Car wash businesses with great locations, customer service and high traffic can be extremely profitable. The full-service car washes that also offer auto detailing and other additional services can benefit from additional revenue and repetitive customers. However, car washes also present risks and exposures that should be correctly identified by your insurance professional. The high turnover of vehicles, work performed on the customer’s vehicles and other incidental operations make this a unique business exposed to different types of accidents.
There is the risk of fall (or trip) and slip, customer’s vehicles being damaged while serviced, injury to customers, visitors and employees, damage to your equipment and property caused by fire and other situations. If not adequately insured, these accidents can leave your business unprotected resulting in negative consequences that include damage to your business image and reputation, loss of customers and revenue, legal fees and other unwanted expenses.
While the Commercial General Liability (CGL) policy is the best-known policy for business owners, it may not provide the best protection to a car wash business. The Commercial General Liability can defend you against most slip (or trip) and fall injuries to customers and other bodily injuries, there are important exclusions on that policy that may leave you unprotected. A standard Commercial General Liability (CGL) does not protect you for any damage caused by, or to your customer’s vehicles. The reason is due to the exclusion of any liability arising out of the use of an “auto” and any damage to property (auto) in your care, custody and control. We have assisted many Car Wash businesses to insure them against those exposures that are common to a car wash operation by adding Garage Liability, Garagekeepers, Workers’ Compensation and other coverage.
We can customize our insurance programs to the needs of each car wash business and protect against claims to the customer’s vehicles, injuries at the business locations, damage to exterior signs, machinery, equipment and other property. We can also include business income in the event your business must temporarily close due to a covered accident. Full-service car washes are labor intensive and heavily regulated in most states, an appropriate Workers’ Compensation insurance policy is not only required but very important component of your overall insurance strategy.