You may enjoy the convenience of paying a little money to have your vehicle valet parked when you are on the strip. After all, you do not have to spend so much of your time driving and looking for a close parking spot. When you give the valet attendant your keys, the one thing that may be furthest from your mind is your car being damaged while in the care of a facility’s valet service.
Getting valet services to accept responsibility for property damages that happen to vehicles left in their care is complicated. To minimize the chances of you having to deal with this type of situation, take heed of the following advice:
All valet services are not the same
Make sure you research the credentials and reputation of any valet service before you entrust your vehicle to them. Some services take great care in protecting their customers’ vehicles, so steer clear of companies that have a lot of complaints. Some valet workers are not employees of the establishments they represent. Companies that use outside workers for their valet services generally do not carry insurance to protect their guests against damage employees cause to vehicles.
Take before and after pictures
Before leaving your vehicle with valet, take pictures of its interior and exterior. Make a note of all items inside of it. Make sure those pictures have a time and date stamp on them. Taking pictures may seem unnecessary, but they can be used as evidence if you need to file a claim for property damage.
If after you return to your car you notice there are some dents, scratches or other signs of damage, you should inform the valet company. Get the first and last name of the attendant responsible for your vehicle. You should also get a copy of the company’s insurance information.
Decide if you want to pursue a claim
You must determine if you want to file a claim against the valet company, worker and any other affiliated parties for compensation. If your car has only sustained minor damage like some scratches or small dents, you should consider the cost of repairs against your deductible. If it costs less to repair your vehicle than it does to pay the deductible, you may be better off leaving the insurance company out of it. If your car has major damage, such as a broken door, shattered windshield or some other major blemishes that drastically alter the way your vehicle looks and runs, you should file a claim so you can get your car fixed and be properly compensated for them.
Property damage claims involving valet attendants and services are not always easy to resolve. Insurance companies may try everything they can to reduce or eliminate any compensation they must pay. If your vehicle is ever damaged by a valet parking attendant, you may find it beneficial to speak to an attorney for guidance.