Renting Tools & Equipment – What’s Your Insurance Risk

Normally when you think about the risk in renting something, it’s in the context of a vehicle that will be used as transportation while vacationing or on a business trip. However, have you ever thought about your risk exposure when renting small items from your local rental shop? This may include tools such as a chainsaw, motorized equipment such as a small tractor or lawn mower, or even a lift or trailer.

What’s your liability?
Unlike your auto insurance coverage, your homeowners insurance policy more than likely will not cover damage or theft of rental equipment. Even as the operator of the equipment, even if you’re on your own property, you may not be covered. However, every policy is different and your insurer may have included clauses for these specific situations. If you are not sure, assume you don’t have coverage until you can check your policy.

Once the piece of rental equipment is in your hands, it’s your responsibility to keep it properly insured. This includes any damages that may occur to the equipment, as well as loss or theft. For example, let’s say you’re renting a chainsaw and it gets damaged by a falling tree branch. It’s now your responsibility to get that chainsaw fixed or replaced before returning it to the rental company. If you have the appropriate insurance plan, this isn’t going to be a big deal. If you don’t, this may cost you anywhere from $100 – $2,000, or more. Are you prepared for that kind of liability?

It doesn’t really matter what you’re renting—you’re going to be exposed to some risk and you’re going to need to make sure you are protected with the right insurance. Most rental businesses oer customers an option to purchase additional short term insurance on the equipment for a small fee. It’s important to read the terms and conditions that are clearly communicated within the rental agreement and it’s always good to check with your agent before declining the additional coverage that’s offered.

Insurance coverage can be complicated, but the AgQuest/MN River Insurance agents have the knowledge and experience to help you navigate through the complexities of your homeowners, auto and farm insurance policies to give you peace of mind. Don’t leave yourself exposed to the unexpected; contact one of our agents today.

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