A rental store in the full swing of the busy season rented a push mower to a customer. Shortly after the customer fired it up and started mowing, he amputated his big toe with the mower.
Several weeks later, the rental store received a letter from the customer’s attorney demanding that they contact their insurance carrier regarding his client’s serious injury. Eventually, a demand was received from the attorney along with evidence that supported the customer’s claim that the rental store was liable for his injury. The customer provided pictures from the date of the accident that showed no rear guard, bag attachment or kill switch on the mower. When questioned, the rental store owner stated they would never rent a mower without these things in place, but he couldn’t recall this specific rental nor could he show that the mower left in proper condition.
The claim eventually settled for a fairly large sum. The rental store was adamant that the mower wouldn’t have left the yard in that condition, but there was no system in place to prove otherwise. Ready-to-Rent tags are a must. They can help you prove that a piece of equipment left in the proper condition and protect you from incidents like this one.
Several styles of Ready-to-Rent tags are available from the American Rental Association (ARA):
To find instructions on how to use 3-color tags, click here. For instructions on using 4-color tags, click here.
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This item, provided by ARA Insurance, Kansas City, Mo., is the story of a real-life insurance claim involving a rental store and is intended to help readers better understand and manage risk. For more safety and risk management information, customers of ARA Insurance can log on to ReSource. Access is free, so if you haven’t signed up yet, contact your agent or call 800-821-6580.