Why you should beware if renting vans from home improvement stores
TORONTO -- Many people are doing home renovations during the pandemic and if you need to transport lumber, drywall or other supplies you may need a van or pick-up truck.
If you don't have one, some home improvement stores will rent you one.
David Rowe of Caledon, Ont. rented a van from Home Depot to help a friend move some boxes, but while he was driving a deer jumped out in front of him on the highway.
“I hit it at highway speed so it was quite a frightening thing and I watched the deer, sadly fly across the road to the other shoulder,” Rowe told CTV News Toronto.
The deer was killed in the accident and the van had serious front-end damage.
Rowe called Home Depot to explain what happened and was told to have the van towed to a storage yard.
Then he was told his insurance would be responsible for all costs associated with the accident.
Rowe said he thought accident coverage was included in his rental contract and was shocked to find out it wasn’t.
“I assumed there was insurance coverage in their contract somewhere, but I was wrong,” said Rowe who added “they never told me they were going to be using my insurance to insure their van when I first rented it."
Rowe was told the bill to his insurance company which included repairs, storage, loss of use and other fees totaled $18,873.
When renting vehicles from most rental companies you're usually offered the chance to buy insurance in case something happens, but not at Home Depot.
“Valid insurance is required for any vehicle rental through The Home Depot Canada,” a Home Depot spokesperson told CTV News Toronto. “As part of our standard operating procedure, proof of insurance must be provided by all customers at the time of rental and is outlined in the Vehicle Loss and Damage and Terms and Conditions that customers review and sign during the rental process.”
Rowe said he wouldn't have rented the van if he would have known his insurance would have to pay for an accident that wasn't his fault.
“I feel they never told me that my insurance was going to cover this van and they should have done that" said Rowe.
Rowe also had to pay a $500 deductible and now worries his insurance premiums will go up because of the claim.
He said he feels the insurance policy should have been made more clear when he rented the van and says Home Depot should consider providing insurance options like other car rental companies.