Who Pays for Damages and Losses During Valet Parking?

When you hand over your car keys to a valet parking attendant, you trust that person will not crash your car or steal 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’s frequently difficult to prove when the damage was done or whose insurance foots the bill: yours, the valet corporation’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. 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 is the valet was given a really good tip.  According to news sources, Cage believes the valet was privy to the damage when he brought the vehicle to him.

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

Fortunately there was a pole next to the parking slot where Cage’s car had 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. Regularly the victim is on the hook for the damage and ultimately may be on the hook for higher insurance premiums.

If you have optional comprehensive coverage for your vehicle, your policy would pay for the damage. If you don’t have comprehensive coverage or do not really wish to use it, you can pursue the valet service or restaurant company.

For a valet company or a hotel to consent to pay for issues with your automobile, you must have a good explanation (as Cage did) that the company accountable for the loss. Additionally, the valet company or whatever business parked your automobile must have “garage keeper coverage,” which protects enterprises against claims coming from damage to cars they do not own.

If the business is responsible and doesn’t have this coverage, then payment for the loss will need to come from the business itself. The valet point of view at many valet parking companies is if somebody claims an item is missing or that a car was damaged, the company turns the data over to its insurance corporation.

The valet service follows the same procedures whether or not the company thinks it has no blame. It is up to the insurance company to make a last call on the claim. Most drivers fail to read their valet claim tickets, which make it clear that the valet company is “not responsible for lost items or for prior mechanical damage, but valet companies leave it to the insurance corporation to handle each case.

Most “stolen” items, for example shades and iPods, frequently turn up the day after, infrequently under an automobile seat. Most hotels and valet setups have measures in place to stop bad guys to steal from valet-parked cars.

With no regard for who might be responsible, a police report should be filed. A police report will be required in a claim process. Contact a hotel manager or the person in charge of the valet company if you believe damage or an item is stolen from your vehicle.

Remember you might need to provide explanation, for example a sales invoice, showing that you purchased an item that ended up being stolen. In the case of damage to your vehicle, you are going to need estimations from repair shops to help substantiate your claim.

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