If recent events have left you looking for a new career or wanting to set up on your own, becoming a mobile mechanic could offer you freedom as well as a vital service, particularly while many garages and service centres remain closed or with long waiting times.
This raises the question: How easy is it to set up on your own and what insurance will you need?
During the height of the COVID lockdown, garage chain Kwik Fit says that the number of cars needing new batteries doubled, with 100 per cent more new batteries fitted to customers’ cars in April 2020 than in April 2019. The reason, they say, is that drivers are only using their cars for short journeys, during which the engine is not running long enough to recharge the battery properly.
And Kwik Fit is not the only service centre to see new practices during the COVID pandemic. While a relatively large number of workshops are staying open through the crisis, it does appear that mobile mechanics have an increasingly important role to play in supporting those on the frontline.
For those involved in delivering essential services and transporting key workers, mobile mechanics provide the means for more flexible provision, ensuring that vehicles stay roadworthy. For instance, someone who has been working straight through for days can have work carried out at their home when they finally get some time off.
Mobile Insurance Coverage
As a mechanic operating in a mobile capacity from a van, you will need appropriate insurance cover. Policies include all elements of the risk including the vehicles you drive as well as those of clients, liability cover for both public and employers’ liability (a legal necessity if you have employees), as well as equipment cover for machinery and tools, both mobile and fixed.
Correct insurance is crucial for anyone working within this field, regardless of whether you are full or part-time, homeworking or operating from a dedicated garage location. The policy should deliver cover for machinery, tools, the premises and its contents and must cover you to drive customer’s cars for testing and diagnosis. Remember though, if you have third party only and have an accident while driving either your vehicle or a customers, your insurer only pays out to cover the third-party costs and you could be seriously out of pocket.
So, what coverage will a mobile mechanic need? It can seem a daunting list, so talk to your broker before making any final decisions. Here are some options:
- Comprehensive Cover
- Third Party, Fire & Theft
- Third Party Only
- Motor Trade Combined Cover
- Public Liability Cover
- Employers’ Liability Cover
- Professional Indemnity Insurance
- Product Liability Cover
Protection for Your Business
Together with motor trade insurance, your policy should cover liabilities, including public liability, as well as professional indemnity insurance on a standalone basis or as part of a package. Policies can be tailored to provide £1M, £2M, £5M and £10M liability cover.
Public liability insurance will cover you should a member of public become injured on your premises or you damage any third property whilst carrying out your job. Professional indemnity cover will protect you in the instance that a claim may be made against you due to your professional negligence. For example, you could find yourself being claimed against if you’ve provided someone with incorrect advice regarding the repairs on their vehicle.
Product liability is business insurance that covers the cost of compensation claims if someone is injured or their property is damaged by a product that you’ve sold or installed (faulty parts). In certain situations, you might be liable even if you have not actually manufactured the product.
Finding the right insurance when you are setting up on your own can seem confusing, not to mention expensive. Contacting a dedicated motor trade insurance broker can help to determine exactly which aspects you need and those that can be integrated into your policy at a later date as your business grows.