3 Ways to Avoid Rental Equipment Liability


One of the biggest fears of a rental business is receiving their equipment in worse condition than when it left the store. Let’s face it, customers often times break, scratch, or dent your gear. That’s why it’s paramount to the success of your company to consider your liability. With the right insurance policy, you can minimize your exposure to the havoc of accidents and negligent renters.

USI Rental Specialties suggests all rental businesses acquire insurance coverage for general property, liability, inland marine, and auto. USI also recommends acquiring coverage for conversion and business income. Conversion coverage protects against theft and your income will protect you from the actual loss of net profit. When a rental store needs to suspend business for repair of their product, proper insurance will alleviate the hit on your income.

Don’t Settle On Loss/Damage Waivers

It’s common practice to offer loss/damage waivers (LDW) to rental customers. Although beneficial to both parties, LDWs are not a cure all for liability coverage. Damage waivers are not a substitute for actual insurance. Customers are still responsible for rental company recommendations and requirements under an LDW. Many rental companies refrain from offering an LDW due to the increased cost to customers at a time when many are already struggling economically.

Rental AccidentSince LDWs fail at offering the proper protection, it puts the onus of equipment protection on customers. Often times, rental certificates are not applicable to the exact item and usually expire while the item is being rented. Unfortunately, dealers are unaware of this fact until it’s too late. The main issue with this model is the responsibility and extra costs put on the customer while offering limited protection.

Instead of focusing primarily on covering the rental company’s assets, it would behoove businesses to go above and beyond expectations by protecting the company from liability claims that arise from damaged rental equipment caused by customers. A simple solution to this issue is to seek an expert who specializes in tracking certificates to assure their authenticity, while aiming to provide Rental Equipment Protection (REP).

Find the Right Insurance Company

JTraxis, a premier risk management company, offers REP and certificate tracking services. These two programs ensure protection for both parties and eliminate the certificate tracking burden off the rental company when paperwork becomes too piled up to keep organized.

Cincinnati based insurance company ePremium Insurance provides rental equipment coverage on a per transaction basis. REP coverage is also 50% less than what the industry standard cost for LDWs, making the program attractive to cash-strapped customers.

Train Your EmployeesTraining

An overlooked aspect to preventing rental damages is making sure your staff is well trained. Customers seeking to rent your equipment ideally want do business with someone who will offer adequate instruction on how to safely use the items. By communicating these topics with your customers, you minimize the risk of accidents occurring from a lack of resourceful information.

By being trained and understanding the significance of documentation, rental companies and their customers benefit greatly. Employees should review manufacturer documents and inspect equipment thoroughly. Maintaining a staff of experienced, professional employees who’ve studied and used your services and product is one of the best ways to avoid liability concerns down the road. One lawsuit can put a small business under water, so it’s important to keep these tips in mind when reviewing your rental insurance policies.