Are You Properly Covered Navigating Care and Control in Automotive Insurance

Are You Properly Covered? Navigating Care and Control in Automotive Insurance 


In the dynamic world of automotive businesses, having comprehensive insurance coverage is not just a good idea; it’s a necessity. However, it’s not enough to merely have insurance in place. To truly protect your automotive business, you need to dive deep into the intricacies of care and control in automotive insurance. This blog post is designed to be your comprehensive guide, offering an in-depth exploration of this critical aspect, and helping you ensure that your coverage is as robust as your business demands.  

1. Care and Control: The Foundation of Automotive Insurance 

Before we delve into the complexities, let’s establish a solid foundation. Care and control, in the realm of automotive insurance, refer to the responsibility and authority over a vehicle at any given moment. This concept is central to determining coverage and liability in the insurance landscape.  

For automotive businesses, care and control scenarios can vary widely, each carrying its unique implications:  

a) Test Drives: If you allow potential customers to test drive your vehicles, it’s essential to define who assumes care and control during these trials. Is it the customer, one of your employees, or a combination of both?  

b) Repair and Maintenance: Auto repair shops often retain customers’ vehicles for extended periods. During this time, pinpointing the party with care and control is crucial. Is it the owner of the vehicle, the technician, or the shop itself?  

c) Rental Services: In the context of rental businesses, establishing who has care and control while the vehicle is on rent is vital. Is it the customer, your employee, or your company?  

2. Unraveling the Insurance Implications  

Understanding care and control becomes paramount when assessing your insurance coverage and potential liability. Here’s a deeper dive into these implications:  

a) Test Drives: In case a potential customer takes a test drive and is involved in an accident, your business’s liability hinges on who had care and control at that moment. If it was your employee, your commercial auto insurance might step in. If it was the customer, their personal auto insurance could come into play.  

b) Repair and Maintenance: When a vehicle is under your shop’s care for repairs, the owner typically retains care and control. However, should an accident occur on your premises, your garage keepers’ insurance should cover any damage to the customer’s vehicle.  

c) Rental Services: While a vehicle is on rent, the responsibility often shifts from your business to the customer. They are generally expected to have personal insurance to cover any accidents or damage. However, it’s crucial for businesses to have proper rental insurance to protect your assets in case of disputes or instances where the customer’s coverage is insufficient.  

3. Proactive Risk Mitigation Strategies  

To ensure that your automotive business is adequately protected in all scenarios, consider implementing these proactive strategies:  

a) Review Your Insurance Policy: Regularly review your insurance policy to ensure it aligns with your evolving business activities and the care and control scenarios you encounter. Make necessary updates to avoid potential coverage gaps.  

b) Customer Screening: If your business involves test drives or rental services, implement robust customer screening processes. Verify their insurance coverage and driving history meticulously to minimize risks.  

c) Employee Training: Invest in comprehensive training for your employees, ensuring that they understand the implications of care and control. Encourage them to follow rigorous safety procedures and maintain meticulous documentation when vehicles are under their care.  

d) Garage Keepers’ Insurance: If you run an auto repair shop, consider acquiring garage keepers’ insurance. This specialized coverage is designed to protect your business in case of damage to customers’ vehicles while they are under your care.  

Overall, in the multifaceted landscape of automotive insurance, a thorough comprehension of care and control is the key to safeguarding your business. By understanding who holds care and control in diverse situations and comprehending how this concept impacts your insurance policies, you can establish a robust shield against potential risks.  

Remember that in the automotive insurance realm, knowledge is power. Being well-informed can be the difference between thriving and encountering unforeseen challenges in your business. As the automotive industry continues to evolve, having a nuanced understanding of care and control is your path to peace of mind and long-term success.  

For more information on Liberty’s automotive insurance solutions, please reach out to Douglas Choi, Vice President, The Liberty Company Insurance Brokers.   

Learn More About Liberty's National Automotive & Overlanding Practice Group


Request a Quote

1. ZoomInfo Form - Info Request

ZoomInfo Hidden - Contact Info

ZoomInfo Hidden - Company