What is bailment?
On your Massachusetts auto insurance policy, a “bailment” situation occurs when the operator (“bailee”) borrows a vehicle temporarily from the owner (“bailor”) and is responsible for returning the vehicle in the same condition as when it was borrowed. Otherwise, a claim for damages exists against the operator.
A “valid” bailment situation allows 100% recovery of physical damage payments against the other party’s insurance company in instances where the operator of your vehicle may have been primarily at fault.
In order for bailment to apply 4 conditions must be present:
- the operator of your vehicle cannot be the owner and must have permission to use it
- the owner cannot be an occupant of the vehicle at the time of the accident
- the owner cannot benefit from the operator’s use of the vehicle at the time of the accident
- at least 1% negligence must be proven against the other party involved in the accident
If all of these conditions apply, both the owner and the operator of the vehicle will need to complete a “Bailment Affidavit” which we will send to you. This signed document will be presented as evidence that a valid bailment exists and full recovery of all physical damage claim payments is warranted.