is Providing Garage Keeper's Insurance for the Whole State of California

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Now insuring every garage operation from basic service and repair shops to large Valet Parking and Gas Stations, throughout the whole state of California

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Insuring California's garage related risks

"I write it all", says Jerry Waltz "and I have great rates", a website owned by Brilliant Insurance Services, a retail commercial insurance agency, is now providing "garage liability" for all garage-related businesses throughout the entire state of California. Jerry Waltz, a seasoned insurance professional, is the lead broker on these accounts. "I can write is all", he says "from car dealerships, muffler shops, and gas stations to ‘custom car' and valet operations.."

Whenever you hand the keys of your car over to someone, you are taking a risk and putting a lot of trust in that person. Garage Keepers insurance is a necessary and intricate coverage that all of us want to be sure is done right. “You probably don’t even think about it when you drop your car off at the shop or go out to dinner..” says Jerry “..but if they aren’t covered properly, you could find yourself in a real jam..”

There are a wide variety of “risks” that fall into the garage keeper category – the most common are your body shops, paint shops, muffler and tune up shops, and general auto maintenance, but it doesn’t stop there. Car dealerships, valet operations, and gas stations, used tire shops and especially operations that raise, lower, and customize vehicles can be especially challenging to insure.Garage insurance provides a variety of coverage that includes not only the liability if the vehicle operated by someone entrusted with the care, custody and control of the vehicle hits another party, but also provides physical damage to the car itself.

According to Jerry, “…a lot of shop owners have had to let their policies lapse due to the recession and are operating without coverage…” He adds “…we are seeing that a lot of them are coming back and with our new programs and rates, it is making it easy for them to get back on track…”

Jerry has been writing this specialized coverage now for over 7 years. “I have seen a lot of programs over the years, but the insurance companies are ‘hungry’ for the business and have priced their policies accordingly lately…” Surprisingly, there is no law requiring such shop owners to carry insurance. The only way to know if a garage related business is actually insured is to ask, and who does that? There is a huge amount of trust we as consumers put into the hands of the people we hand the keys to our car to.

Jerry admits that “…there is paperwork involved, there is no way to avoid it...but it has to be done; it isn’t supposed to be easy…” For example, getting “valet insurance” requires obtaining driving records on all the employees, the relative values of the cars they cater to, and volume of cars they handle throughout the year – just to get a quote! Having one “bad driver” work for the company, or perhaps a valet operation that handles “high value” cars, can cause the price of insurance to increase considerably.

Many shops have a tow truck too. The really tough accounts are those that involve customizing cars. Getting insurance for an operation that modifies cars can be expensive and intense. The same goes for getting insurance for a used tire shop. Imagine buying a used tire, and three weeks later the tire blows and getting into a car accident. Is the shop responsible or is the driver? Was the tire capped or retreaded?

Getting insurance for a used car dealer is something that Jerry does a lot. The dealership is required by law to carry a bond, but isn’t required by law to cover the cars themselves or provide liability if they are test driving” the car with a customer. “It requires patience and knowledge to get these policies done right”, claims Jerry.

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Jerry Waltz
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