Owning a parking garage may seem like a fairly simple business – cars come and go while employees or automated systems take payment and operate gates. But this overly simplistic view doesn’t scratch the surface of the true liability risks that parking garage owners take on. When customers are on your premises, you can be held liable for injuries and damage to their vehicles. One lawsuit can turn your profitable business into a nightmare.
You need comprehensive parking area insurance that focuses on liability coverage in order to protect your livelihood from lawsuits and other financial wreckage caused by accidents, trips and falls, and property damage that can occur on your premises.
Liability insurance, in various forms, protects your business from financial losses related to third-party property damage or injuries. It also protects your customers if a vehicle is damaged or someone is injured on your garage premises.
A commercial general liability (CGL) policy provides broad protection from a variety of hazards. It protects you from the costs of lawsuits related to accidents, property damage and a variety of other mishaps.
Most people do not think of the sidewalks in front of their home as part of their property. But what happens if there is a crack in that sidewalk or some other kind of similar damage, and someone falls on that sidewalk?
Who is responsible for repairing sidewalks?
In general, the city is responsible for identifying problem sidewalks and repairing them. There are some cities where the property owner might be responsible for repairing sidewalks in front of their home. In this case, the city might expect the property owner to make the repair, or they might make the repair but bill the owner for the work.
No matter whose responsibility it is to repair the sidewalk, a damaged sidewalk is not something a homeowner should ignore.
Check with your city if you are unsure who is responsible for identifying sidewalk issues and making repairs to sidewalks that have been damaged.
Home Insurance isn’t for maintenance expenses, it is for sudden and accidental occurrences for covered perils. So, if it was damaged in a covered peril (house fire or collapse would be two that might damage sidewalk) – then yes, it would be covered, but most of the time, sidewalk repair needs come from ground freeze or slow degradation over time. Those would not be claimable with insurance. If you have bad sidewalk, your insurance might require you to replace it so that there isn’t a liability claim later (slip and falls and trip hazards).
While most homeowner insurance policies will cover most of the structures on your property, there are circumstances in which it will not.
What are these circumstances? One such circumstance may be if you own a building on your property where you do separate business. For example, if you own a garage where you do mechanic work, you would need a different type of business insurance for it.
That goes for its driveway as well. That driveway, even if it is on your property, is considered part of a commercial business. This is especially true if it serves no other purpose but to get to your separate place of business. As a result, your homeowner’s insurance would not cover that driveway, and it would need to be insured by another policy.