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Automobile Dealer Insurance

Cover your dealership. Drive your success.

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Spotlight on: Automobile Dealer Insurance

If you own an auto dealership, we know what drives you: unique insurance solutions. Whether you need garage liability, open lot insurance or employment practices liability, we help you prevent and minimize loss—not just cover it.

By avoiding claims, you could avoid triggering your insurance coverage, protecting your business from related costs and ultimately from higher insurance rates.

At Higginbotham, our business insurance solutions for auto dealers are tailored to the needs of each dealership we serve.

The Higginbotham Difference: We’re Driven By What Drives You

At Higginbotham, our experience comes from serving over 400 franchised auto dealers throughout the U.S.

We know that keeping your business protected from costly claims and higher insurance rates involves more than an insurance policy. It means avoiding claims so your insurance coverage never gets triggered. Not only can we place your coverage with an insurance carrier that offers policies crafted for auto dealers, we can also help control your losses by providing risk management programs refined over years of implementation. We identify loss trends from our broad portfolio of dealers and use those insights to help mitigate your risks.

This year-round value comes by way of our Day Two Services® that support your risk management efforts after we place your coverage on day one. We’re always there, ready to help you turn challenges into opportunities.

Our custom programs combine education, training, compliance, audits and quarterly reviews to put you in control of your losses. Should you have a claim, we help you resolve it and look for patterns that can be broken to prevent future claims.

To learn more about how our values-based approach creates value for you and your business, click here.

Or visit our Insights page to learn more about key auto dealership insurance coverages.

Ready to work with a partner that goes the extra mile?

Doing the work to make sure you have the most effective insurance plan can be a big task. Not with us in your passenger seat. With our nationwide network of insurance carriers and deep auto dealer experience, we’ll get you the custom coverage you need.

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What risks can we help you with?

Large Investments in Property Values

Massive Vehicle Inventories

Custody of Customers’ Units

Employee Turnover Issues

Regulatory Compliance

Liability That Rides in Every Vehicle Owned

The coverages that make sense for your car dealership insurance program depend on your unique risk exposure, location and operational scope.

Garage Liability

Garage liability is designed to help with the cost of claims and lawsuits arising from bodily injury or property damage suffered by a third party. Dealerships have traditionally been the targets of personal injury law firms, as they’re deemed to have deep pockets. We can provide coverage to protect you in the event of an unfortunate incidence, usually in the form of an auto accident. The garage policy acts as a commercial auto policy for your dealership.

The garage policy can be quite comprehensive, and most will include several coverages that protect your dealership for faulty workmanship (products and work) under a sublimit for broad form products, work performed and errors and omissions in various categories and limits.

Garage-Keeper’s Liability

There is a separate coverage for units owned by customers in the care, custody and control of your dealership. It’s called garage-keeper’s liability. It can protect your dealership from damage done to a customer’s vehicle while in the shop, whether or not it was the fault of your dealership. In most cases, weather-related occurrences are excluded.

Open Lot Insurance

Open lot insurance is an essential coverage that is designed to protect the investment your dealership has in its vehicle inventory. Essentially a property policy for vehicles owned by your dealership, it can provide physical damage coverage that can help with the costs of repairing or replacing owned inventory in the aftermath of a collision, theft or damage from another covered incident.

Employment Practices Liability

Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) is designed around the risks associated with hiring, managing and terminating employees. It can help with the costs of defending or remedying allegations of wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, discrimination and violations of U.S. Title VII. We work with your dealership to help lawsuit-proof your operations by training on hiring practices, employee relations and methods of termination. We emphasize proper hiring practices using professional services, drug testing, pre-employment physicals and comprehensive interviews to avoid later problems with a bad hire.

Workers’ Compensation & Employers’ Liability

Essential for any business with employees, workers’ compensation can help with the medical bills, wage replacement and other costs resulting from an injury on the job. It is rare that a business can reject the protection of the Workers’ Compensation Act that offers full coverage, with no limit, for a worker injury.

Employers’ liability coverage is also provided for under workers’ compensation.

Commercial Umbrella Insurance

When considering the total value of your business, you many need excess liability limits over your garage liability, general liability and employer’s liability limits. In most cases, the underlying policies only offer a limit of $1 million, a value that may be short of the value of your business. Commercial umbrella insurance is designed to cover your property for a value commensurate with reconstruction costs, inventory limits equal to the value of your investment in vehicles and liability limits to protect the ownership value of your business.

Some of our risk management services for auto dealerships include:

Hiring Protocols

Background Investigations

Drug Screenings

Physicals

MVR Reports

Auto Accident Prevention for Mechanics and Test Drives

Theft Prevention

Distracted Driving Prevention

Sexual Harassment Prevention

Employee and Customer Injury Avoidance

OSHA and Regulatory Compliance

Workers’ Compensation Coordination

Auto Dealership Risk Management

Proudly serving dealerships across the U.S., our know-how knows. It knows the risks that challenge your dealership. And it knows that you need specialty risk management programs to defend against them.

Meet Our Auto Dealer Insurance Practice Leaders

Mike Mooney has specialized in the dealer space for the last 34 years.

His credentials include an Associate in Risk Management and Certified Insurance Counselor.
Mike started working for John Deere Insurance company and was based in Dallas for 15 years. Following, he was recruited by Gulf States Toyota, where he spent 4 years in the Houston area.
Mike has been with Higginbotham for the last 20 years. “What differentiates us from most brokers in the auto dealer space is that we are risk managers first and foremost. We constantly try to educate the owners on claim management and loss control measures, which ultimately helps us all contain their premiums during the renewal process.”

Higginbotham understands the nuances of the auto dealership business, where we are a very cohesive group and claims handling is a top priority. We work for you!

Managing Director
Mike Mooney
Managing Director, Auto Dealer Insurance

Meet Our Auto Dealer Insurance Practice Leaders

Matthew Buss has over 20 years of experience working with Dealerships and the Auto Industry. He and his team represent over 400 dealerships nationwide, helping them with their insurance needs and assisting in the development of special programs for both dealers and manufacturers in tandem with Higginbotham’s carrier partners.
Matthew holds a Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation and received the Top Producer Award by Insurance Business America in 2019.

Managing Director
Matthew Buss
Managing Director, LinkedIn

Meet Our Auto Dealer Insurance Practice Leaders

Drew Apperson started his insurance career in 1987 in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area, working for a large independent agency primarily on construction, real estate and other large commercial accounts. In the following 15 years, Drew worked for a large national brokerage firm, which eventually brought him to San Antonio, TX, where he has led a team of professionals specializing in the franchised auto dealer sector for nearly two decades. As a managing director in Higginbotham’s San Antonio region, histeam handles the insurance for over 350 dealership locations in Texas and several other states.

Drew holds the Chartered Property & Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) and Certified Risk Manager (CRM) designations, and he previously held Approved Coverholder Status at Lloyd’s of London. He has also served on many insurance company advisory boards and other industry-specific organizations.

Managing Director
Drew Apperson
Managing Director, LinkedIn

Not sure where to start? Talk to someone who wants to listen.

A great plan starts with a conversation. Let’s talk about what you need.

Talk to an Auto Dealer Specialist

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