When it’s time to renew your personal vehicle insurance or your house insurance, you will undoubtedly fall into one of two camps: those who shop around and those who simply renew…
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From a personal perspective and with so many comparison websites at our disposal, chances are most of us have or are in the process of migrating to the ‘shop around’ camp, so if you adopt this approach in your private life, there’s no reason that you shouldn’t when it comes to your business. However, when you’re running a business and there are so many other issues which require your attention, it can be all too easy to simply renew your insurance rather than research a potential better deal.
Shockingly, a survey of people working in the motor trade undertaken last summer by The Motor Trade Club, found almost a third (30%) of respondents did not have Motor Trade insurance, despite it being a legal requirement. Just over half (51%) did not have Motor Trade Liability insurance and of the traders who had employees, 40% said they had not taken out Employers’ Liability cover, even though it too is a legal requirement.
Not having the necessary cover exposes garages to any number of risks which could cost several thousand pounds in both fines and legal action. The HMRC works with insurance companies to identify businesses without the required insurance policies and fines can be up to £2,500 per day.
Bearing this in mind, check your insurance policy is up to date and that you are covered for all aspects of your business. If you’re a garage owner you have probably opted for motor trade combined insurance which protects your vehicles, whether your business includes a sales outlet or you run courtesy cars, your customers’ vehicles, liability and the garage itself and all its contents. Your policy will cover you for your equipment, but just make sure it provides the level of cover you require and that if there is a maximum limit for a single piece of equipment or if it’s taken off-site, it is adequate should you need to have it replaced. In addition, make sure the policy’s maximum pay-out does cover all your equipment in the event of having to replace your garage contents in their entirety.
Combined motor trade insurance policies make it much easier to ensure all areas required are covered as well as being far more convenient. There is usually a price advantage too since taking out one combined insurance can often be cheaper than taking out several different insurance policies to cover various aspects of your business. Of course, you will also save yourself time and if you’re a busy garage owner, it is likely that’s one of your most valuable resources.
In much the same way as you would research your personal insurance requirements, it makes sense to apply the same principles when identifying your garage insurance provider or in the run-up to a renewal. When your renewal is due, don’t leave it until the last minute, we would recommend you spend some time comparing costs, most companies have online quote systems to make it easier.
However, it is also worth noting that garage owners should be just as aware of the limitations of their cover rather than risk being caught out. Specialist motor trade providers are likely to be able to cover every aspect of your garage business, including employers’ liability insurance and public liability insurance, but if you are unsure, just ask. If you opt for a broker, you can tap into their experience to help you find the company which best suits your needs at the most competitive rate.
You need to be confident your insurance covers everything your business undertakes be it repairing, selling or driving customer vehicles to ensure you are protected against damages and mishaps. Identifying the right policy does depend on your business areas and it is always best to seek professional advice to avoid any pitfalls.
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