The Rough Notes Company, Inc., is not legal counsel and we cannot give legal advice. What we can do is offer some things to think about with regard to the question presented and one possible interpretation of some of the coverage forms.

Q Is there a need for garagekeepers insurance in the following scenario?

A co-op, six-story building has 90 tenants. Thirty-five of the tenants pay an additional fee to use the indoor parking facility. The tenants park their own cars. Is this called "care, custody or control"?

In short, what would be the specific and clear cases where I should advise a building owner to obtain GKLL in addition to property and liability coverage on the building?

Any examples would be appreciated.

A Garagekeepers legal liability (GKLL) coverage is either in the form of a policy or an endorsement which has been designed to offer protection to an insured who takes custody or control of the vehicle of another, in order to perform operations such as the attending, servicing, repairing, parking or storing of that vehicle.

The first place for the insured to start is with legal counsel. The insured should review with counsel all leases, contracts and agreements that have been drafted for use with tenants. The legal review should include any state, local or other regulation or law that would apply to landlords or property owners in that jurisdiction. In other words, what is a landlord or property owner liable for in that city, county or state? Once the insured's commitment to the tenants has been ascertained, the need for this coverage should be better understood.

Another interesting sidelight to this discussion would be the obligation of co-ops and condominium associations to their "tenants" and members, and what liability or limitation do they have to themselves or to bring suit against themselves as members of a co-op or condo association?

Again all legal documents pertinent to the habitation or occupation of the property involved should be reviewed.

Examples where an insured should consider GKLL coverage:

* The insured parks or delivers vehicles for tenants or customers, such as a valet situation.

* The insured washes, cleans, vacuums or details vehicles for tenants or customers.

* The insured takes custody of or accepts vehicles for tenants or customers in a storage situation.

* The insured provides a parking facility with an attendant.

* The insured provides a parking facility with security and/or commits to the safety of the vehicles for tenants or customers in the facility.

An example where an insured would most likely not have to consider GKLL is:

* The insured offers a parking facility with no commitment, agreement, promise or acceptance of or any other obligation to or for the care, custody or control of the vehicles of tenants or customers.

No one answer will satisfy each and every insured because each is different, and the full landlord/tenant commitment must be evaluated as well as the services and protection offered by the landlord to the tenant.

Q Please provide us with any information you have concerning wording being requested on general liability certificates. That wording is "primary and non-contributory."

We are receiving requests for this and are concerned with what the certificate holder is asking and getting.

A With the increased growth in self-insured retention (SIR), certificate holders may find themselves holding paper on what they think is a valid primary general liability insurance policy, which instead turns out to be only an excess liability policy with a large SIR.

So what may give the appearance of coverage granted by an A+ insurance company could turn out to be an excess policy only, on perhaps a questionable business, with a sizable SIR--such as $100,000 or higher. The excess policy may be issued by an A or an A+ company. This is in actuality a totally different scenario than what the certificate holder may have originally assumed by the sketchy details provided on the certificate.

Further, this may not necessarily be the type of business or the type of client the certificate holder wishes to deal with. Or if it is a case where the certificate holder wishes to pursue a business relationship, such a client would normally require a great deal more time and effort to research and do background checks on to make sure that the client is financially secure and able to handle the potential costs associated with high SIRs.

More than likely, the certificate holder is trying to achieve an assurance that the policy listed is a primary policy vs. an excess policy, and that there is no significant SIR or other contribution by the insured for losses.

However, it must be cautioned that the wording "primary and non-contributory" is brief and not necessarily explanatory in and of itself. It may be wise to request a clarification from the potential certificate holder as to what the full intent is of this or other such wording. *