Ri$k Happens: Gone with the wind

October 2020 - By Angela Cady, AIC - Loss Analyst, ARA Insurance

The rental store employee arrived at the customer’s job site to pick up the equipment as previously agreed. He secured the skid steer on the rental store’s trailer and began his return journey. He kept his full focus on driving and did his best to avoid distractions.

Halfway back to the rental store on a two-way highway, the employee noticed in his mirror that a piece on the roof of the skid steer was moving back and forth slightly. He immediately put his hazard lights on and began to slow down so that he could pull over and investigate.

Before he had a chance to come to a full stop, the piece broke off. The wind caught it and bounced it off the road and on to a passing car. The oncoming vehicle’s hood caught the brunt of the impact. Ugly scratches marred its once pristine finish, but the driver of the other vehicle was not hurt.

The two drivers exchanged information and filed a police report. The rental store owner later turned in a claim to his insurance provider for the damage to the other vehicle at the vehicle’s owner request. The matter is currently under investigation.

Some events are sudden and surprising, and no one could predict them. However, some actions can help improve outcomes. The alert driver noticed the issue and slowed down as soon as possible. The accident occurred at slower speeds than it might have otherwise. One should also be sure to have a formal procedure for checking rental equipment upon its departure and again when it is returned. Inspections can help catch many issues. Documenting those inspections provides a record of care which can be helpful in many claim situations.

This item, provided by ARA Insurance, Kansas City, Mo., 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.

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