Garage Insurance – Used Car Dealers and Repair Shops Watch Those Symbols

Garage insurance is a much misunderstood form.  Very few insurance agents understand exactly when to use it and more importantly exactly how.  You can use a garage liability policy to protect a used car dealer , often referred to as dealer’s insurance, or you can use this same form to protect an automotive repair shop or to set up body shop insurance .  The trick is to know the symbols.  At Clinard Insurance Group in Winston Salem, NC, we specialize in garage insurance and we understand the difference in how to set up used car dealers insurance and auto repair shop garage insurance. 


As I mentioned earlier, both types of businesses, auto repair and or body shops and used car dealers both need the garage policy.  But what is covered in these policies is driven by the symbols on the policy.  This is very important.  If you your business is automotive repair or body work but your policy is set up with symbols that would apply to a car dealership, you could find yourself without coverage in the event of a liability loss.


So how do you know if you have the correct symbols and thus the correct form?  Pull out your garage policy and look at the first page.   Beside each type of coverage, usually to the left, there will be a least one two digit number between 21 and 31.  These symbols will describe what is protected by the coverage described beside the number.  Here is a list of the most common symbols and what each one protects:


21                Any auto

22                All owned autos

23                Owned private passenger autos only

24                Owned autos other than private passenger

25                Owned autos subject to no fault laws

26                Owned autos subject to Uninsured Motorists law

27                Specifically described autos

28                Hired autos only

29                Non-Owned autos used in the Garage Business

30                Autos Left for Service/Repair/Storage

31                Autos on Consignment


As you have probably figured out, if you are an automobile dealer and you have code 30 on your policy, you would find yourself without coverage.  So why not just put code 21 on all coverages?  Well, since code 21 is the broadest coverage, you would have to pay more for this insurance policy and in some cases you might be purchasing insurance protection that you didn’t really need.


Take some time to look at your policy carefully and review the symbols for each line of coverage to make sure that they are appropriate for the work you do.  If you need help with this process, please feel free to call Clinard Insurance Group, toll free, at 877-687-7557 or visit us on the web at