aerial view of city parking lotIn some places, parking lots are prime real estate. Many times, they actually offer a commercial incentive for interested parties who want to make money. If you decide to decide to open or buy a parking management business, you do have an opportunity for profit. Nevertheless, you also take on a lot of commercial risks when you allow customers into the deck. Therefore, you need the appropriate types of commercial insurance. What are some of these?

Often, parking businesses need many of the same coverage options as any other business. Nevertheless, specialized coverage also needs to apply. After all, when drivers leave their vehicles in your care, they expect them to be taken care of. That is your job.

What are Parking Services

If you say you run a parking business, you might mean any number of more specific operations. In general, parking businesses are those that buy properties to erect parking lots, which they then charge customers to use. Some services also operate parking lots on behalf of businesses, hospitals, hotels and other entities. Parking services might include:
  • Daily/hourly lots
  • Valet services
  • Long-term parking lots
  • Parking decks
In essence, if you operate a business that allows individuals to park for a fee, it might count as a parking service. In many cases, you will face various regulations and laws that govern how you must run the business. Still, you will also be able to set your own rules on who, what, when, where, how and why of the operation. This will help dictate who uses your services and helps foster a safe environment for you, your customers and their vehicles.

Commercial Risks of Parking Businesses

Regardless of how carefully you manage your parking business, there is always going to be risk involved. These might include risks of:
  • Collisions of vehicles entering or exiting the deck
  • Damage or theft of vehicles left in your care
  • Structural damage to the lot or deck itself
  • Injuries to you or your employees
  • Injuries to drivers parking in the lot
  • Theft of the business's money or belongings
  • Vandalism to the lot
In any of these (and other) cases, the business might have to pay for the damage or repairs involved in picking up the pieces. These could easily become financial setbacks should you struggle to cover the costs. However, with the right types of commercial insurance in place, you can get assistance as needed.

Your Commercial Insurance Options

During the time that customers leave their vehicles with you, they want to you to protect their belongings. Still, the parking services is also a business; you also have your own commercial assets to worry about. For these and many other reasons, you'll like need a variety of commercial insurance options.
  • Property insurance will cover the structure of the lot as well as other assets like your office, fences and related structures. Property insurance can also apply to business contents you use every day. It might cover your computers, furniture and related materials.
  • General liability coverage will help you pay for the injuries or property damage you cause to other parties. For example, if someone falls in your lot and gets hurt, they might sue you because they believe you were at fault for the accident. This coverage can help you pay your legal costs and cover many judgments awarded to injured parties.
  • Business interruption insurance will help you pay for normal operating costs and recover lost income in case an accident causes you to halt operations.
  • Errors & omissions insurance is also called professional liability insurance. It applies in case your professional mistakes, or failure to provide services, causes a client a financial loss. Coverage will help you repay them.
  • Workers’ compensation insurance will pay for the income replacement or recovery costs of your employees who get injured on the job. Most businesses must offer this coverage to their employees, by law.
In many cases, you can get many elements of commercial insurance within a Business Owners Policy package, often called a BOP. BOPs allow you to package multiple types of coverage within one place. That offers convenience, cohesion and cost savings in the majority of cases.

Specialized Protection for Auto Services

You will need a few specialized types of insurance that pertain to those risks that are more specific to parking decks.
  • Garage-keepers liability insurance: Customer vehicles left in your care could sustain damage. It is this coverage that can help you compensate the customer for the damage. The policy might provide coverage for both collisions and other mishaps that damage the vehicle. In many cases, the policy will work alongside a customer's existing car insurance.
  • Commercial auto insurance: This coverage applies to vehicles owned by the business and used for business purposes. It might also apply to personal vehicles you use regularly for work duties.
  • Bailee's customer insurance: This coverage will insure belongings of clients that they leave in the care of the business.

When insuring your parking lot business, you'll face a lot of commercial risks that are common in any industry. However, you will also need to tailor coverage to the risks specifically faced by your particular operation, as well. Call us at (708) 423-2350 to learn more!

Also Read: Is Commercial Auto Insurance Tax Deductible?

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