While there are many benefits to leasing equipment, such as commercial trucks, insureds should beware of the damage coverage included by the leasing company.
Read the fine print
We’ve heard that phrase a thousand times: Read the fine print. If you’re leasing equipment, however, doing so could prevent huge headaches and significant payments you for you and/or your insurance company. The agreement you sign when leasing a vehicle (written in the small print) states the lessee is responsible for all damages. If the lessee does take out the damage waiver, it does not cover all damages. The leasing company does not cover damages resulting from height or width clearance issues. In most cases, the leasing firms are making the argument that clearance issues fall under this exclusion.
When there is damage and a claim is submitted, the leasing company may charge for absolutely every little scrape and dent.
A word to the wise
To protect yourself, examine the equipment thoroughly from top to bottom. Take photos before and after you turn in the vehicle(s). Be diligent and specific in documenting everything. In addition, upon return of the equipment, request the leasing company provide you with something in writing to confirm there’s no damage. It’s a little more effort, but will save you much in the end.