Valet insurance policies, like most commercial insurance policies, typically offer a variety of coverages that protect against multiple potential risks. Many valet parking insurance policies, however, don’t cover everything that might happen while a valet service has a vehicle. Here’s a look at what these policies often do and don’t cover, and why they don’t cover the incidents that they exclude.
What Sorts of Claims Are Covered by Valet Insurance?
Usually Covered: Collisions Vehicles Are Involved In
Valet insurance policies generally cover collisions that vehicles are involved in so long as the vehicles are in the “care, custody or control” of the valet service. (The precise terminology of a policy may vary.)
In other words, almost all policies will cover collisions that occur while vehicles are being driven or parked by a valet service. In the insurance industry, collisions are frequently defined as accidents involving two or more moving vehicles.
While not the only important coverage, this is often the main coverage valet services are concerned about when purchasing a policy.
Maybe Covered: Theft and Vandalism Sustained by Vehicles
Some valet parking insurance policies include coverage for theft and vandalism that vehicles sustain while a valet service has them, but this coverage isn’t found in all policies. It’s less common than coverage for collisions.
The policies that don’t include this coverage rely on the protections in driver’s personal auto policies. Specifically, they rely on comprehensive coverage, which normally covers theft, vandalism and other non-collision causes of damage.
While many drivers have comprehensive coverage, not all drivers do. Additionally, drivers who do have comprehensive coverage often aren’t happy about filing a claim for an incident that occured while their car was in the possession of a valet service.
Therefore, valet services should think carefully before selecting a policy that doesn’t include these protections. While a policy that doesn’t cover theft and vandalism may be less expensive, relying on drivers’ personal policies could result in some irate customers if there’s ever a burglary or similar incident.
Rarely Covered: Weather-Caused Damage
Weather-caused damage is also sometimes not covered by valet parking insurance policies. In fact, this type of damage may be covered even less frequently than theft and vandalism.
The reason many policies don’t cover weather-caused damage is the same as above. The policies that don’t have this protection generally rely on drivers’ personal policies to cover damage caused by the weather.
Again, many drivers have coverage for weather-caused damage -- but other drivers don’t have this coverage. Therefore, valet services ought to carefully consider whether they want to forgo this coverage. A single hailstorm can quickly damage many vehicles, so it might be wise to find a policy that does include coverage for hail and other weather events.
Valet services that decide to forgo this coverage might want to have signage stating that the service doesn't cover weather-related damage. The same can usually be done for theft and vandalism.
Maybe Covered: Miscellaneous Injuries
In addition to the vehicle-related coverages that they offer, some valet parking insurance policies also include non-vehicle coverages.
General liability and workers compensation are two of the more commonly included coverages, for many valet services need these along with their vehicle protections. The former might offer a range of protections against common injuries and some other incidents. The latter usually covers on-the-job injuries that employees sustain.
Valet services might save some money by purchasing these coverages through a valet parking policy. If the coverages aren’t offered through a valet policy, however, they are widely available as stand-alone policies.
Find the Valet Insurance Your Business Needs
For help finding a valet parking insurance policy that has all the protections your valet service needs, contact an independent insurance agent who specializes in valet insurance. An experienced agent will know what coverages are widely available and which ones are offered by only a few policies. They’ll also be able to help determine what coverages your particular valet service needs so you get a customized policy that’s specifically tailored to your business.