Garage Liability Insurance and Garage Keepers Insurance – What’s The Difference?

The garage insurance form is a specialty form used only for the automotive industry, specifically motor vehicle repair  and motor vehicle sales.  Because of this, many insurance agents don’t fully understand this policy form.  And if the insurance agents are often confused, you can imagine what the business owners in the motor vehicle industry might feel.  Here’s a short explanation to help you understand this policy a little bit better.


Garage liability insurance is the term used to describe liability insurance protection for both repair shop owners and new and used car dealers.  This is the part of the policy that essentially protects the business from liability claims for bodily injury or property damage as a result of an at fault accident in a vehicle covered by the policy.  Which vehicles are covered by this garage liability section is determined by the symbol code showing on the policy itself.  For a complete list of possible symbol codes, please read my previous article about garage insurance symbols by clicking here.


Garage Keepers insurance is also part of the garage policy.  However, this coverage is not for liability insurance and this coverage would not be appropriate for a car dealer unless the dealer is also repairing vehicles that are not owned by the dealership.  That is because garage keepers is designed to protect against physical damage losses to vehicles that are in the care, custody or control of the repair shop.  So, for example, if you are repairing a customer’s vehicle and you test drive that vehicle, you have an exposure for garage keepers collision insurance while you are out on the road with that vehicle.  Likewise, if your clients leave their vehicles with your overnight, you have an exposure for fire, theft or even windstorm or hail damage to these vehicles.  You would need garage keepers comprehensive coverage to protect against these types of losses.


The garage insurance policy is an unusual form and if you are in the business of buying, selling or repairing motor vehicles, you are best served purchasing your garage insurance policy through an agent who specializes in this type of policy form.  At Clinard Insurance Group in Winston Salem, NC, we specialize in helping used car dealers and automotive repair and body shops all over North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia.  If we can help you with a second opinion on your garage insurance needs, please feel free to call us, toll free, at 877-687-7557 or visit us on the web at