Ri$k Happens: Heavy headache

Sep. 19, 2021 - By Angela Cady, AIC - Loss Analyst, ARA Insurance

A customer rented a trailer from the rental store for what they said was a small in-town moving project. The rental was for a week. The rental store employee went over the rental contract and directions for the trailer with the customer, then had the customer sign the contract.

Four days later, an impound lot called the rental store. The trailer had caught fire while in transit a hundred miles from where it started. The facility where it ended up reported the customer appeared to have critically overloaded the trailer, causing the floorboards to rub the wheels of the trailer. The friction had reportedly started a fire. The customer had abandoned the trailer. The facility tracked down the rental store. The rental store put in an insurance claim for its trailer. The matter is under investigation. The insurance company will seek to recover what is paid out from the rental customer if appropriate.

One does not have much control over rental customers who promise one thing and do another. However, this is a good reminder that trailer weight limits exist for a reason. Make sure your employees and customer are familiar with the requirements for your trailers.

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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