Business Insurance For Car Wash and Auto Detailers

Compare business insurance quotes with Savvy to find the best policy for your car wash or auto detailing business.

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, updated on July 27th, 2023       

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Business insurance for car wash and auto detailers
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We’ve partnered with BizCover to bring you a range of business insurance policies to help you compare them side by side.

There are many different types of car washing businesses in Australia, ranging from static hand car washing services to mobile car valeting businesses and fully-automatic car washes with their colourful spinning brushes and sheets of soapy water. What all these businesses have in common is the need for good business insurance to protect their owners against all eventualities.

You can compare quotes for many types of business insurance here with Savvy. Just answer a few simple questions about your business and the insurance you need and you’ll have a wide range of offers to consider instantly from some of Australia’s most respected insurers. Compare with us to help you get the best-value insurance for your car wash or auto detailing business today.

What types of insurance should I buy for my car wash business?

There are several types of business insurance you should consider if you are running a car wash or auto detailing business. They include:

Public liability insurance

Public liability insurance is essential for anyone who regularly has contact with the public and their property. In the case of a car washing business, auto detailers are trusted to look after cars worth tens of thousands of dollars daily, so this form of insurance is essential.

Public liability insurance will cover you against claims that your activity caused injury to a member of the public or damaged their property. This insurance can offer between $5 million and $20 million worth of cover. It’s compulsory for car washers in many jurisdictions to have such insurance before they’re permitted to operate.

What it covers:

  1. Third-party personal injury claims
  2. Damage to a third party’s property
  3. Legal fees to defend yourself

Business insurance

General business insurance describes a package that can include many different forms of insurance which are also valuable to a car wash business or auto detailer. These include the following types of insurance which can be packaged together in a bundle:

  1. Portable equipment insurance: covers you for the loss or damage to portable equipment such as pressure washers and vacuum cleaners.
  2. Glass breakage: this can cover not only the risk of your business premises being vandalised and windows broken, but also the risk of customers’ car windows being damaged or broken.
  3. Machinery breakdown: if you operate a static car wash, you may want to consider machinery breakdown insurance, which covers the cost of repair or replacement if specified machinery breaks down.
  4. Contents insurance: can cover a range of business equipment on your premises such as coin dispensing machines and coin-operated washing equipment.
  5. Building insurance: can cover your business premises such as your offices and forecourt.

What it covers

  1. Named events such as fire, theft, vandalism, storm and impact damage
  2. Cover for electronic, portable and mobile car wash equipment
  3. Limited business interruption insurance may be available

It’s also possible to choose the level of cover you require for your business equipment: either fully comprehensive, which covers you for all named events and accidental damage, or insured events only, which doesn’t include protection against accidental damage.

Personal accident and illness insurance

Since car cleaning and auto detailing is quite a physical occupation, you rely on your physical fitness to be able to do your job properly. Therefore, taking care of your health should be a high priority if you earn your living washing and detailing cars.

Accident and sickness insurance can provide cover for you if you become sick and are unable to work, with replacement income paid out if you are unable to work as a result of an accident or injury.

What it covers:

  1. Loss of income as a result of sickness, injury or accident

Optional extras can include:

  1. Death benefits
  2. Disablement benefits
  3. Payment of business expenses during your recovery period

What isn’t covered under my car was business insurance?

The most common general exclusions include:

  1. Injury to yourself or your employees
  2. Flood damage
  3. Glass breakage
  4. Unlawful activity or criminal negligence
  5. Reckless behaviour or intentional damage
  6. Anything to do with asbestos
  7. The effects of pollution caused by your business activity

How much will insurance cost for a car wash or auto detailing business?

There is no set cost for insurance, as each applicant and business is different and faces unique risks. Many factors influence the cost of business insurance, including the following:

  • The state you live in
  • Whether you live in a rural or urban area
  • Whether you’re a sole trader, a partnership or running a larger business
  • Your business size and turnover 
  • Whether you have any employees
  • Your insurance history
  • Whether you’ve made an insurance claim in the past five years

The main factor which will affect the cost of your insurance is the industry you’re in. All businesses in Australia are classified according to the risk their industry poses, and are allocated a risk ratio. These ratios are used by insurers to calculate the comparative risk of any one business compared to another.

The best way to find out how much insurance will cost for your car washing business is by comparing quotes right here with Savvy. Whether you need insurance for a mobile car detailing business or for luxury valeting, you’ll be able to find a policy that is perfect for your business needs here.

Why do I need insurance for a car wash and auto detailing business?

You’ve worked hard to build up your business, so it makes sense to want protection in case things go wrong. If you own a static car wash business, a serious mechanical failure that takes days to repair can lead to a sudden loss of income, which can be devastating for a small business. Business insurance offers protection in case anything happens which could threaten your business.

Most small to medium-sized businesses have some contingency funds, but they rarely have sufficient to cover the cost of a major catastrophe. For example, if your car wash business in the Gold Coast was suddenly shut down by mechanical failure, how long would you be able to survive? If this does happen and you have adequate breakdown insurance to protect your business, you’ll have a much better chance of recovering and getting back on your feet.

Types of business insurance

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More questions about insurance for car wash and auto detailers

Will general business insurance cover me for driving risk?

No – if you’re driving a customer’s car when it sustains damage, most general business insurance won’t provide cover for you. However, there is driving risk insurance available as a separate add-on item, so if you feel this type of insurance is important for your business, be sure to look for this cover when purchasing your policy.

What information will I need to make a claim?

The information you should have to hand when you contact your insurance company to make a claim will include:

  • The name of the policyholder
  • Your policy number and start date (which can be found on your Certificate of Currency)
  • A detailed description of the incident or what happened to cause the damage, including specific dates and times
  • Contact details of any other witnesses to the event
  • Details of your police report number (if a crime took place)
  • Details of any property damaged including its age and value
  • Your bank details for settling the claim
What’s the difference between public liability and professional indemnity insurance?

The difference between public liability and professional indemnity insurance is that public liability covers you for claims by third parties for personal injury, illness or property damage caused by your business activity, or whilst on your business premises. Professional indemnity covers you for claims by customers or clients relating to alleged mistakes or negligence in the service or advice you provided. As such, most car washers and auto detailers won’t need to worry about professional indemnity cover.

Are my car washing business insurance premiums tax-deductible?

Yes – the Australian Taxation Office recognises that having business insurance is a legitimate cost of doing business, so the full cost of your insurance premiums can be claimed as a business expense and offset against your income, as is the case for all other mobile businesses too.

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Savvy does not compare all business insurance policies or providers currently operating in the market. Any advice presented above or on other pages is general in nature and doesn’t consider your personal or business objectives, needs or finances. It’s always important to consider whether advice is suitable for you before purchasing an insurance policy.

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Business insurance for car wash and auto detailers

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