Car Mechanic and Dealership Insurance

Car Mechanic and Dealership Insurance

For more info, contact

Kevin O’Donoghue

Account Executive | Broker

From independent car mechanics to franchise car dealerships, trust in Gifford Carr to ensure you are protected.

If you own a garage or vehicle service centre, there are a number of insurance categories you will want to consider. Given the scope of work for your business, your needs may differ from other businesses as you have some unique risks. In addition to protecting the business against liability, fire and theft, you also need to be protected in the event an employee damages a customer’s car while it is in your company’s possession or a fender bender on a test drive.

Think about insurance as an investment, it can provide financial protection for injuries caused by your operations. Deciding what mixture of liability insurance coverage is best for your company can be a confusing. We are here to help. At Gifford Carr we are on your team. We work for you. We understand that each shop is different.

Work with an expert who understands your business.

Our car garage and dealership expert, Kevin O’Donoghue,  has been working with cars since he was 16. Working in car garages, gas station and car wash shops, he was hands on learning everything to do with auto mechanics. He loved, and still loves, cars. Though he was never a mechanic himself, he worked on everything from oil changes to tire repairs. Since day one in insurance our expert has been supporting commercial insurance for car garages and dealerships.

Our expert will do an assessment based on the scope of work in your shoppe to tailor the coverage you need to protect your business, and will be straight forward with what you don’t. Connect with Kevin.

Garage Auto businesses we work with:

  • Car repair garages
  • Body shops and collision repair facilities
  • Specialty Shops (glass repair, tinting, vehicle wraps)
  • Car detailing and car washes
  • Gas stations and gas bars
  • Mobile car services
  • Oil & Lube services
  • Tire Services
  • Car dealerships (new and used car sales)
  • Recreational vehicle dealers
  • Parking garages (including valet service)


How do I know how much coverage I need to protect my shop?

How do I come up with my limits of insurance? You’ve built your shop and added to it – with new equipment and tools – over the years.

At Gifford Carr, our expert will come walk through your shop with you. With their expertise and understanding of your business, they can help evaluate the value of your property, tools and equipment to ensure your business and its tools are properly protected.

What does legal liability mean?

You have to be negligent for your policy to respond.

This may be best explained with an example. If a client drops a car off at your garage, you leave the keys in the car because they are going to be picking up after hours, though it’s not your standard practice the client asked for it. Someone steals the car. Your garage auto policy will only pay if there is negligence on your garage leading to the theft. So, if you are doing something that is not normal business practice – note it. Write it on the work order. Cover yourself to prevent a claim on your policy where it should not be.

Can we cover your tow truck?

Yes, but separate policy from a typical car garage.

You may have heard it’s a “Hard market” in surname right now. This hard market makes it tough for tow trucks to secure the coverage they need. Working with a broker that understands the parameters required and has the experience working with your industry helps get you covered. Typically this market means tow trucks need to have a clean driving record, 3 years (provable) experience, and clean CVOR (commercial vehicle operating record) to secure coverage.

Are employee tools covered under the program?

Not unless you have added Employee Tool Liability.

With this added line item, you will have the coverage in place for the replacement cost for your employee’s tools, up to the preset limit. These tools would not otherwise be covered in your typical property policy for your business business.

Connecting with an expert that understands your business ensures your broker will walk the shop. Know where you have exposure or risk and understand the value of you, and your employees, tools. Then they can help protect you accordingly.

Do I need "hoist collision" coverage?

Hoist collision refers to coverage for an accidental impact between a hydraulic or mechanical hoist and something else.

However, adding this coverage is a common misconception. Hoist collision is often included in the liability section of your garage auto policy. Always best to talk to a broker that understands your business to ensure you have the coverage you need, without adding the coverage you don’t.


Buckle up your garage protection.

Protecting your business, is our business. 

We work for you. 

With access to all the carriers across Canada rest easy knowing that we are always working in the best interest of you, our client.

Get in touch
Get in touch
Get in touch
Complete the form to connect with your local Gifford Carr broker to get a detailed quote. Trust us to ensure you are protected. So you can focus on what matters.

    What type of insurance are you shopping for? Select all that apply.

        Contact our team
        Contact our team
        Contact our team
        Complete the form to connect with your local Gifford Carr broker to get a detailed quote. Trust us to ensure you are protected. So you can focus on what matters.

          Garage Auto Liability

          Garage Auto Liability

          Known as the OAP4, this coverage is specific to the car garage industry.

          Icon Garage
          Icon Garage

          If you have sell cars, have a dealer plate (ie white license plates) and/or have a service vehicle or courtesy car – this is the coverage for you.

          Car garages take care custody or control of someone else’s vehicle. Your business requires specialized coverage for damage to cars in your care, custody and control when repairing, servicing, transporting cars for your clients.

          This policy provides coverage for non-owned autos and can be expanded to included owned automobiles as well. However it is important to understand the limitations for this type of policy. These limitations include, no lease vehicles, no loss of use (ie. rental coverage in the event of a loss), no non-depreciation waiver on the vehicle. It is important to also note, you cannot get garage auto (OAP4) without commercial property and general liability coverage.

          Commercial General Liability

          Commercial General Liability

          An essential for all business operations.

          Commercial General Liability Icon
          Commercial General Liability Icon

          In the event of property damage or bodily harm caused by you, your business or your employees to a third party, a comprehensive Commercial General Liability Insurance policy should protect you from litigation, out-of-court settlements, and judgements awarded by the courts.

          Commercial general liability insurance may cover you against claims for injury or property damage to work you are doing on a customer’s car and any injury/damage on property.

          Learn more about Commercial General Liability.

          Commercial Property

          Commercial Property

          A fundamental coverage for the bricks and mortar of your shop.

          business buildings, commercial property insurance icon
          business buildings, commercial property insurance icon

          In broad terms, this coverage protects your buildings, contents and inventory. This means everything that is used for business, that doesn’t leave the shop, is covered under contents and equipment in your property liability policy.

          Employee Tools Liability

          Employee Tools Liability

          If your team brings their own tools to your shop, this is coverage you should consider.

          When your colleagues bring their own tools into your business, adding Employee Tool Liability adds a line item to your policy that will cover the replacement cost for their tools, up to the preset limit. These tools would not otherwise be covered in your typical property policy for your business business.

          Commercial Vehicle

          Commercial Vehicle

          Coverage for your vehicles if you take your car services on location.

          Taking your business on the road? Mobile car service business models is a growing field in the industry.

          If you take your services on location or have vehicles used for your day to day operations you will want to consider commercial vehicle coverage in addition to your Car Auto policy. Given the limitations to car auto policies, where you cannot have leased vehicles, loss of use (ie rental coverage in the event of a loss), or a non-depreciation waiver on the vehicle, a commercial vehicle policy can help get you back to business with a rental or replacement cost protection for your vehicle not otherwise available in just car and auto policies.

          Over 5 vehicles? You may qualify for Fleet Insurance.
          Which may result in a savings for having multiple policies.