Who’s Liable for Damage Done by Valets?

If you offer a valet service, you have most likely considered what would happen if one of your valet drivers were to cause damage to a patron’s car. In most cases, the person driving the vehicle at the time the damaged occurred will be the one held liable, therefore the responsibility will normally fall on the valet company. It is understandable to be defensive about accusations of fault, due to the chance of fraudulent claims.

Valet insurance is needed to cover damage done to a vehicle while it was in valet’s custody. If damage is done on your watch, you will need to state whether or not you believe you are at fault; then it is up to insurers to determine who is responsible for paying to repair any damage.

The Factors Involved

Liability damage depends on certain factors:

  1. If valets were at the time acting as agents of their employer or company when driving the vehicle;
  2. Whether or not the valets exceeded the bounds of their employment at the time of driving the vehicle;
  3. Whether or not the vehicle had some mechanical problems resulting in the damage.

If the person driving the vehicle is a professional valet, liability will normally fall on the employer. It is common for the employer to be contracted to operate the valet services for the restaurant, mall, hotel or other establishment. All details will be involved in determining liability, therefore liability is typically situationally based.

Reducing Risk of Damage

There are specific factors you should consider if you are recruiting potential candidates:

  • Their history and record
  • How many tickets they’ve had
  • License suspensions
  • Their criminal background check
  • Whether they can comfortably drive manual and automatic cars

It’s recommended that you have an experienced valet employee ride with new recruits to show them the ropes and make sure that they have good driving habits.

You may also want to consider using a contracting service. These companies take on the risks and all responsibility is on them for their employees and the cars. Make sure to do your research first.  What to consider before making a decision:

  • Check that the company has proof of insurance.
  • Make sure that you won’t be responsible for any damages.
  • Call the valet company’s insurance carrier to double check that everything’s in order.
  • Be aware of any risks or gaps in the coverage they could leave you open to.
  • Make sure that the company has a strong reputation for safety. They should be a good representation of your business.

Valet parking will always present you with some significant risks, which is where vale insurance can step in to assist you in protecting your assets. Be sure that you fully understand all the risks and responsibilities involved, and determine whether hiring your own employees or hiring a contracting valet service is best for your business.

About Daniels Insurance, Inc.

At Daniels Insurance, Inc., we have a unique understanding of the risks that businesses like yours face on a regular basis. With the backing of our comprehensive coverages and our dedication to customer service and quick claims resolution, your business will be fully protected. For more information, contact us today at (855) 565-7616.

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