Who Pays for Damages and Losses During Valet Parking?

When you hand over the car keys to a parking attendant, you trust that the person will not crash the car or mess up anything. You also hope to get it back in the same shape as you left. Sometimes this is not going to be the case. Dealing with such claims can be complicated.

If you find damage or missing items, it isn’t easy to prove when it was done or whose insurance foots the bill: yours, the valet service provider’s or the hotel’s or restaurant’s.

Compensation may come through a policy taken out by the business, the victim or a combination of both. Also, the business may issue a check to the victim. For example, Award winner, Nicholas Cage attended an Emmy Awards event in Los Angeles, California and he did not see the giant scrape on the side of his vehicle until the next morning.

The hotel’s valet parked his car in a little underground space. The worst part of it is that he was given a really good tip. ¬†According to news sources, Cage believes he was privy to the dent when he brought the vehicle to him.

After he discovered the scrape, Cage returned to the hotel. He and the manager went down to the garage together to examine the position of the mishap. Luckily for Cage, they keep a log of where cars are parked.

Fortunately there was a pole next to the slot where Cage’s car was and there was paint on it. The valet parking service agreed to pay over two thousand dollars worth of repair bill. This saved him from registering a claim with his vehicle insurer, which would have most likely caused a rise in premium.

Understanding who pays is important, but finding the guilty party is not always as straightforward. It is your words against theirs in most cases. Regularly the victim is on the hook for the damage and ultimately may be on the hook for higher insurance premiums.

If you have Comprehensive coverage, your policy would pay for the repair. If you don’t have it or do not really wish to use it, you can pursue the valet service or restaurant owner.

For them to agree to pay for issues with the automobile, you must have a good explanation (as Cage did) that they are accountable for it. Proof or a witness is almost always necessary but with so many cameras around it may not be difficult to see the condition of the auto before and after.

Additionally, the valet (or its equivalent) must have “garage keeper coverage”, which protects enterprises against claims coming from damage to cars they do not own. Then, they can direct any person who is accusing them of causing any loss to the insurer regardless of them agreeing to it or not. If they are responsible and don’t have this policy, they will need to pay out of pocket.

They may print a disclaimer on the back of tickets but it doesn’t mean anything in reality. They cannot avoid liability when they clearly cause damage. They or their carrier will have to compensate the customer.

Also, people can be quick to blame these people. Most “stolen” items, for example shades and iPods, frequently turn up the day after under the seats or somewhere else inside. Most service providers take measures to prevent theft from valet-parked cars.

Regardless of who is responsible, a police report should be filed. It would be required in a claim process. Contact the person in charge if you believe something is stolen or it has been scratched while in their care.

Remember you might need to provide explanation, for example a sales invoice, showing that you purchased an item that ended up being stolen. In cases of dents and scratches, you would need repair estimates to help substantiate a claim.