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Risk Management: Parking Lot Accident Liability

As a property owner or manager, there are many areas that compete for your attention when it comes to managing risk to your business and customers. While an aesthetically-pleasing, well-maintained parking lot may not be at the top of your list, it pays to stay on top of repairs to limit the risk of accidents, both in terms of the safety of your properties’ visitors as well as in the way your insurance company manages your policy and premiums.

Trip Hazard

According to Dennis Tsonis, Senior Vice President of Lovitt & Touché Inc. Insurance Agency, “rates used by an insurance company take into consideration parking lots and walkways in good repair. If an inspection finds pavement surfaces in poor condition, a company will recommend repairs along with a deadline for those repairs to be completed. The company may decide to let the condition slide until renewal of the policy and then increase or surcharge the premium – typically in the range of 5-15% – if the insured did not conduct repairs on their own.”

Dennis confirmed that, “if a claim occurs because of an uneven or cracked parking lot or walkway, the insurance company can increase rates due to the claim settlement and for increase in liability exposure.” Common parking lot related claims include vehicle damage and personal body injury (trip and fall).

In general, trip and fall cases can easily be prevented. Here are a few suggestions to help keep your customers, visitors and business safe in your parking lot:

  1. Conduct regular inspections of your parking areas by proper maintenance personnel or a professional estimator.
  2. Put together a preventive maintenance plan. Proper maintenance will lead to long-term money savings and will extend the life of your surface by 50-75% (learn more about this in our next blog post).
  3. Be receptive to complaints about your parking areas and handle them in a timely manner. Deferring maintenance can cost you two to three times more than regularly scheduled maintenance.
  4. Know your insurance policy coverage. Reviewing your policy with an insurance broker can help you determine your level of coverage and provide tips on how to keep your rates low.

If you need help assessing the condition of your parking lot or walkways, or preparing a preventive maintenance plan, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll be glad to help.

ACE Asphalt is a full service asphalt maintenance, repair, and paving company with offices in Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff, Arizona, Las Vegas, Nevada, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Dallas,Texas. Ace serves the parking lot repair, maintenance, and paving needs of property managers, building owners, and contractors.

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