What Does Auto Body Shop Insurance Cost?
Have you recently seen the cost of your body shop insurance go up?
Curious what other insurers offer and what the cost of garage insurance is?
Experiencing problems with your insurance company over your collision repair business insurance?
In this video and post, I’m going to answer those questions and more, coming right up.
So, what does insurance cost for auto body shops?
That’s of course a difficult question to answer because of the different factors that go into rating a body shop’s policy. But I hope to give you some ideas on the subject of insurance costs and what drives costs up and down for different businesses.
Every body shop is different, so rates and premiums will differ.
Here are some of the rating factors that go into pricing out the insurance for a body shop or collision center:
- Construction of your building – The more resistive to fire a building is, the lower the insurance costs. The most expensive will be a frame structure, the least expensive is a full masonry building that is sprinklered and classified as non-combustible. While there’s not much you can do to change the construction of your building the addition of alarms, sprinklers, or fire extinguishing systems can help make a difference in what you pay for insurance
- Claims history – If you’ve had claims in the past, you’ll likely pay more for insurance than a similar business to yours that hasn’t had claims. With this in mind, it’s important to think through the types of claims you’ve had, and what strategies you can deploy to prevent them from occurring again.
- Limits of coverage – especially for garage keepers coverage which protects your customers’ cars in your care. A small shop with a few cars versus a larger shop with dozens of cars on their lot will have a big difference in premiums.
- Payroll or headcount – often will drive the liability rates up or down. So a larger shop will, of course, pay more than a smaller shop in terms of the number of employees.
- General risk control – the better job you do at controlling risk at your shop, the better your pricing will be for insurance. Things like having a written safety manual for employees, making sure you control access to keys, making sure customers’ cars are safe and protected. In fact, the more controls you put in place and let your broker or insurer know about, the easier your renewals will be.
But what does it cost?
I know you’d like to click a button and find out the costs. And there are some websites out there that have ridiculously low prices on their sites – like “the average body shop insurance premium is $58 per month.”
To me, that’s just ridiculous. How do they get to that number? What’s included in that number?
Ultimately, I think throwing out an average number like that does a disservice to you and to me.
Well, for you it’s a number pulled out of thin air that doesn’t reflect your particular circumstances. Is that the average number for a shop with one employee that has 2 cars on the premises?
Or is it for a shop with 8 mechanics and 15 cars on-premises? That $58 monthly premium really does you no good.
For me, it’s a disservice because I want to know you, your business, and your risks. I want to know how I can help you protect your biggest asset – your business.
For me, it’s not a transaction, this is a relationship. And I want to customize that relationship to fit your needs.
At the end of the day, this is nothing more than a bait and switch tactic and it’s not how I do business, and I doubt you do either.
So if you really want to find out what it costs, let’s chat and see if we are a good fit for your business.
How do you keep insurance costs for a body shop low?
Good question. In my experience, the best thing you can do to keep your insurance premiums low focuses on risk control. Things like:
- Keep your shop well organized and clean and free of clutter. Good housekeeping will help prevent fires, trips, and falls, and make a good impression on any insurance company inspectors who may come for a visit. And normally, insurers do send inspectors to body shops.
- As I mentioned earlier, have a written shop safety manual and use it in the training and onboarding of new employees. We can help develop a program like this with you.
- Store flammables in approved containers and dispose of rags and debris properly to prevent fires.
- Encourage employees to use personal protective devices such as safety glasses and hearing protection when applicable.
- Protect customer vehicles in your possession – this includes having the parking area fenced, locked, and lighted.
- You may also consider deploying surveillance cameras
How can you get the best price?
In my experience, it pays to get quotes from different insurers to make a true comparison. But I don’t think it’s in your best interest to do that with multiple brokers.
Instead, work with one broker who can bring your account out to several insurers at the same time for quotes.
Why do I recommend that?
First off for consistency. You agree with your broker what insurance coverages you need and that broker should get you quotes all based on the same parameters.
Second, it saves you time and effort, and third, there are a limited number of insurers out there writing auto repair shops, and they all will only quote your account for one broker at a time.
If you engage multiple brokers at the same time, you’ll like to get them bumping into each other in the marketplace trying to get quotes and it just results in a mess.
Here’s the bottom line.
You’ve invested a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into your shop, and protecting you from potentially catastrophic claims is paramount.
After all, your business is probably your biggest asset.
You want to work with an expert who has experience, knowledge, and skill to get you the right coverage at the right price.
We have that skillset and represent numerous insurers who really want to insure body shops.
Want to see how I can help?
Give me a call or drop me an email and let’s chat – in fact, click the button below to get started! Let’s talk and see if we’re a good fit for your business.
I promise no high-pressure selling gimmicks or tricks. Just some honest conversation to cover your issues, problems, or thought and to see if we might be a good fit.