Laura Berry is a former State Farm insurance producer and insurance expert.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products, including home, life, auto, and commercial, and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, mainly in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers Insurance CSR 4 Years

UPDATED: Oct 18, 2021

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Important facts to know...

  • Car mechanics and garage owners need the right insurance policy in place to protect against liability potential claims on customers’ cars
  • Non-owner commercial auto insurance is the type of policy mechanics and their employers need
  • Mechanics covered by their employers’ policies still should seriously think about acquiring additional insurance on their own

Mechanics assist and support car owners in a number of critical ways:

  • fixing mechanical problems
  • replacing fluids
  • performing routine maintenance

A mechanic might even notice a major problem the owner never realized existed. A simple test drive is more than enough to tell a mechanic vital information about obvious and hidden troubles plaguing a vehicle.

Unfortunately, a test drive does not always turn out to be a simple and easy as preferred. A mechanic who starts up a car and takes the vehicle out either on a public road or a private driveway is always at risk for an accident.

If the mechanic is at-fault for bodily injury, property damage, or damage to the vehicle, he/she might find himself in a tough situation.

Or, maybe the situation is really simple after all. Filing a claim on a car insurance policy may be all that is necessary to deal with the financial fallout from an at-fault accident.

Of course, there are many variables that come into play when filing a claim with any type of auto insurance policy.

The key first step is having the right policy in place at the very beginning.

Comparison shopping aids with this goal. Comparing and reviewing a number of different quotes in a careful manner is well-advised for anyone involved with driving or housing a customer’s car. Use our free rate comparison tool today!

Anyone who is injured by a mechanic driving a customer’s car is going to seek damages. Injuries do come with costs.

The injured party is going to seek to recoup those costs. And yes, a business or an employee could suffer gravely in financial terms without the necessary insurance coverage in place.

Insurance and Garage Ownership

The garage that employs mechanics to fix vehicles positively does need significant insurance in order to cover any potential losses.

In the horrible event of a fire, several customer cars parked in the garage overnight could end up being destroyed. The garage owner would need to file a claim, but this claim would not be filed with an auto insurance policy.

Rather, a business liability insurance policy would be the appropriate one to replace the costs of the cars.

Such a policy would not cover someone driving the vehicle.

The second a mechanic, or any other employee, gets behind the wheel of the car, he/she needs an appropriate car insurance policy in place. A personal car insurance policy is not going to cover any losses. The policy would need to be of the commercial auto insurance variety.

The owners of the garage need to review as many quotes as possible in order to be sure the necessary coverage requirements mandated by the state are in place. Acquiring the coverage at a very reasonable premium price would make good fiscal sense as well.

Maximizing the insurance coverage is critically important since a business’ solvency might be at risk in the aftermath of a major at-fault accident.

No one, not a mechanic or a garage owner, should ever assume the chances of an accident occurring during a test drive are low. Not a single person in the world can predict with absolutely certain what can or cannot occur on the road.

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Non-Owned Business Auto Insurance

The business auto insurance policy necessary for mechanics would be non-owned car insurance. As the name suggests, this type of policy covers losses to a vehicle that is not owned by the person driving it.

The mechanics who drive the customer’s vehicle should be covered under the employer’s non-owner insurance policy. This coverage might not be enough for an employee’s comfort, though.

Rather than take any chances, anyone working as a mechanic should invest in purchasing his or her own non-owners commercial auto insurance policy. Doing so adds a greater layer of protection.

Not everyone believes in the idea that being more insured is better than less insured.

A really basic question needs to be asked here: who would prefer to have less insurance after being involved in an at-fault accident?

Mechanics should not make any assumptions about what the garage’s non-owner car insurance covers. Find out how much insurance liability has been covered.

In the difficult situation where the vehicle owner files a claim beyond the garage’s policy, the mechanic would have protection in place through his/her own non-owner policy.

The Type of Non-Owner Coverage in Place

Coverage for a non-owner auto policy would add financial protection to cover liability. Again, liability covers bodily injury and damage to property. Riders (additions) to a policy could also add protections for uninsured motorist and medical.

The risks of being hit by an uninsured motorist may be higher than someone believes. Even though auto insurance is mandated by law, drivers do ignore the rules. In Kentucky, the problem is so serious that lawmakers are imposing a crackdown.

Comprehensive and collision insurance, however, won’t be included in a non-owner policy. Garage owners and mechanics do need to make sure nothing happens to a vehicle in their possession.

If a $100,000 brand-new car is vandalized or stolen, things could get very troubling if the owner or the owner’s insurance provider seeks legal damages.

For example, a vehicle could be left unattended and unsecured leading to its theft.

The insurance company may pay the owner, but this might not be the end of things. The insurance company could go after the garage and/or the mechanic deemed at fault. With no comprehensive coverage available to non-owners, consider it advisable to take extra care.

Review All Available Insurance

Nobody every said working as a car mechanic or owning a garage comes without many responsibilities. A host of those responsibilities would be financial ones.

Insurance does help cover certain financial risks, which is why insurance is so important to a working person or an entrepreneur.

So get the right insurance policy.

Garage owners and car mechanics positively should review all insurance options available to them. Make sure the right insurance is in place and be sure the most reliable amount of coverage is present in the policy.

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