The rental store employee drove along the winding road on the way to an equipment pickup. A sudden severe rainstorm blanketed the area. The road to the equipment site went through a hilly wooded area. He went around one bend and saw there was some water on the road. It did not appear very deep and turning around would have been difficult on the narrow road. He proceeded forward but the water was deeper than it appeared. His engine died. He tried to restart but could not. He exited the vehicle and was able to get to higher ground and safety.
The vehicle sustained flood damage. A claim was later reported and will be adjusted according to the policy language.
Remind your drivers to avoid driving through deep water. An automobile can be swept off the road in 12 in. of water. Drive slowly and do your best to estimate the water depth. While driving, stay off the phone to keep your full attention on the road. If necessary, leave the vehicle and get to higher ground. You are more important than property.
Angela Cady, AIC, is a loss analyst for ARA Insurance, Overland Park, Kan. This article first appeared in Rental Pulse, Rental Management’s weekly e-newsletter, and is provided by ARA Insurance to help readers better understand and manage risk. For more information, call 800-821-6580 or visit ARAinsure.com.