• Having site issues? Contact Dub@southernPolyurethanes.com

Business insurance for classic restoration shop.

#1
I'm wondering what other restoration shops are doing for business insurance? My current carrier is pissing me off terribly. They are expensive, they blame the fact that I am a classic car shop, I blame the fact that they are filthy thieves...

Besides being expensive a-holes, they are now getting a little bossy. Making recommendations for business operations. They want me to put in a sprinkler system in my spray booth or dry suppression system, I told them to F-off. I have like 4 tires behind the shop and they want them moved to prevent fire. I agreed, told them I've moved the tires back inside the shop and put them back onto the cars that they belong to, much safer. They want all this hypothetical scenario paperwork, they want me to write up a policy that states that I will require insurance slips from other shops that I hire to do parts of my projects. I said ok, I don't sub ANYTHING out, but I'll agree to that and I'll also wear my space helmet whenever I visit the moon. I'm just so G'damn upset with these a-holes and I want to find a better provider. I'm paid up through about aug-sept 2018 but I do not want to renew with these guys moving forward.

Does anybody have an insurance provider that you don't hate?
 
#2
Regional insurance companies are the best. I get my garagekeepers through Farm Bureau of Idaho, but it's written through Western Community. They've never bugged me. I even had to claim the theft of a bunch of parts once, like over 4 grand worth. But, I don't make any big deal about part of the operation being for restorations. In my opinion, it's not really any of their business what kinds of cars are in your shop. They'll only pay out to the coverage limit anyway.
 
#4
I looked, your in Minnesota. Erie Ins. is who I have and recommend my agent Highly. You will find that (in my area anyhow) that every Agent will have different prices for the same coverage. in my area I have personally heard different numbers from different agents who offer Erie Ins. each agent is able to add what ever they want to the cost for their profit some push what they can get. My agent is the most honest and fair priced I have ever used and Erie Ins. is a good Co. to deal with IMO.

Cincinnati Ins. would be another good Co..
 
#5
dave, i think the stuff you listed is pretty normal for an ins company. i dont know of any ins company that will write a policy for a shop with a spraybooth and no fire suppression system. hell even your homeowners ins will come to inspect the property and tell you that you need to clean up shit around your yard like tires or things they feel are unsafe or would give more than a mil to 1 chance they would have to write a check to pay a liability lol. having any subcontractor you use supply you with proof of their liability ins is actually the law. you need to keep all that documentation on had as well. i know even if i was to cut a small $5 vinyl sticker and goto the boat yard down the street for just 2 min to stick it on the hull of a boat, i would have to have all my ins documentation or they would never let me set foot on the property. the ins you carry needs to meet a certain amount as well. usually 2 or 3 mil is minimum. doesnt matter if im working on a 10 mil dollar yacht or a $200 golf cart.
 
#6
Like Datec said Erie ins co. is who I have. In our area and type of business ( body shop and auto sales ) Erie is about the only one who will insure me with a livable rate. I don't like any of them, Hell I will insure you if there is no risk at all LOL.. Just more to drive out the little guy.
 
#7
Thanks guys, yes I'm in northern MN.
I hear you Jim, probably a lot of normal requests from them but I don't like them directing me to a privately owned fire prev service for annual extinguisher checks etc. I'd rather work with my local volunteer fire dept and make a donation to them, they are the ones that would actually respond to a fire call here anyways, I think it would be best for them to be familiar.

None of the body shops in my area have sprinklers or dry suppression systems in their booths. I'm familiar with both systems, sprinklers are not an option as I'm on a private well for water. Dry suppression, I just won't do it. I've purchased and installed these for manufacturing companies that have weld or spark source operations too close to their paint booths, I know what they cost up front and for the inspection and recirt services.

My paint booth sits unused for probably 95% of the calendar year. I do so much fab, metal work, mechanical etc. Body work and finally paint is just a small part of my projects, I don't run that booth steady like collision repair does.

I have a max capacity of 3 vehicles in my shop at once. While values can get up over 100k on occasion, most are going to be valued in the 20k-60k range which is inline with late model vehicle values, vehicles like you see in mechanic shops, collision repair etc.

I'm going to look into Erie.
 
#8
It seems like it's the mention of "classic auto repair" that puts us in such an unfavorable position. The values on my customers vehicles aren't above that of values at any collision repair or mechanic's shop. So do I just say I'm an auto repair shop and leave the "classic" out of the picture? Is this another effect of televised barret jackson auctions or?? lol

For reference, I will disclose that our annual policy costs are in the $3500 range.
 

Chris_Hamilton

Trying to be the best me, I can be
#9
Whether or not a Fire Suppresion system is required is based on Local Building Codes if I'm not mistaken. I would guess a Insurance Company could require it to write a policy but there are plenty of others who will write a Policy without it, in an area where it is not required by Law. Most of the Shops I've worked at over the years did not have it. Current shop does not have it. The Owner (of the building) does have Insurance on the Building which covered the Shop Owner when our ceiling collapsed onto several vehicles. It was Erie Insurance, they were easy to deal with, no issues whatsoever and wrote a check quickly to cover the damage.

Roger Gibson who does some of the finest Mopar Restos specifically states that he requires the Owner to have Insurance on his car and show him proof.

http://www.rogergibsonautorestoration.com/Roger/Roger-Gibson-Shop-Policy/
 
#12
Whether or not a Fire Suppresion system is required is based on Local Building Codes if I'm not mistaken. I would guess a Insurance Company could require it to write a policy but there are plenty of others who will write a Policy without it, in an area where it is not required by Law. Most of the Shops I've worked at over the years did not have it. Current shop does not have it. The Owner (of the building) does have Insurance on the Building which covered the Shop Owner when our ceiling collapsed onto several vehicles. It was Erie Insurance, they were easy to deal with, no issues whatsoever and wrote a check quickly to cover the damage.

Roger Gibson who does some of the finest Mopar Restos specifically states that he requires the Owner to have Insurance on his car and show him proof.

http://www.rogergibsonautorestoration.com/Roger/Roger-Gibson-Shop-Policy/

That is the case for is, Chris. Local fire marshal would determine if we need suppression.

Thanks for that policy link, I find that very interesting, that is also our rate by the way. (and we are not getting rich, lol)
 
#13
funny story. so i did the paint finish on a set of very high end cabinets about a year ago. i do all the finish work for the cabinet maker here near me. the cabinets were actually getting installed in the manhattan penthouse for the former ceo of macys. the builder doesnt normally do work in manhattan so he had to get some type of special liability and insurance coverage which is required in the city for him to perform the work. the policy only covered him for 3 weeks while he did the install. the premium for 3 weeks of coverage was $80k lmao. he also has to hire an outside contractor that specializes in moving millwork in and out of apt buildings. he was not allowed to do it. thats all they do. there was another $30k for that. thats before the builder even designed and built the cabinets and i sprayed the 28 gallons of material on them and the $8k in led lighting for them. this was all for a closet. hahaha. the $3500 doesnt really seem too bad now, does it lol? lmao. insurance companies are thieves. its legalized robbery.
 
#14
funny story. so i did the paint finish on a set of very high end cabinets about a year ago. i do all the finish work for the cabinet maker here near me. the cabinets were actually getting installed in the manhattan penthouse for the former ceo of macys. the builder doesnt normally do work in manhattan so he had to get some type of special liability and insurance coverage which is required in the city for him to perform the work. the policy only covered him for 3 weeks while he did the install. the premium for 3 weeks of coverage was $80k lmao. he also has to hire an outside contractor that specializes in moving millwork in and out of apt buildings. he was not allowed to do it. thats all they do. there was another $30k for that. thats before the builder even designed and built the cabinets and i sprayed the 28 gallons of material on them and the $8k in led lighting for them. this was all for a closet. hahaha. the $3500 doesnt really seem too bad now, does it lol? lmao. insurance companies are thieves. its legalized robbery.

I understand, But proportionately to my shop's income... percentage wise, know what I mean?
 
#16
dave, yeah buddy i know. i was just telling that because those #'s were so completely absurd. i prob havent had ins for 60% of the time i have been in business. not much need for an artist really but now i need it and some years back i did for a couple few years. its just usually when its required by other companies i do business with. insurance companies like to group you into a common business type so i found it easier to get insurance when you can change the category you fall into while still being truthful about what type of work you do. for instance many years ago when i had ins my agent wanted to put me down as a body shop. my premiums would have been crazy and the regulations i would have to conform to were ridiculous. while i do some aspects of autobody, i am not an autobody shop. it was far easier to be classified as an art studio with notes added to the policy about airbrushing and what i was airbrushing on. for you maybe eliminate anything auto related in the policy and say you do antique restoration or perhaps just an auto svc or mechanic shop. its not lying but it will change your classification.

chris, i hear ya on that. i can say that i 100% guarantee that my current house will be the last house i own in the north east. with taxes now up to about $12k a year i have about had it. i looked at the most expensive house for sale by you on smith mountain lake. was $25mil. taxes were that same as what i pay for my place here. its pretty f'ed up. i tell andy all the time i am going to leave here one day, buy a house on nottley lake and finish off my years working for spi. lol.
 
#18
Thanks Jim, yes I've thought about just saying auto repair, I wouldn't be lying. I asked my agent if she works with erie, she does not. We will pursue Erie on our own I guess.
 
#19
i learned i the 70's about " care and control " or sometimes called a bailment . once you take possession of a car you are liable . shop signs and such mean nothing in court. my ins in those days was insane because of the size of the shop and number of vehicles in it daily . today i am no longer a businesses . just an old farmer playing with cars :) no more ppt or fees .no where near any codes and my taxes are only 1400 yearly .
 
#20
truly it's enough to make a guy say F-it and just build cars to sell. That way if something happens, my loss is my loss alone and I can live with that.
 
Top