get coverage? Through an endorsement to the policy adding coverage for customers personal property in the care of the shop owner.

At Wolpert Insurance, we can provide your unique business with garagekeepers insurance, garage liability insurance and whatever other insurance needs your business requires. Just like an expensive designer suit needs to be tailored to fit, we tailor coverages to suit the specific needs of your operation. If you have questions or concerns about garage insurance or any policy, feel free to contact us!


Color Matching in your Repair Shop: Before You Tint

As a professional in the world of auto body and
repairing, you know how important it is to master the art of color
matching. If a damaged vehicle comes into your shop, there is no doubt
you are going to have to mix up some paint and tint to find the exact
color. If it isn’t exact, your customers will assume you are sloppy and
may take their business elsewhere. Now, we may be your go-to garage insurance experts, but we also know a thing or two about technique!

Let’s face it: tinting is difficult. If you or your employees do not have a good understanding of color, you may find a lot of mismatching in your shop. Luckily, we have a few tips to offer that may help you perfect your tinting technique. Before tinting:
• Confirm the OEM code. If the OEM color code is misread, guessed or chosen incorrectly, the color is going to be mismatched. Accuracy is important; always double check.
• Measuring and mixing. The wrong measurement can mean a huge difference in color.
• Choose the correct reducer. You may opt for a reducer that quickens the repair process but different reducers will affect the color. It is important to understand the reducer you are working with.
• Mind your spray technique. The proper gun set-up, gun angles, air pressure, distance and overlap are critical for a near-perfect color match.
• Make a spray-out panel. While a spray-out panel is not used for all jobs, it may be a good idea to use it if you have doubts. Just make sure you are doing the exact same procedures to both the panel and the vehicle.
• Check your sight. Are you aware that about 25% of males have difficulty with color vision? A quick online test may be all you need to figure out if you are a part of that 25%.
Keeping these techniques in mind may result in a much better match. Once you have your color, it is time to blend and tint! Be sure to come back next week for another step-by-step guide to finish off the job.
At Wolpert Insurance, we want to see your auto body and repair shop succeed in every aspect of the business; from stellar service to nearly perfect color matching. We also want to make sure you are properly protected. With our reliable garage insurance, auto body shop owners will not have to worry about the worst case scenario. We offer protection for the vehicles, your employees and property. Do not hesitate to grab a free quote today!