Risks and Exposures Related to Valet Parking

The valet parking business has become increasingly more popular within the US over the past couple of decades, partly due to the fact that parking spaces have become more limited and difficult to find. Most people, whether staying at a hotel, or visiting a restaurant, or nightclub, are willing to pay the fee for a valet service to park and attend to their cars.

However, with the increase in the number of cars being serviced, the rate of accidents, vandalism, as well as theft and other incidents have likely also increased. The biggest concern for valet parking businesses is having proper valet insurance to address any liability issues. Given the risks may be high, not only regarding damage to vehicles being driven and parked, but also the safety of drivers, especially where pedestrians are concerned. Having the best liability coverage in place is critical to their bottom line.

Exposures may exist unknowingly

Most elegant restaurants provide valet parking as a way to improve customer service and enhance the experience for the dining public. It can be a good way to attract a high-end clientele, so those with limited parking or those looking to provide this high-end service to their patrons realize the benefits of providing a valet service.

While hiring employees to handle the valet service is perhaps the more cost-effective solution, it can however present the most risk. It is critical to use only the safest drivers (check those DMV records carefully!) and provide adequate training before allowing them to take part in this service. The restaurant will require several types of coverage, including general liability and garage auto liability insurance to help pay for any damages that occur to customers’ cars while they are in the possession of the valet staff.

If employing the valet drivers and service providers, the restaurant owner will need to extend any existing workers compensation insurance to those individuals as well. This may change the level of risk involved but it will provide coverage for both medical and disability claims related to on-the-job injuries or illnesses.

Whether the company offers valet parking, or they have hired a valet parking firm to handle parking needs for customers, it is important to ensure that the right valet parking insurance and liability coverage is in place.

 

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