Requirements for Florida Auto Dealers and Garage Businesses

used car lot showing different cars for sale

Florida car dealerships or garage related businesses and Insurance. What you must know as business owner.

Evelyn Calabuch, president and founder of American US Insurance a Florida Independent Insurance Agency, thinks that entrepreneurs who own a car dealership or auto service-related business like a tire shop, a car repair shop, an auto body shop or similar car service business, you should make yourself familiar with the terms “garage insurance, garage keepers insurance and surety bonds”.

Do you know the difference between garage liability and garagekeepers insurance? What is covered by your Surety Bond Policy? While they may sound similar, they can be wildly different from each other, making it more than important to know exactly what is covered and what is at risk.

While similar at first glance, these coverages protect your business from very different risks. Understanding their differences is key to getting comprehensive coverage for your garage! Read on to learn more about what sets them apart so you're always up-to-speed with protecting yourself and your business.

Florida Garagekeepers Liability coverage

Garagekeepers insurance is designed to provide an extra layer of protection for garage businesses that work with customers' vehicles. It's the perfect solution for garages and dealerships looking to reduce their risk while providing service, repair, or storage services. With this type of insurance policy in place your business will be covered if any unfortunate event were to occur involving a customer's car placed under your care.

For example: Your customer's car needed service, and your mechanic drove the vehicle into the bay, he accidentally collided with an object or another vehicle and dented it. Garagekeepers' liability coverage provides coverage for all expenses incurred from repairs due to this unexpected incident!

A garagekeepers policy offers protection from a variety of threats, but it's important to know that some risks aren't always covered. Things such as faulty workmanship or parts and out-of-date warranties may not be included in the basic version; however, you can add an endorsement for additional coverage—including personal property inside vehicles—to minimize any potential liability exposure and safeguard your customers' belongings against damage.

Florida Garage Liability Insurance

Garage liability insurance is the perfect choice for car dealerships who have a lot with vehicles to keep track of. This policy can provide protection against potential injuries, damage and other incidents that may occur as part of general business operations - including maintenance or use at their respective locations. With this coverage in place, auto dealers will be sure they’re covered if anything unexpected happens while cars are onsite or being serviced in one of its garage locations.

Who should have garage keepers insurance?

Garage Keepers Liability insurance is key for any business that services, stores, or repairs vehicles. The list is huge but we’ve included the most common ones below. 


  • Car Dealerships
  • Auto Repair Shops
  • Car Washes
  • Oil Change Facilities
  • Towing Companies
  • Valet Parking Services
  • Auto Body Shops
  • Vehicle Rental Services
  • Parking Lots and Garages
  • Salvage Yards
  • Car Rental Agencies
  • Auto Auctions
  • Interior Detailers
  • Storage Facilities
  • Service Stations
  • Windshield and Window Installers
  • Valet Services

Surety Bonds for Car Dealers

In addition to garage liability and garage keepers coverage, car dealerships must have a surety bond policy in place. 

Obtaining a surety bond is a mandatory step to maintaining your dealer license in compliance. The $25,000 surety bond coverage must include these essential details: exact business name; relevant agent and company names, contact info & signature; designated dollar amount of protection; date range when bond remains active – with the addition of either a formal seal or electronic one! Meeting these requirements ensures that all future obligations are fulfilled to their fullest extent.

A bank-issued line of credit can be used to replace surety bonds, complete with the necessary information such as auto dealer business name and address, partner names and signatures, contact details for your banking officer plus their seal of approval - all validated for the specified effective period of time. Said surety bond provides limited guarantees that ensures the public will be compensated for any financial damages caused by the dealership in its failure to comply with the provisions of Florida licensing regulations and laws.

Florida Car Dealers License Renewal Periods

In Florida, there are 6 types of motor vehicle dealer licenses which all have different expiration dates. Renewal deadlines come in two distinct periods, and it is as follows:

  • January 1 – December 30, renewal before January 1st
    Applies to: Franchised motor vehicle dealer (VF) and Franchised motor vehicle service facility (SF) licensees
  • May 1 – April 30, renewal before May 1st
    Applies to: Independent motor vehicle dealer (VI), Wholesale motor vehicle dealer (VW), Motor vehicle auction (VA), Salvage motor vehicle dealer (SD) licensees.

Find the Florida Auto Dealers license renewal application and instructions here

In sumary, Garage and Dealerships risks come with a unique set of insurance needs: liability coverage to protect against potential damages stemming from their operations and autos, as well physical damage coverages for customer vehicles. Surety bonds to provide certain guarantees to the public. In order to be protected against any or all possible losses, depending of the kind of businesss you are running, all types of insurance coverage must be in place, or some, but make sure you as a business owner understand each one of then individually. Garage Liability, Garage Keepers Liability and Surety Bonds.

How American US Insurance Can Help You with your Car Dealer License Renewal

We help our clients making their license's renewal easier by offering adequate and affordable coverage and keeping all policies within the same office. No more having one type of policy with one company and another one with a different one. We handle or your car dealer related policies, maintain good records of it and provide easy access through our secured digital systems.

American US Insurance offer many types of coverage options in Florida for all kind of businesses.

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