Avoid Lending or Leasing Church Vehicles

Think about insurance coverage and liability before lending

Has your church or school ever been asked to loan or lease one of your vans or buses to another?

Brotherhood Mutual recommends that you not make your vehicles available to other organizations. If you want to help them, consider aiding them financially in leasing or chartering a vehicle from a rental agency, rather than running the risk of loaning or leasing your own vehicle.

If you do choose to allow another party to use your vehicle, here are some important things to consider:

Vehicle Operation

  • When you loan or lease your vehicle, you lose all supervisory control over who may drive it and how it's operated and cared for.
  • Don't lease it for hire without having your attorney verify you won't be breaking state or interstate laws governing vehicles operated for the purpose of transporting passengers for hire.
  • Outline your requirements to the user regarding who may operate your vehicle and under what conditions. Make sure the driver has a valid license, a good driving record, and experience operating your type of vehicle.
  • Your church or school will be held fully liable for damage caused by the negligent operation of your vehicle by others.
  • Your policy covers you and your organization but may not adequately cover others outside your organization. The vehicle user may incorrectly assume he has complete protection under your policy for his liability.

Vehicle Damage

  • If the user damages your vehicle, he most likely will expect you to turn in the damages under your insurance rather than pay the damages out of his own pocket.
  • Specify in writing who will be responsible for damage to your vehicle. If the other organization agrees to be responsible, it will have to purchase special vehicle damage protection. This coverage should be verified on a certificate of insurance given to you.

Vehicle Maintenance

  • Don't loan or lease a vehicle that is not in top mechanical condition.