By the very nature of the work they do, auto body shops face more risks than businesses in most industries. What’s important is that you take steps to manage and limit those risks. One of the best ways to mitigate risk is to get adequate insurance coverage to protect against the financial harm associated with them.
This article explains common risks auto body shops face, types of insurance that can protect you against them, and the best insurance companies to get the coverage you need.
- The 6 best auto body shop insurance companies
- Most common insurance coverages for auto body shops
- Am I required to get auto body shop insurance?
- How much does auto body shop insurance cost?
- What affects auto body shop insurance costs?
- Auto repair shop insurance
The 6 best auto body shop insurance companies
- Progressive: Best overall auto body shop insurance provider
- Simply Business: Best for comparing quotes on a single screen
- biBerk: Best for low-cost auto body shop insurance
- CoverWallet: Best online insurance buying experience
- THREE: Best for comprehensive auto body shop insurance
- The Hartford: Best for auto body shop insurance from a top-tier insurer
Progressive: Best overall auto body shop insurance provider
Progressive was established more than 80 years ago. It’s now a leading U.S. insurance provider.
- Progressive is a solid insurance company with a good track record.
- It offers many discounts that could help you save money on auto body shop insurance.
- It’s relatively easy to get a quote from Progressive.
- Most of your auto body shop coverages won’t be underwritten by Progressive. They will come from other insurers.
- You will have to make claims through the insurers that provide your coverage, not Progressive.
- Progressive doesn’t offer discounts in all states.
Simply Business: Best for comparing quotes on a single screen
Simply Business isn’t a direct insurance provider. Instead, it’s a broker that connects business owners with insurance companies in its network, making it possible to compare quotes on a single screen.
- It’s relatively easy to get several quotes from reputable insurance companies through Simply Business.
- Simply Business regularly reviews the insurers on its platform to ensure they’re financially solid and stable.
- The firm has an extensive online resource library to help you learn about business insurance coverage and controlling risk.
- Third-party insurers, not Simply Business, handle customer service.
- It may be less expensive to get coverage directly from an insurance company than through Simply Business.
- You can’t file a claim through Simply Business. It must be done through your insurer.
biBerk: Best for low-cost auto body shop insurance
BiBERK is known for being a business insurance company that has made smart use of technology to reduce coverage costs.
- biBerk makes it fast and simple for auto body shop owners to get quotes, buy policies, file claims, and download a certificate of insurance online.
- Experienced professionals are available to provide advice and support when purchasing insurance.
- biBerk’s insurance prices for auto body shop insurance are often lower than those of other insurers.
- biBerk may not be able to provide all the types of coverage you need.
- biBerk doesn’t sell insurance in all states.
- Despite biBerk’s reputation for being a low-cost insurer, it’s essential to get quotes from other companies to ensure you’re getting coverage at a fair price.
CoverWallet: Best online insurance buying experience
CoverWallet is an online insurance broker. It makes it easy for small business owners to get insurance quotes from several companies.
- CoverWallet can save you the time of contacting multiple insurance companies to compare costs.
- CoverWallet provides online tools that make it easy to pay your premiums, file claims, and download your proof of insurance.
- Coverage through CoverWallet comes from top-tier insurers.
- CoverWallet doesn’t always provide you with online quotes. In some situations, you must call a representative to complete the quoting process.
- You may pay more for auto body shop insurance coverage through CoverWallet than getting it directly from an insurance company.
- You will not be able to make claims through CoverWallet. You’ll have to do it through the insurer that provides your coverage.
THREE: Best for comprehensive auto body shop insurance
Three is one of Berkshire Hathaway’s business insurance companies. What sets it apart is that it provides all the coverage auto body shop owners need in just a single, three-page easy-to-understand policy.
- Three offers comprehensive insurance protection, all in a single policy.
- It’s relatively easy to get coverage through Three.
- Experienced insurance agents are available to help you buy coverage.
- If you only want certain types of coverage, you won’t be able to secure it through Three because it only offers a comprehensive business policy.
- Three offers limited online service capabilities.
- Three doesn’t offer insurance in all states.
The Hartford: Best for auto body shop insurance from a top-tier insurer
The Hartford is a leader in the business insurance space. It has a more than 200-year history of offering insurance protection and is known for the excellent service provided by its employees, sustainability practices, trust, and integrity.
- The Hartford can customize coverage to meet the needs of most auto body shops.
- The company is a highly reputable and ethical insurer.
- More than one million businesses get their insurance protection from The Hartford.
- The Hartford’s auto body shop insurance coverage can be more costly than other providers.
- The company’s online application system isn’t as modern and fast as those from newer tech-centered insurers.
- The Hartford doesn’t offer as many insurance discounts as some of the other providers on this list.
Most common insurance coverages for auto body shops
General liability insurance
Overview: General liability insurance offers financial protection if someone other than an employee gets hurt on your business property or if you damage someone’s property when finding business.
Example: A technician accidentally backs a car into a wall and damages its bumper. General liability protection can help pay for repairs to the bumper. It will also pay if someone sues you over an injury resulting from slipping and falling in your garage.
General Liability can help you pay for:
- Healthcare costs
- Repairing and replacing damaged property
- Legal fees and judgments.
Commercial property insurance
Overview: Commercial property insurance covers your business location if it’s harmed by fire, vandalism, or extreme weather. It also protects the inventory, gear, and equipment you own or rent to run your shop.
Example: If vandals break into your garage and damage your paint booth, property insurance can help with the costs of repairing or replacing it. It may even pay for income lost because you can’t paint cars.
Commercial Property can help you pay for:
- Harm to your shop
- Damage to equipment, inventory, and supplies
- Income lost because of reasons covered by your insurance.
Garage keepers coverage
Overview: Garage keepers insurance covers expenses resulting from damaging a customer’s vehicle while it’s in your care.
Example: If you or someone who works for you scratch a vehicle’s paint while making repairs, garage keepers insurance will help cover the cost of repainting the car.
Garage keepers insurance can help you pay for:
- Damage to customer’s vehicles that happens while in your care
- Dents and scratches.
Professional liability insurance
Overview: Professional liability insurance covers expenses, legal costs, and financial losses if you are accused of making a mistake at your shop.
Example: If a customer sues you because you painted their car the wrong color, professional liability insurance will help pay legal, settlement, and repainting costs.
Professional liability insurance can help you pay for:
- Redoing a project that doesn’t meet client standards
- Legal and settlement costs if you’re sued
- Claims of professional negligence.
Learn more at the best professional liability insurance companies
Workers’ compensation insurance
Overview: Workers’ comp insurance provides benefits if a covered employee becomes injured or ill for work-related reasons.
Example: An employee breaks an arm while repairing a car. Workers comp will pay for medical costs associated with the incident, along with lost wages, if the employee cannot return to work.
These are some of the most common coverages auto body shop owners get. Use the list as a guide. Always consult a business insurance professional to ensure you have all the protection you need.
Learn more at the best workers comp insurance companies
Am I required to get auto body shop insurance?
You may be required to get auto repair shop insurance in several situations, including when you:
- Apply for an auto body shop business license.
- Lease or purchase a bay or shop. Landlords and banks may require it because the coverage protects their interests in your business.
- Take control over your customer’s vehicles. Customers may be unwilling to leave them in your care if you don’t have garage keepers insurance. They may also not want you to work on them if you don’t have professional liability coverage.
Whether required or not, it’s a smart idea to get auto body shop insurance to protect the business you’ve worked so hard to build.
How much does auto body shop insurance cost?
The average cost of a $1 million general liability insurance policy for auto body shops is $93 per month. Most auto body shops would need general liability insurance or also called garage liability insurance and they usually pay between $68 to $240 per month.
An auto body shop may need more coverage than just general liability insurance. Below are the average costs of these coverages for auto body shops:
|Auto body shop insurance coverage||Average costs|
|General liability or garage liability insurance||$93 per month|
|Garage keepers insurance||$102 per month|
|Commercial property insurance||$168 per month|
|Workers comp insurance||$132 per month per employee|
These are just the estimated averages. Your rates will be different. What’s important is that you get quotes from several insurers so you can compare them to find the right coverage for your auto body shop at a fair price.
What affects auto body shop insurance costs?
How much you spend on auto body shop insurance depends on many factors, including:
- The types of auto body services you offer
- Where your business is located
- How much your business property and equipment is worth
- Size of business
- Number of employees and what they do
- Number, types, and levels of coverage
Auto repair shop insurance
Some people may find that auto repair shops and auto body shops are the same. Actually, auto body shop is a type of auto repair shops. Their operations have more unique characteristics, and thus require more specialized insurance coverage than a standard auto repair shop.
If you are looking for insurance coverage for more standard auto repair shops, check out our other articles on this topic: how much does auto repair shop insurance cost and the best auto repair shop insurance companies.