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Automotive Trades

Automotive Trades in Australia – What Insurance Cover Should I Have for my Business?

Tradies working with vehicles have a lot to consider when sorting out their business insurance. Aside from protecting themselves for injury/illness, their tools, and possibly a workshop, one of the biggest considerations is covering the Liability aspect of their business.

Depending on the activities that you perform within your chosen trade, you may require a more comprehensive level of cover than a standard Public and Products Liability policy offers. In this article, we’ll list some of these trades, their potential exposures, and some covers to consider.

Here’s a few of the Automotive Trades we’re talking about – this list isn’t exhaustive; there’s certainly more out there who work with vehicles:

  • Motor Mechanics, both Mobile and Static
  • Auto Electricians
  • Panel Beaters
  • Spray Painters and Signwriters
  • Windscreen Repairers
  • Upholsterers and Restorers
  • Mechanical specialists – Radiators, Brakes, Transmissions, Reconditioning etc.
  • Car Detailers
  • Diesel, Heavy Vehicle and Machinery Mechanics
  • Testing and Diagnostic Services – Roadworthy, Performance Testing, Dyno Tuning etc.

If you work in one of these trades, or a related trade that handles vehicles, then have a think about the following covers and potential exposures.

Public & Products Liability

If you are negligent and cause damage or injury to a third party or their property during the course of your work, this cover will respond, subject to the general policy conditions. A standard exclusion is any claims arising from or in connection with the operation of a registered motor vehicle, so it’s important to realise that Public & Products Liability on its own may not be enough if you are getting behind the wheel of your customers vehicles, whether that’s on private property or public roads.

This cover also commonly excludes Faulty Workmanship.

Public & Products Liability with Driving Risk Extension

This cover will generally be the same as above, but with one important difference; it extends to cover you whilst driving your customer’s vehicles should the vehicle become damaged as a result of your negligence. Negligence is the key word to note here.

A Driving Risk extension will not comprehensively cover a customer’s vehicle should something occur to it on the road that’s not your fault – ie. While on a test drive in a customer’s vehicle, you are waiting at the lights and a third party rear ends you. This is not your negligence; therefore there would be no trigger for cover under your Public & Products Liability policy even with a Driving Risk extension.

This extension offers more protection than a standard Public & Products Liability policy, but it doesn’t cover all bases. This cover might be suited to the tradie that only moves the occasional vehicle within a small area. It would also generally exclude any Faulty Workmanship (as above).

Motor Trades Package

A Motor Trades package is a specialised product designed for those working in mechanical trades or in close quarters with vehicles on a regular basis.

It can accommodate several sections of cover, including Public and Products Liability, Property Damage for your workshop, Customer’s Vehicles with full comprehensive coverage, and some policies even offer Professional Indemnity sections which cover financial loss from negligent advice or reporting where a separate fee was charged for this service, ie. RWC’s, dyno tuning, pre-purchase inspections etc.

Some Motor Trade covers will also have limited cover for Faulty Workmanship – a unique benefit in the market place. A faulty workmanship extension under a Motor Trade cover would cover a mechanic if they rebuilt the engine and forgot to connect to the radiator. Replacement of the radiator hose may not specifically be covered, however the resulting damage to the motor they have been working on would. Ensure you read the policy PDS for a thorough understanding of the cover details.

Go Get offer an excellent Public and Products Liability cover with an optional Driving Risk extension. However, if you’re interested in a Motor Trades policy, click here.

Final thoughts

Those working in Automotive Trades need to consider additional covers for their personal and business protection.

Injury & Illness insurance, is a type of policy designed to subsidise lost income in the event you are off work for an extended period due to injury or sickness.

Go Get offers an excellent Injury & Illness cover for Mechanics – check out our easy two-step quote process to get you started.

Another important consideration is Tools cover, particularly for mobile operators. Go Get offers an exceptional Tools and Stock policy which will cover you for Fire, Flood, Transit, Malicious Damage and Theft from a locked vehicle or premises, Australia wide.

Go Get Injury & Illness Insurance is Annually Renewable and factors General Advice only. A Guaranteed Renewable policy, which can provide a benefit period up to age 65 (which does impact on the premium), requires personal advice taking your individual circumstances into account.  Should you wish to consider the greater level of protection and flexibility that a Guaranteed Renewable policy provides, click here.

 Depending on your Business structure and location, you might require Workers Compensation Insurance if you’re a Company, Working Director, or have deemed Employees. Please check your State Government requirements to ascertain this information.

Please read the PDS for full details on policy coverage, conditions and exclusions to ensure a full understanding of the product you are purchasing.

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