You and/or your company can be held liable for any accident that occurs on your property. You know this applies to your employees, which is why you have worker’s compensation Insurance. Did you know that your liability also extends to anyone driving or walking on your property—clients, customers, employees, and passersby?
Some business owners try and free themselves with this liability by using signs that say “Owner not responsible for theft or damages to vehicles.” Or “Park at your own risk.” These signs may deter people from suing the owners of the parking lot, but they actually cannot legally free any company from their liability (Source: farleyinsurance.com).
If an accident happens on the premises of your business location—including the parking lot or parking garage—and the injured party successfully sues your company for the damages, the financial strain could really hurt your company, or even ruin it. Make sure you have Parking Insurance coverage so you are protected just in case.
When you take out an insurance policy for your business, make sure everything is covered—including the parking lot. Parking lot insurance coverage may be covered in the “General Liability” or “Premises Liability” section of your insurance policy, or there may be a section entitled “Parking Lot Liability.” Never assume a general liability clause will cover everything. Instead, ask questions and make certain you have the coverage you need.
When you take out a policy that covers parking lot/parking garage coverage, also pay attention to what it covers. A business should have coverage for property damage for both the company’s and other drivers’ property. You will also need coverage against bodily harm, as car accidents aren’t the only type of accidents you may be liable for. If someone is walking and trips on a crack in the pavement, your business will likely be responsible.
Different types of businesses will need slightly different types of coverage. If you offer a valet service and keep the keys for your customers, you are even more responsible for the care of the vehicles. Even if you hire an outside company to perform the valet service for your customers, you are still responsible for making sure that the company you hire has its own liability insurance.
Asphalt is a better material for a parking lot than concrete. It is smoother, more durable, and easier to repair than concrete (Source: Superior Asphalt Paving Ltd.). Reduce your liability by using a good building material that will reduce the risk of accidents.
Once your parking lot is completed and in use, keep it as clean as possible. Even small pieces of litter can potentially cause problems. Keep lines painted so drivers know how to navigate safely in the lot. Make sure any important signs are also clearly visible and free from dirt or graffiti. Here are more tips for maintaining your parking lot:
- Employ a snow-removal service if it snows in your area during the winter.
- Prevent potholes and cracks with regular sealings
- Promptly repair any damage.
- Direct any water/rain runoff from your building away from the pavement.
- Regularly seal your parking lot surface.
Parking lot insurance and maintenance is smart for your business because it lowers the likelihood that any accidents will happen on your property. Since you may be held liable for any injury or accident on the premises of your business, not having this type of insurance policy could be a huge financial strain. Protect your business with parking lot insurance.