Protecting Yourself If The Rental Equipment Is Damaged

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Renting construction equipment is often the more frugal choice for projects that need machinery you don't have. Renting is cheaper than buying in most cases, and it saves you from trying to find storage space for the machinery when you no longer need it. Rental construction equipment faces the risk of damage just like any other piece of equipment, but because you are using it on a contract, you have different options and concerns than if you were using equipment you owned. One of those concerns is protecting yourself and your company if the equipment is damaged.

Walk-Around Inspections

Always walk around the equipment the minute you receive it (or, if you're picking it up, before you load or attach it to your vehicle for transport back to your property). You want to look for and record existing damage. Take pictures of all sides of the equipment, too; all you need is a smartphone. Do the same when you return the equipment, too, because your records will show whether damage on the equipment was there when you got it. Any existing damage is not your fault, but damage that occurred while the equipment was in your care will likely be your responsibility.

Their Insurance vs. Your Insurance

You and your insurance company will need to straighten out exactly what is covered by your policies. If the equipment is damaged and the damage is determined to be your responsibility, you have to be prepared to pay. If your insurance tends to delay payments -- in other words, you have to pay for repairs out of pocket and then be reimbursed by the insurance company -- you may find it advantageous to have extra insurance policies through the rental company, similar to having extra car insurance through a car rental company. These extra policies can cover those immediate costs, and then you can just send in the payment from your insurance company. The rental company may also have comprehensive policies that cover all damage.

How to Document Damage

Taking pictures of damage that occurred while the equipment was in your care is advisable, but you also need to know the procedure for recording details of what happened. Sometimes a written statement from you is fine. Other times you may need to have a police report if vandalism is the cause. You also need to know the rental company's exact procedure so that you don't inadvertently miss a deadline or form, and then find you have to pay a lot more.

Rental companies don't want you to be confused about this, either. Ask specifically about damage procedures and insurance availability so that you know what to do if you have to report damage. Contact companies like Ever-Joy Rent All Co for more information.