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Ri$k Happens: Change of tune

By Angela Cady — Loss Analyst, ARA Insurance

April 30, 2023

A rental customer requested a skid steer and trailer one morning for a project on their property. The rental store employee went through the store’s process for checking out the unit, including going over and signing the rental contract and offering training to the customer. The customer indicated he had used similar units before and refused any training. 

An hour later, the customer sheepishly called to say he had accidentally backed the skid steer off the trailer, causing it to be damaged. The rental store employees recovered the unit and explained to the customer they would have the damage appraised and bill him as per the terms of the rental contract. He agreed. 

Later, when the bill came, the rental customer changed his tune. He alleged the rental store provided a trailer that was too small for the equipment, which caused him to have issues getting the equipment off the trailer. He further alleged that he had been injured and would be contacting an attorney. This was the first mention of any such injuries. 

The rental store employees reported the matter to their insurance carrier. They provided their careful documentation of what transpired, including the condition of the equipment and trailer at the checkout inspection and when it was recovered. The adjuster will evaluate any evidence provided by the claimant’s attorney and respond appropriately with the help of the rental store’s support. 

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.