Living on the Edge

SEMA Member News - July/August 2010

Insuring Your Business Against Loss

By Franco Ganino

  SEMA Member News-July/August 2010 

Learn more about SEMA’s business insurance benefit by visiting All professionals working for SEMA-member companies are urged to register on to discover all the SEMA membership benefits available to them.   

Over the past 18 months, our nation has experienced what many have identified as a modern depression. Business owners from all industries have experienced lower earnings and a real threat toward their corporate survival. Those with strong capital are avoiding disaster, but often not until a major reduction in work force has to be implemented. For others, cutting key resources might be the only step to survival, which has meant reducing or eliminating critical insurance coverages and thereby putting the business on the edge of financial disaster with no safety net after just one claim. These experiences are real to automotive specialty-equipment jobbers and installers who have been the first to experience a tremendous reduction by consumers purchasing automotive specialty parts and accessories.

The Installers Edge (IE) program was established to support these specialty companies. IE is an insurance program designed specifically for automotive aftermarket specialty retailers and installers.

IE provides five critical coverages that every specialty shop owner should maintain:
  • An installer of aftermarket parts has the direct exposure of working on third-party vehicles. If desired results are not achieved after the vehicle is delivered, problems can arise. Typical wrongful installation claims often allege bodily injury or direct property damage, and determining negligence may prove to be a costly legal process. Solution: IE protects your company assets with Garage Liability coverage.
  • While a vehicle is in the installer’s care, custody or control, responsibility for the vehicle is assumed by the installer. Should a damage loss occur, the consequences could be costly. Solution: IE provides Garage Keepers physical damage protection.
  • Test driving vehicles may be a normal part of your business practice, and any exposure to driving a company-, employee- or customer-owned vehicle could bring the risk of an auto accident. Solution: IE provides Auto Liability protection.
  • Property losses due to perils, such as fire, theft, wind and hail, can eliminate or drain company assets and income. Solution: IE provides crucial property insurance coverage.
  • Sales and installation documentation remains the cornerstone for a strong legal defense in the event of an alleged wrongful installation or product failure. From aftermarket product sourcing to installation and from OE vehicle condition to specialty alteration, quality is the key to long-term company survival. Solution: IE provides critical step-by-step quality-control management education to reduce exposure to loss.

IE experts will customize a Garage program designed to include the following products:


    “Our core business is lifting and lowering trucks. I became extremely frustrated with several insurance companies that I talked with when it came time to obtain Garage Keepers Liability Insurance. Since they knew nothing about my core business, they either quoted a high premium or simply declined to bid. Luckily, I became aware of the specialty-equipment insurance alliance team. My Alliant representative understood my business, which greatly simplified the application process, provided the best insurance coverage and beat all of the other insurance companies’ rates.
    I am an extremely happy customer.”
    —Ralph Cole, Extreme Motorsports

    Garage Liability: Provides defense and indemnification for premise slips and falls and completed installations.
  • Product Liability: Provides needed protection for goods manufactured, distributed or altered from their original product specifications.
  • Non-Owned Auto Liability: Provides liability coverage for autos you don’t own while you are driving them.
  • Garage Keepers Legal Liability: Provides physical damage protection for customers’ cars in your care, custody
    and control.
  • Property: Provides protection for your critical equipment, inventory, tenant improvements and loss of business income.
  • Auto: Provides liability protection for owned vehicles registered to the company or carrying dealer plates.
  • Umbrella: Provides asset protection by increasing liability limits over Garage Liability, Auto and Workers Comp Employers Liability.

Most garage programs don’t recognize the unique nature of the aftermarket. The Installers Edge Program through Alliant Insurance Services focuses exclusively on specialty installer companies whose primary intent is to restyle vehicles, increase performance and enhance the consumer driving experience. The Installers Edge Program has a unique method of rating that bases the premium on factors that save money and increase coverage unmatched in the industry by insurance professionals who are automotive enthusiasts. IE is an invaluable tool for your business that will bring positive financial results to your bottom line in this great time of need.

IE is here to enhance your business profits, reputation and future by protecting you today. American automotive specialty-equipment shops are the heart and soul of the industry, and it is more important than ever to protect your business with a true partner through Alliant Insurance and the Installers Edge Program.

For more information, visit, or for an immediate quote, call SEIA at 800/390-9099.