Have you ever had to rent equipment?
There are many different reasons that you may need to rent equipment. Often times a construction worker needs to rent a Bobcat or a tiller. A landscaper may need to rent a mower or a chainsaw. Painters may need to rent some scaffolding or spray equipment. Photographers or film makers may rent camera equipment or lighting. An event planner may rent signage or furniture for a booth display.
As you can see, there are an array of companies that will need to rent equipment or property every once in a while.
Renting equipment can be cost effective compared with purchasing a piece of equipment that you may only use two or three times in a year. However, you might want to make sure that you have the proper insurance to cover the equipment in the event of a loss.
A common error I see - particularly in the construction industry - is that this industry will often carry general liability only. While it is the business owner’s choice if they do not want to cover their own tools, here are some things they might want to think of if they are renting someone else’s equipment:
- What is the cost to insure the equipment?
- What are the chances of loss?
- Do you have enough funds to replace the equipment if the equipment is damaged?
If you answered no to No. 3 then you might want to consult with your insurance agent prior to renting any equipment to ensure that you have the proper coverage.
If you are a company that rents equipment to others – to better protect your interest, I suggest that you:
- Pre-qualify your customers – make sure that they are familiar with your equipment
- Attach safety labels, warnings and equipment instructions/manuals
- Inspect equipment before each rental and make sure that all of your equipment is properly maintained
- Use a standard rental agreement that protects your interests - a properly written and correctly used agreement will help protect your company in the event of an accident or injury during the rental period
Just because you have an insurance policy doesn’t mean that you have the right coverage for all losses. We are entering into a busy time of year for many businesses so I suggest that you review your coverages with your agent to ensure that you have what you need.