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Ri$k Happens: Tumble fumble

By Angela Cady, loss analyst, ARA Insurance

January 27, 2023

ARA InsuranceA site foreman rented a telehandler to assist him and his team as they did masonry work on a large commercial building. He visited his local rental store, verified he had used similar machines many times before and did not need instructions on how to use it, then signed the appropriate paperwork after showing the store employee his proof of insurance. 

 Back at the site, the foreman and his team got to work. The land around the building had not yet been leveled for landscaping to begin. There were many dips and valleys. They managed to tip the telehandler over. No one was hurt and the equipment did not appear to be badly damaged. They decided to right the unit themselves, believing no one would ever know. Unfortunately, there was damage they could not see. They caused even more damage when they used another piece of heavy machinery that was already at the site to upright the telehandler. 

 An employee of the rental customer returned the unit and did not mention the accident. The rental store employee quickly realized when inspecting it that all was not well. The rental store attempted to file a claim with the rental customer’s insurance only to find that the policy had been canceled for non-payment. They then filed with their own insurance. Insurance will cover the damage less the deductible according to the policy language, then pursue the rental customer directly for reimbursement. 

 This item, provided by ARA Insurance, Overland Park, Kan., contains safety tips 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.