Updated: Apr 20
Understanding insurance requirements for a gas station is not easy, and equally challenging is putting together an insurance portfolio that address all the inherent risks of operating a modern gas station with a convenience store. We have been insuring gas stations for over 25 years, and you can say that we know a thing or two about insuring these businesses.
Lets start with building coverage. There is more than just the four walls of the store when it comes to properly insuring property at a gas station. There are canopies, fuel dispensers, possibly a propane filling station, extensive concrete flatwork, a large electronic sign, and maybe even a car wash. This is just above ground. Then there is a whole world under the surface-gas tanks, sumps, leak detection systems, piping and electrical etc. Of course you will need an insurance professional who understands all this, and can offer the right coverage. There are times that we review a client's policy to find out that building coverage is only for $500,000 when in fact it may cost close to $1.5 million to built a similar station.
The liability exposure of a gas station owner is also unique. For one, take the potential of pollution liability from a leaking underground storage tank. Such liability can be a nightmare for the property owner. Pollution cleanup and replacement of storage tanks can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars, and claims of this nature typically end up in costly civil litigation, and governmental oversight and red tape. Often times it is not known when exactly the soil was contaminated, and whether it happened under the watch of the current or the previous owners of the property. Do not take this lightly, and consult with a professional who has experience in this area.
Other liability exposures for the gas station owner include liquor liability, garage liability (say, you pumped gasoline in a diesel vehicle), and plain old general liability. These businesses have a high turnover, and there is also the potential of Employment
Practices liability. A claim for wrongful termination or employee harassment is not unheard of when it come to gas station and convenience stores. Most franchised stores are required to be open 24-hrs, and this creats other challenges for the owner and the insurer.
We ask that you consult with us before you purchase or renew your existing gas station insurance policy.