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Shopping Garage Keepers Insurance


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I need some recommendations on learning more about garage keepers insurance. Like basically where to start, how to shop for it, any information would be helpful.

 

To give you a little background on where I am coming from: My brother and I are taking over the business, our father is 69 and is working his way into retirement. He has done a great job on teaching us how to run a shop, we are both very good service managers, however we have little experience on the business end of things. The reason that I am so interested in insurance is at the end of last year we were dropped by our underwriter, not for too many claims, just because, well I don't really know why. I think it had more to with the insurance company and the direction they were heading. Anyway our insurance guy scrambled to get us insurance at the 11th hour and needless to say we are paying out the nose.

 

We have 2 locations and do general automotive repair. The kicker is, we also have 2-3 service trucks and do on site tire repair for semi and construction tires. Yes, I know, there is my expensive insurance issue. However we have never paid this much before and I think part of it is who we are dealing with.

 

With all that being said I am trying to be proactive and learn as much as I can, so that maybe when it is time to renew we can get this expense a little more inline.

 

Any help and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

 

Scott

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I would find a good agent and start there. I would also seperate the two businesses completly, different names, books, licenses ect, and get each it's own insurance. That way you will know for sure if both businesses are making you money or if you should let one go to focus on the other.

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I too had a very good agent and he suggested we split the 3 businesses we had under one name. My rates were pretty high to begin with but when we divided the pot up with three names and three separate operations the total bill dropped quite a bit. I have to say I did have a total of 3 different agents over the 12 years in that location. The first was a friend and I feel took advantage of the friendship, the second was lazy on our behalf and the third was an all star.

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      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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