If you have ever used a valet service, you have probably noticed the many disclaimers printed on the back of your claim ticket. Savvy valet owners try to limit their legal obligations by disclaiming the bailment relationship. While not every bailment may be disclaimed, restrictive language helps protect the company from liability. If your business often accepts, stores or repairs customer personal property, your organization may have bailment obligations. Bailees coverage may help you protect business assets.

What Is a Bailment?

A bailment occurs where an entity takes control of another’s personal property. In the business sector, bailments often occur in the following types of companies:

  • Parking garages
  • Drycleaners
  • Mechanics
  • Jewelers

When a company accepts property, it implicitly agrees to keep it in good shape and to return it to the customer in the same condition.

How Does Damage Occur?

When trying to repair an item, your company’s technician may cause additional harm. Meanwhile, a sudden flood or fire may destroy customer property that you have stored in your warehouse. While you may be able to disclaim some legal liability, you can likely achieve greater peace of mind by purchasing bailees coverage.

For your business to succeed, you may not be able to avoid creating bailments. You can, however, probably avoid much of the legal liability that comes with running your company. A skilled agent can likely help you develop a tailored policy to mitigate potential risk.