Insurance coverage explained

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Ever since I entered the insurance industry 15 years ago, I’ve wanted to make a difference by not only helping customers get the best coverage for their money, but also changing the insurance industry. for the best. I can relate to professional car wash businesses because I come from a family of car wash owners. I have witnessed the difficulties that my family’s business encounters on a daily basis in terms of management, claims, insurance, etc. My passion is helping business owners understand their insurance policies and coverages in detail.

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For this article, I outline some important insurance coverages to consider when building or buying a car wash operation. It is important to keep these insurance options in mind to protect your business against any unforeseen incident. Some of them may or may not apply to your current car wash. So it’s important to work with a trusted insurance agent to select the right coverage and options for your particular wash or location.

Builder risk

It is well known that the car wash industry has continued a phase of widespread construction of new locations across the United States. So who really needs builder’s risk insurance coverage?

Any person, company or business with a financial interest in the construction of a car wash project needs builders insurance. The owner, the contractor and his possible subcontractors as well as the lender are candidates for construction site insurance.

workers compensation

Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to protect your business and its employees. With this coverage, it provides wage replacement and medical benefits to employees who are injured on the job. For employers, this means an exchange for the mandatory waiver of the employee’s right to sue your company for negligence.

Each state has specific requirements as to whether or not an operation should be covered. In the state of Missouri, you are required to have workers’ compensation insurance if you have five or more employees. In Texas, surprisingly, employers are not required to provide Workers’ Compensation, however, we still recommend this insurance option to all of our clients. Well worth the peace of mind for the cost.

Even if your state does not require you to carry workers’ compensation, if an employee is injured on the job, you would most likely be held liable for lost wages and medical benefits. For the relatively low cost of this coverage, it is recommended that you obtain coverage even if it is not mandated by your state.

General liability insurance

General liability insurance protects your business against liability claims arising from negligence that can cause injury to others, including customers. General liability also protects your business if someone is injured using your product or service or on your premises.

For example, if you own a self-service car wash and a customer is injured using the wand sprayer, your car wash could be held liable for all injuries – so general liability is very important.

General liability may cover expenses such as medical expenses related to the injury, property damage as well as any personal lawsuits brought by the customer. When you consider that the legal fees, settlements, or judgment costs of a single lawsuit could drive your business out of business, you’ll understand why this type of insurance is considered a “must-have.”

These are just a few of the important coverages to add to your insurance policy if you don’t already have them. There are many other coverages specific to car wash companies.

It’s important to make sure you review your policy coverages often. In fact, we recommend having an annual renewal review with your current insurance agent as a best practice. Good wash.


Melissa Pirkey is Vice President of the Car Wash Division and Vertical Head of Assured Partners/Midlothian Insurance.

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