When you go out to enjoy yourself at a restaurant, the last thing on your mind is whether your car is safe or not in the hands of the valet. Most of us toss our keys to the valet and that is it. We never give a second thought to the disasters that might befall our cars in the care of this stranger.However, valet companies are aware of all this and that is why most are keen to avoid lawsuits that might come as a result of valet negligence and so much more.
An operator, who longs for his business to flourish for longer than just a weekend, ensures that he has a policy that has been designed to cover this kind of thing. Most operators follow the specific rules. Nevertheless, there are a few that decide to fly under the radar and end up ruining a good industry by creating a bad name for it. A valet or parking policy covers general liability, garage keepers’ legal liability and worker’s compensation.
This section covers conditions like slipping and falling at the parking lot and injuries caused by the valet. An example of such an injury occurs when a bystander or a pedestrian is hit accidentally by the valet.
Garage keepers’ legal liability
This policy protects the property. Specifically, it covers any damage or loss that might have resulted from collisions. It also covers thefts of the vehicle if they occur within the insured parking lot. If the valet company is insured and the incidents occur within a property that does not belong to it, the policy will still cover the loss.
This policy works for the valet. It points out that if a valet parks hundreds of cars or runs here and there within the parking lot in a week, this might wear them out. Generally, these policies have been designed for specific types of businesses like a special event parking lot, a shuttle service parking lot, an on-street parking lot and self-park lot.
A valet company in Miami that has included a self-insured retention in their premiums to keep them in check is quite a trustworthy company. The SIR takes the role of per-claim deductibles. The operator is expected to part with small claims. The insurer will be notified in case the potential claim approaches the self-insured limit of the operator.
What is not covered?
However, there are parking related claims that are not covered by the valet company insurance and would work better with an auto or home insurance.
If for instance a third party comes in and damages or steals your car after the valet has parked it, the valet will not be held responsible. This is possible as long as the valet ensures the car is properly locked and the keys are well secured. Such vandalism or theft will not be covered by the valet company’s policy.
When nature decides to take its course, the valet operators are not be answerable for any damage that is as a result of weather changes. Examples of these weather situations are hailstorms, lightning, flooding or objects falling out of nowhere and so on. However, if the parking was done carelessly and the weather conditions cause some damage to your vehicle, then the company is held responsible.
When you leave your vehicle in the hands of a valet, whatever personal items inside the vehicle should be your responsibility. If by any chance they get lost, the valet is not held responsible since there will be no proof that they existed in the first place. Finally, if there is a collision dispute between two parties, this is best covered by the customer’s own insurance company.