Establish, post and strictly enforce a rule forbidding customers from entering the service bay area. By establishing a clean, safe waiting area for customers, you will significantly reduce the possibility of “slip and fall” types of losses. An added benefit is that customers will not disturb your mechanics while they are working on vehicles.
Ensure that you always get signed customer work orders that outline the authorized repairs. This will eliminate any disputes as to the work that was authorized by the customer.
When preparing a customer’s work order, all completed repairs should be listed along with all recommended repairs declined by the customer; the customer should sign-off the work order. Including declined recommendations in the work order could protect you from a potential liability loss.
Make sure that the front, rear and interior of your business premises are well lit, particularly when closed for business.
When overnight storage of customers’ vehicles is necessary, they should be stored inside if possible. If outside storage of vehicles is required on a regular basis, the area should be well lit, adequately fenced and padlocked overnight.
Establish a key control procedure with employees to limit access to customers’ keys. Keys should be kept under lock and key, within your office premises. This will reduce the accessibility of keys to potential thieves and vandals, reducing the possibility of customers’ vehicles being stolen or vandalized.
Limit the amount of cash in the till by using a safe or money-limiting device. Make regular bank deposits, varying the time of deposits and the route taken.
Ensure that you maintain accurate inventory records for all stock, including tools, automobile parts and miscellaneous retail items. In the event of a theft loss, accurate records will make it easier for the insurance adjuster to settle your claim fairly, quickly and equitably.
Obtain driver abstracts for all employees on a regular basis. This will help you to determine which employees should be test-driving customers’ vehicles.
Establish guidelines for employees as to when and who is permitted to test drive customers’ vehicles.
Ensure that test drives follow a predetermined route, in areas that have relatively light vehicular and pedestrian traffic. This can significantly reduce your chance of suffering a loss with a customer’s vehicle.