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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-10-2007, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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I am thinking about starting a side business of automotive repair and restoration. Now that I have a big home shop with all the stuff in it, and I have spare time on the weeknights I am thinking I can do a couple of small jobs on the side each week for some extra cash. The question becomes what I need from an insurance perspective. If I am only doing a couple of small jobs per week (or less), do I really need insurance? If so, do I add to my home policy or do I need to incorporate and have a seperate policy and all that stuff. Or since the amount of work is limited could I just have customers sign some kind of liability release form prior to accepting work.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-10-2007, 07:49 PM
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Homeowners policy probably will not cover "for profit" operations or if the activity is not permitted in the zoning code. Only your insurance agent can advise you on that. The City Code Enforcement Nazi may come and give you a visit too. Ask me, I know.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-10-2007, 08:23 PM
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Unless you're prepared to surrender all of your possessions (house, cars, investments, etc.) in a lawsuit, you need to incorporate and get garagekeepers and liability insurance. Liability releases are worthless if you screw up a brake job and someone is killed because the brakes fail.



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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-11-2007, 07:52 AM
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My honest opinion for what you want to do is nothing more then a window to throw money out of. Having had my own full time and part time business (both electrical contracting) I can say that a business needs your full time attention. When you start to have liabilty issues it become serious. When I started my "part time" electrical business, the costs of running it outstripped what I was making. Peope don't care if you're running a business because it's a "hobby" to you. They see it as a business period and want results for their money. In a business, you're either making money or losing money, no in between. Due to liabilty issuies, I no longer do side work unless it's very mioner and either for a family member or close friend. When I want extra money, I work prt time for a friend who has his own business. IMO, the only reason any one should start a business is because they're good at what they're doing not because you like doing it or would like to try it.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-11-2007, 08:04 AM
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I would not try it without a seperate liability policy, like bighorse said someone could take everything you own, just yesterday I read a list of the most bull$hit lawsuits won last year---unbelievable! I would not take a chance, and I am no insurance company fan.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-11-2007, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huskinhano
Due to liability issues, I no longer do side work unless it's very minor and either for a family member or close friend.
Sage advice. That's what I've limited myself to, friends and family. Never had any problems, but the people who where coming to me couldn't afford a real mechanic. Guess what the first thing they'll do if my work was faulty and caused them a loss.....

There are a bunch of other issues that you'll need to deal with, depending upon your state motor vehicle regulations. To open a repair garage, CT has a packet of paperwork that weighs about five pounds that needs to be filled out. You need to provide proof of insurance, lease/ownership, waste removal contract, zoning approvals, etc etc etc.

Think very carefully before exposing yourself and your family to this sort of risk.


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