Steve Austin’s Auto Group is a 20 year-old automotive dealership based out of Bellefontaine, Ohio. They sell both new and used Chevrolets, GMCs, and Buicks. On their website they describe themselves as being “dedicated to providing exceptional customer service and being an integral part of the community." Through an excellent reputation and smart business decisions, they have expanded their on-site inventory to one worth 5 million dollars.
The challenge is securing a growing business with highly valuable assets. With steady expansion, top-of-the-line equipment, a full-service facility, and increased inventory and number of employees, Steve Austin Auto saw a need to ensure that their business was sufficiently protected in case of property damage, burglary, liability suits, business auto or equipment damage, and other common business risks.
Steve Austin Auto Group has been a steadfast member of the business community in Bellefontaine, Ohio for over twenty years. Dealer and owner Steve Austin started out small, and after buying the dealership, quickly grew his business, both in services offered and inventory.
Five years after opening his doors, Steve Austin moved the dealership to a newly designed and built facility off of highway 68. This new location included a as well as hundreds of new, certified, and pre-owned vehicles in an indoor showroom and outside lot.
“We are very proud of our establishment,” says Mr. Austin, “Our service department is ranked one of the top in the nation and we have state-of-the-art equipment.”
However, Mr. Austin knew that if anything were to happen to the building, equipment, vehicles, or those employed by dealership, it could potentially devastate the business. Steve Austin Group wanted to be able to focus on the work on selling cars and did not want to have to worry about potential damages, most often out of their own control, that could occur in the meantime.
Mr. Austin recognized right away that he needed some kind of general liability insurance for small businesses. This is what brought him to Hill and Hamilton early on in the evolution of his business. With the help of Hill and Hamilton independent agents, Mr. Austin determined exactly what kind of business insurance policies he needed to provide him with reassurance as his dealership expanded. Although the exact policies have shifted over the years as the industry evolved, the basic coverage that Steve Austin Group continues to have includes:
- Business Income and Extra Expense coverage
- General Liability
- Garage Liability
- Garagekeepers coverage
- Employment Practicies Liability (EPLI)
- Employee Benefits Liability
- Business Auto coverage
- Coverage for crime
This comprehensive package ensures that no matter what unexpected situations the business may find itself in, Hill and Hamilton has its back. Even if something were to happen in the middle of the night, the H&H twenty-four hour service line is available to provide assistance. As Mr. Austin describes, “It is nice to have a company like Hill & Hamilton so that if you have a problem, you pick up the phone, they handle it, and as you forget it and go on with what you are doing, you can let them do what they do best.”
The long-lasting relationship between Steve Austin and Hill and Hamilton speaks for itself. Mr. Austin is happy to be dealing with people he can trust. He says, “You want people who are honest and who are out for your best interest, not theirs.”
Although the auto center has been lucky to not have too many issues, they still had to deal with a few difficult situations which would have caused a lot more damage, hassle, and money loss if Hill and Hamilton were not there to take care of it.
An example of this was when someone fell asleep at the wheel on the street that the dealership is on. The driver plowed through four trucks in the front row, causing an incredible amount of damage.
“If I didn’t have insurance I couldn’t have reached into my pocket and replace that – it would have put me out of business.”
Another time a Tahoe truck was stolen and eventually found a year later parked at the airport. Having something stolen like this can feel very personal. Knowing you have someone to call up and share the pain of that with, someone who will deal with the situation for you, is a huge relief. Hill and Hamilton took care of the whole situation, even paying for the parking bill for the entire year. "This made my life a lot easier,” says Mr. Austin.Watch the full video interview with Steve Austin below.