Rental Insurance Specialists NIS and USI Merge

Rental insurance specialists National Insurance Specialists (NIS) and USI Rental Insurance Specialties (USI) have merged to form the country’s largest insurance agency totally focused on serving the rental industry.

The merged companies will operate under the USI name, and no staffing changes are expected, so clients will be able to continue doing business with their same trusted agents, according to Matthew Davis, a regional manager.

Both of the former companies have extensive experience serving the rental industry. USI created its rental-insurance program in 1964, and NIS has had its rental program for nearly 20 years.

The newly merged company has access to both the Travelers and The Hartford, two of the largest and most respected insurance carriers serving the rental industry.

The new company continues to use a fully integrated approach that combines sales, underwriting, customer service, claims and risk control to offer the best coverage and suite of services to customers of all sizes anywhere in the country.

Davis notes that USI offers a full range of insurance covering all the needs of rental operations, from property and autos, to equipment, liability, and workman’s compensation.

Two of the more unusual kinds of coverage offered by USI, says Davis are protection against “conversion” (theft of rented equipment by a customer) and the offer of “inventory replacement options,” which allows the flexibility to replace insured equipment with what you choose, up to the replacement cost of the damaged equipment.

Davis explains that if a rental customer keeps a piece of equipment, the rental company’s insurer usually tells the rental company to go get it back and will not pay for a replacement unit. With USI’s “conversion” coverage, the insurer would replace a rental item that could not be recovered.

To explain “inventory replacement options” coverage, Davis gives the example of a rental company losing a 60-foot boom lift. “Most insurance coverage would require the owner to replace the insured lift with another 60 footer. But under inventory-replacement-option coverage, the owner could replace the covered 60-foot boom lift with two 20 footers if it would serve their business better and the total cost were the same as replacing the 60-foot lift.”