Following a recent spate of thefts now is a good time to review your pre-hire checking procedures – here’s our guide on the main areas to tick off.
- Account Application & Trade References. Obtain a completed account application form for all hires, obtaining personal details of individuals or company directors. Obtain and apply for at least two trade references. Get written confirmation of the hire on the company’s letter headed paper.
- Cash Deposit. Particularly for first time hirers, take a sizeable cash deposit to be held over the duration of the hire. This is immediately refundable upon return of the undamaged equipment. The deposit can be held as a credit card payment.
- Contact Details. A landline phone number should ideally be provided (& verified). A mobile number should not be accepted alone if at all possible. Be wary of email addresses which are Hotmail (or similar) addresses. Do not accept PO Box addresses.
- Credit Reference. Subscribe to a recognised credit reference agency.
- Equipment Collection. Take customer’s vehicle details at point of collection.
- General Manner of Hirer. If suspicions are aroused at the time of hire, ask the hirer some technical questions in relation to the equipment being hired. Go with your gut instincts. If you feel slightly uncomfortable don’t do it; turn away the business.
- Insurance. We would recommend you insist on proof of cover, directly from the hirers insurance brokers, prior to the equipment being released.
- Overseas Applicants. 2 bona fide UK references should be obtained and verified.
- Photographic Evidence. Take a photograph of the hirer. This tends to deter potential thieves.
- Proof of Identity – individuals. Individuals must supply some formal identification. These should be original documents and not photocopies. Forms of ID should all be dated within the last 3 months. At least one form of ID should be photo ID. No photo ID = no hire.
- Signatures. Signatures should be compared with those on the proof of ID.
- Sudden Changes to Hire Equipment Orders/Hire Grooming. Be aware of the small regular hirer who, suddenly and out of character, requests the hire of expensive equipment.
- Web Search. Google name and address; always worth checking.
- Where is Kit going to be used? Ask for full details of where and how the kit is going to be utilised. Be suspicious of any customer that can’t give a straight answer.
The likelihood of a fraudulent hire is significantly reduced if checks take place pre-hire and that all staff follow these procedures. If you hire out technical equipment you may extend cover to include theft by fraudulent hirers. A comprehensive record of all checks should be retained as they will be requested in the event of an insurance claim.
Insurance cover is subject to having hiring terms and conditions in place and taking precautions and relevant checks when hiring out the equipment. Comprehensive records of all checks should be retained as they will be requested in the event of a claim.
For more information or guidance please contact our specialist film, TV and entertainment division on 01638 660651