It’s one of Henry Ford’s most famous quotes, when asked about the about the Model T he replied: “Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants, so long as it is black.”
Since then customers have demanded a rainbow spectrum of colours plus a range of vehicle additions to customise or personalise their car as a reflection of their own personalities, to suit a lifestyle or to improve performance. The accessories market has responded with a range of high-end additions culminating in the hit MTV show Pimp My Ride in which each episode consists of taking one car in poor condition restoring and customising it.
Accessories (and the fitting of) remains a lucrative sector of the motor trade. According to a report by PMR Market Research, the global market for exterior car accessories is likely to see a robust growth during the period 2017-2024, generating more than £200,000m by the end of 2024. Europe looks set to remain dominant in the global market for car accessories with revenues anticipated to exceed £80,000m.
And that’s just exterior accessories alone. The most common exterior car accessories include mud guards, car wraps, window films, signal and stop lights, fog lamp covers, reflectors, sunroofs, registration plate covers, LED lights and decals. Continue that theme inside a vehicle with a myriad or additions and customisations and you have an unlimited market for any accessory fitter, but it still pays to know what motor trade insurance provisions you will need if you are to conduct your business legally and with confidence.
Motor Insurance Liabilities
Accessory fitter insurance policies can vary in scope and size, covering a wide variety of other motor trade activities you undertake, from disabled driver adaptations to high performance and sports. You might also be based in different locations that carry their own unique risk, such as a workshop, a shopfront or operate from a mobile van. Requirements can vary, but in general you would need your motor trade insurance to cover the movement of customers’ vehicles and for working on them.
As either a one-man band fixing and installation operation, a freelance mobile accessory technician or garage services section at a motor trades retailer, all need appropriate insurance coverage.
So, what coverage will an accessory fitter need? Here are the options:
- Third Party Only
- Third Party, Fire & Theft
- Motor Trade Combined Cover
- Comprehensive Cover
- Public Liability Cover
- Employers’ Liability Cover
- Product Liability Cover
As an accessory fitter operating in a mobile capacity from a van, right through to those who operate garages or other specialist mechanical workshops focusing on niche installations, there is individual coverage to suit all business types. Policies cover all elements of the risk including vehicles, liability cover for both public and employers’ liability (essential and a legal necessity if you have employees), as well as equipment cover for fixed plant machinery and tools, and mobile equipment.
Combined Policy Insurance
Ideally, you should look at a combined insurance policy which not only covers any vehicles but also your premises itself as well as your tools, stock and cash to make sure your business gets as much protection as it needs to thrive.
Installation tools and equipment are vitally important when working as an accessory fitter, so you need to have them covered for theft, damage or loss. You should get cover for your own vehicle as well as those that you work on. Getting cover for customer vehicles is particularly important, especially if you transport them on a regular basis for accessory fitting. You may also need to look at goods in transit Insurance provisions.
You can also have both public liability and employer’s liability included as part of a motor trade insurance policy. Fighting liability claims can be extremely costly so you might also consider adding legal fees to your policy too.