The Importance of Indoor Air Quality

It is no secret that there are high levels of toxic chemicals and materials in an auto body and repair shop. After all, there are a number of chemicals that are needed during the repair process! Consequently, most shops are subject to both state and federal air quality regulations.

As a shop owner, are you aware of the importance of indoor air quality? There are indoor air quality standards that must be met! This week, our agency would like to discuss the need for a carbon air filter. Having a high-quality carbon air filter in your garage will not only meet environmental air quality and health safety requirements, but it will keep your employees (and yourself) safe from toxicity levels.

How do you know if your shop will benefit from a carbon air filter? Here is a simple checklist to look over:

  • Your employees service and repair motor vehicle at your place of business
  • Your employees use paint products on metal surfaces
  • Your shop emits VOCs
  • Your shop is full of chemicals and solvents that are subject to explosions, fires, and other hazards
  • You provide air-condition repair services
  • You use plastic and/or synthetic materials on a daily basis

Improving indoor air quality is a necessity for auto body and repair shop owners. If you have ANY questions or concerns at all about this, do not hesitate to reach out to our agency.

At Wolpert Insurance, we not only pride ourselves in our understanding of garage insurance, but our knowledge of the industry. We urge you to give us a call today to learn more about the ways that you can keep your shop safe!


Fire Hazards in Your Auto Body Repair Shop

As the owner of an auto body repair shop, it is important that you are making safety a priority. While we typically go over risks including chemicals, dusts, fumes, and the likes, it is important to not forget about one of the greatest risks out there: Fires.

Automobile-related structure fires are all too common to neglect. Between flammable liquids and hot engines, there are an awful lot of fire hazards present. This week, our agency would like to share a few fire health and safety tips with garage owners. Who knows, one of these tips could save your shop from a fiery disaster.

  • Create an evacuation plan and make sure all workers are aware of it. Practice, if need be.
  • Keep flammable liquids in an appropriately rated fireproof metal cabinet, away from any heat sources and working areas.
  • Gas spill? Clean it up as soon as possible, but be especially aware of the flammable fumes that can gather inside the building. Be sure to adequately vent it quickly.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher in an accessible area for all employees and have it serviced at least annually.
  • Keep aerosol sprays away from open flames/heat.
  • Safely rid of dirty/oily rags instead of storing them.
  • Prohibit your workers from smoking inside the garage. Always take it outside.

At Wolpert Insurance, it is our goal to help you design a garage insurance policy to protect your business that best suits your needs and budget. And reducing risk could not only keep both you and your employees safer but may result in a lower premium as well. Remember: The more claims that are made on your Massachusetts garage insurance policy, the higher your premium may end up!

To learn more about our options at Wolpert Insurance, please give us a call at 800-299-6819.


Put Your Expertise to the Test: Garage Insurance Quiz

Are you ready to put your garage insurance expertise to the test? This week, our agency has prepared a quick TRUE OR FALSE trivia quiz. Read the statement; give it your best shot—and no peaking at the answers below!

#1: TRUE OR FALSE? Garage liability insurance and Garagekeepers liability insurance provide the same coverage.

#2: TRUE OR FALSE? False pretense coverage is designed to cover a loss that is caused when someone causes you or an employee to voluntarily part with a vehicle by trickery, scheme, or false pretense.

#3: TRUE OR FALSE? Typically, a garage insurance policy WILL NOT cover boats and watercrafts in a shop.

#4: TRUE OR FALSE? There is no need for cyber liability insurance in a garage and auto body shop.

Grab a red pen and let’s check those answers…

#1: FALSE. Garage liability insurance is meant to cover bodily injury and property damage occurring as a result of operations but excluding owned and nonowned vehicles. Garagekeepers liability insurance is designed to cover vehicles that are owned by you for sale or owned by OTHERS and taken in your shop (such as repair shops, carwashes, etc.) for repairs or consignment sale.

#2: TRUE. Also, just for informational purposes—False pretense coverage is generally offered as an endorsement.

#3: TRUE. Generally, there is specific language that is used in most garagekeepers liability insurance policies, such as: “We will pay all sums the insured legally must pay as damages for loss to a customer’s autos.” The term “customer’s autos” pertains to land vehicles, rather than floatation devices. It is always best to ask about additional coverage when housing and performing operations on any kind of watercraft.

#4: FALSE. This is not true in many cases! If your shop uses a computer system, you may be at risk for a data breach or dozens of other cyber related scams. Cyber liability insurance can designed to respond to many of these attacks which can lead to this type of loss.

Now that you have tallied up your score, how did you do? Three out of four? Four out of four? Hey—even if you got one out of four, you do not have to worry! First and foremost, now you are well aware of what is true and false—you learn something new every day! Second, you have our staff at Wolpert Insurance to guide you. The ins and out of Massachusetts garage insurance can be tricky, but with our agency by your side, you will fell more comfortable in no time.

To learn more or to grab a free quote, contact our agency. Until then, please be sure to come back for more garage insurance and industry-related knowledge soon!

The Importance of a Benefits Package for Employees

As the owner of an auto body and repair shop, one of your main responsibilities is to choose the right garage insurance policies and programs to protect yourself, your company, and your employees. One of the most important parts of your program can be the group benefits portion. Are you currently offering an attractive group benefits package to your employees?

By offering a solid group benefits package, your shop is better able to attract the best of the best and should make your company more competitive, successful and profitable in the long run. After all, many high-quality candidates will take salary AND benefits into consideration. Fortunately, at Wolpert Insurance, we work with a team of partners that can help you design a package that you feel will serve to help you retain top employees and attract choice candidates.

What should your group benefits package include? Here are just a few options that we can offer:

  • Health coverage
  • Retirement plans
  • Disability insurance
  • Dental coverage
  • Section 125 payout options
  • Voluntary products
  • and more…

At Wolpert Insurance, we have a clear understanding of the garage and auto body shop industry. We know what it takes to maintain a successful business. Allow our experts to help you to better understand the ins and outs of garage insurance and how you can leverage group benefits to improve your business. Please give us a call at 800-299-6819 to get started or simply take a moment to fill out the free quote form on our website. We look forward to working with you!

Garage Insurance 101: What is Employers Liability Insurance?

Welcome back to Collision Select—a place for news, safety tips, and updates specifically geared toward the repair and auto body shop industry. This week, we are here to dive into another frequently asked question. As your trusted garage insurance provider, we make it a point to try and answer your burning questions. Let’s take a look at this blog’s topic…

Question: What is employers liability insurance?

Answer: Employers liability insurance is designed to protect your auto body shop by insuring against all lawsuits that are due to employment-related injuries and/or illnesses. It is important to know that these types of lawsuits may not only stem from an employee in your shop, but even their family members, relatives, or third parties.

The best part about this type of policy is that it can protect both you AND your employees at the same time. If something unexpected happens on the job, the employee will have protection in place. On the employer side of things, it will protect you from financial ruin due to lawsuits that could stem from these unexpected times. It may provide the following coverage:

  • Employee medical expenses
  • Disability
  • Lost employee wages
  • Support payments to dependents
  • Funeral expenses
  • And more…

At Wolpert Insurance, we offer the most comprehensive employers liability insurance solutions in New England. If you are ready to learn more about this important policy, please give us a call at 800-299-6819 or take a moment to fill out the free quote form on this page. We would be pleased to discuss this type of coverage with you. After all, it is our goal to provide, educate, and protect!

Discounted Workers Compensation 101

Last week, we discussed compensation programs, including a deferred compensation program from your garage and auto body shop. This week, we would like to discuss workers compensation for your business.

It is no secret that the risks in an auto body shop are endless—we discuss them on this blog all the time! Naturally, this makes workers compensation vital to any garage or repair shop. You are required by law to carry workers compensation. Instead of turning to a company for a general workers compensation quote, you should turn to our agency for what could be both a specialized AND discounted workers compensation quote. With a workers compensation policy that is unique to this specific industry, both you and your employees will not have to fear the unknown and unexpected.

At Wolpert Insurance, we can offer your business a discounted workers compensation policy depending on your past experience. It is designed to protect all of your workers in the event of an injury on company property or covered illness resulting from their employment. It generally provides several beneficial coverages, including:

    •  Coverage for the cost of medical expenses
  • Coverage for the loss of income and/or wages during injury
  • Coverage for any rehabilitation costs
  • Death benefits and more!

If you are interested in learning more about the safety and financial security that workers comp can bring to your garage and auto body shop, do not hesitate to reach out to our agents at Wolpert Insurance. Here, we understand the unique risks in this niche industry. By working with our experts, you can design a garage insurance package that caters specifically to your shop and its employees.

Compensation Programs for Your Garage

Garage and auto body shop owners: Are you aware of the compensation programs designed and available for your place of business? No matter what your answer may be, our experts are here to MAKE YOU AWARE! Providing an adequate amount of compensation will not only keep your best workers happy, but will attract a number of qualified candidates to your business—it’s a win/win!
When it comes to building a solid and unique compensation program for your business and its employees, you must first ask yourself three questions:

#1: Do you already offer competitive salaries and bonuses to your employees?

#2: Are you currently providing sufficient life insurance and disability benefits to your employees?

#3: Can your business afford to provide retiree benefits?

As you may have noticed, compensation is not always in the form of salary. Yes, a competitive salary is a great start but a compensation program will include so much more than that. Workers compensation, disability, health, and even life insurance will add up!

As a business owner, you may even want to look into specialized compensation programs, such as a deferred compensation plan. What is that?

According to the IRS, a deferred compensation plan is a plan under which employees are permitted to defer a portion of his or her gross income to a future retirement plan. This type of plan may be added when an employer who has a tax qualified 401k plan or another non-qualified deferred compensation plan wishes for more. An employer may fund this benefit only for his or herself, or even include other top partners/owners/managers. They are ultimately constructed to include owners, employees, and key employees.

If you are interested in learning more about deferred compensation programs, do not hesitate to give our agency a call. At Wolpert Insurance, we are committed to offering garage insurance solutions to owners across the state of Massachusetts—including important compensation plans.

Hazards in the Workplace: Lead Dust and Fumes

Welcome back to our discussion of hazards in the garage workplace! Last week, we discussed how solvents and diesel exhaust fumes could negatively impact your employees’ health in the short-term AND long-term. This week, we are here to discuss the hazards of lead dust and fumes, and what it could mean for your employees’ health if they are exposed without the proper protection.

There are a few leading culprits when it comes to chronic and lead poisoning, including specific paints, lubricants, batteries and the likes. Lead dust and fumes can lead to:

  •  Lead poisoning: This may hinder the body’s neurological development. Inhaled lead may end up staying in an individual’s lungs, resulting in negative long-term health effects. Symptoms for lead poisoning may include abdominal pain, muscle pain, appetite loss, constipation and even depression. If you notice that an employee is facing these symptoms, it is his or her cue to have a doctor assess the situation. If he or she is not diagnosed early on, it could be too late.
  •  Chronic poisoning: This may affect areas such as neuromuscular, gastrointestinal and neurological. Symptoms and signs may include short-term memory loss, depress, numbness, and loss of coordination. If an employee noticed a blue line along his or her gums, this may be a visible long-term effect.

As you can see, these hazards in the workplace can pose a serious risk to employee health and safety.

At Wolpert Insurance, it is our goal to provide garage and auto shop owners with information, news, and safety advice—not to mention garage insurance! If you are interested in speaking with our experts on these matters or our insurance options, please feel free to call us at 800-299-6819.

A Risk Management Process for Your Auto Body Shop, Part 2

We’re back, just like we’ve promised! Last week, we discussed the first half of a strong risk management process  for your auto body shop. In that blog we discussed how to identify, assess and evaluate exposures in the workplace. We know that you have been eagerly awaiting the last two steps. We hope that your guesses were spot on!

This week, we have the remainder of the list. Let’s kick things off at number four:

#4: Control. For those risks that could not be avoided, how can you control the risks in your shop? There are plenty of ways, including: Improved safety features (cameras, fences, extra lighting, locks, etc.), new procedures and policies, safety guidelines, extra training, and more. Also, an effective means of control is to put a safety team in place that will help create procedures and training of employees in the workplace. Finally, set a goal for your business and consider whether the achievement of that goal will carry along with it a safety bonus for the company or that particular department.

#5: Monitor. And now, you monitor. If you and the safety committee continue to monitor what you have already done, you can ensure that all is going as smooth as possible. This would include the review of all incidents in the shop to determine what changes, if any, need to be made to avoid or mitigate the incident from happening again. This is the secret to an effective risk management plan! As long as you continually assess your plan, you may be able to make the appropriate changes or take the right action to avoid any deficiencies or loop holes.

…Did you guess the last two correctly? We sure hope so!

Now, do you know what the best part about this list is? Our agents at Wolpert Insurance are here to help you with it! We do not want to see you struggle to manage your risks properly—we want to help keep your business in the clear. By speaking with our garage insurance agents, you will soon see how easy it is to identify and monitor the risks in your shop—and everything in between.

If something does go wrong, you will have Wolpert Insurance with you. With coverage you design, you will have the peace of mind that you deserve. For guidance and advice, please reach out to us by calling 800-299-6819. We would be happy to help!

A Risk Management Process for Your Auto Body Shop, Part 1

As the owner of an auto body shop, you are no stranger to unique risks.  In fact, risks in your shop can take many forms—from customer-related to employee safety risks.  While it may seem tough to pinpoint them all, it is essential that you do your best. Of course, you have garage insurance in place for the worst case scenario but preventing a claim is much better in the long run—the last thing you need is a rising premium!

Over the next couple weeks, we will show you FIVE STEPS that will help you manage the risks in your shop. This week, we have the first three:

#1: Identify. To identify, you may want to sit down with your business partner, managers and even employees. Brainstorm the risks that your business faces, both internal and external. Risks may include: auto theft, damage to inventory, employee injuries, customer fraud, stormy weather, and more. Once you are aware of those risks, you have completed the first step.

#2: Assess. Next, you will want to assess these risks as a whole. If this seems like a tough process, do not worry! Our agents at Wolpert Insurance are here to help you. We can help you determine which risks are the most probable in your shop. You may want to list these from highest to lowest risk, if possible.

#3: Evaluate. Once you have assessed your risks from most to least probable, it is time to figure out whether the identified risks can be avoided, reduced, or mitigated (especially the high-risk ones!) Ask yourself the following questions about each: Is there a way to avoid this risk? How can we reduce this risk? Is there a policy that needs to be in place? Is there NO solution for either avoiding or affording some or all of this risk?

Are you excited to hear what comes NEXT? Be sure to tune into our agency’s blog next week. We will share the two remaining steps! Can you guess what they are?