Beebe and O'Neil

Car accidents and employer-owned vehicles

An employee in Connecticut who gets into an accident driving his or her employer's vehicle may wonder who is liable for damages. While most employers should have a certain amount of insurance to cover employee-related accidents, there are certain instances in which the employer is found not to be responsible and the employee will have to use his or her own insurance.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, business owners who have vehicles that are used for company-related business should make sure they have the right type of insurance coverage. Some owners may think their Business Owners Policy covers motor vehicles, but this is not the case and separate car insurance needs to be purchased. The minimum requirements in most states include liability coverage for both property and bodily damages. Owners may also choose to add physical damage, uninsured motorist and medical coverage to have a more comprehensive policy.

Employees who drive an employer-owned vehicle will typically be covered if they are in an accident, regardless of who is at fault. However, according to FindLaw, there are a few exceptions. One is the employee must be driving the vehicle for an authorized and business-related reason. If not, the employer may not be required to cover any injuries or damages caused. Even if the employee was involved in a work-related activity, liability may switch to the driver if the employee was doing something illegal such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In this situation, not only will the employer's car insurance not cover for damages, but also the employee will be unable to file a worker's compensation claim for injuries sustained. 



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Beebe & O'Neil
PO Box 6002
335 Washington Street
Norwich, CT 06360

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