When a commerical truck or equipment are rented, who is responsible for obtaining insurance for them?
UPDATED: Jan 6, 2016
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Asked January 6, 2016
Insurance for rented vehicles usually falls on the person or company renting the equipment. This includes coverage for the trucks or equipment, but does not include liability coverage based on improper or unauthorized usage. The renter can choose to provide their own insurance or to purchase the coverage through the rental agency.
If you are renting out trucks or equipment, it is important to notify potential renters that they are receiving uninsured merchandise. Most companies which rent equipment offer limited insurance in-house and the costs are added to the cost of the rental. If the renter turns down the insurance being offered, they should sign a form acknowledging that insurance was offered and rejected. In this event, the renters assume full responsibility for any damages or injuries that happen as a result of using the rented equipment, including damages to the equipment itself.
When you are the renter, you have 3 possible choices for insurance. The first choice is to purchase the insurance offered by the rental agency. The second choice is to provide your own insurance through the insurer of your choice. The final choice is to take your chances with the equipment, but there are certain considerations to be covered if you choose this option.
Renting vehicles that are operated on public right of way must, by law, by cover under an auto insurance plan, or covered by your self-insurance. It is always illegal to operate a vehicle of any sort on public roads without a minimum amount of insurance, and a business would do well to carry more comprehensive coverage to protect their investment and company.
If you choose to self-insure or do without insurance on rental equipment, any claims above what your insurance covers are your company's responsibility. Since the cost of an accident can quickly add up to huge amounts for property damage and medical care, choosing to do without insurance is generally a bad idea. Furthermore, having an umbrella liability in place to cover any excess claims is a very good idea. Umbrella policies only kick in when your existing policy reaches its limits, and tend to be very affordable.
Answered January 27, 2016 by Anonymous