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NSW Is Employer Liable for Car Insurance Excess?

Discussion in 'Employment Law Forum' started by K Kamal, 13 September 2016.

  1. K Kamal

    K Kamal Member

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    Hi,

    I have been employed for a company on a part-time basis and my role is to pick-up equipment in the trailer and transport to various places as customers make hiring booking and then to it pick-up when it's finished and return back to base.

    On a work trip when travelling from one site to another, on the freeway, the equipment fell off the back of the trailer and it hit a car causing a lot of damage. Details were exchanged and I have notified my car insurance company.

    I am wondering since the accident happened during work time and for work purposes, is my employer liable to cover my car insurance excess of $1100?
     
  2. Victoria S

    Victoria S Well-Known Member

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    Was it your fault that it fell off the trailer? Or did the trailer somehow fail and break? It really depends on your employer's policy on this - however many employers don't have one. I would say if its your fault then you're probably liable to pay the excess.
     
  3. K Kamal

    K Kamal Member

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    I have been reading a little bit on vicarious liability and it does not mention about who is at fault as long as it is the following:

    If your employer is found to be vicariously liable for your negligent actions, they can't always make a claim against you for any amount they have had to pay in damages to a third party. Your employer will be able to make a claim against you if you did something that could be considered 'serious or wilful misconduct', such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or causing an accident on purpose.
     
  4. Victoria S

    Victoria S Well-Known Member

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    I think in any event these situations end up being very grey. Your insurance which you are evidently claiming on is to cover your liability. Therefore it is your responsibility to pay the excess. Yes, vicarious liability does arise where you are liable to third parties - this will in most cases make your employer vicariously liable for your acts - provided as you say they were not as a result of wilful misconduct.

    So in circumstances where it is their liability - they should be claiming on their insurance which would require them to pay an excess. It will also involve an examination of their company policies with respect to employees using their own vehicles etc if such policies exist (in most small business they don't)

    In the end I don't believe there is any hard and fast rule out there, it would need to be negotiated between the parties or decided on by a court. I would be interested to hear if anyone knows any differently.
     
  5. K Kamal

    K Kamal Member

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    Hmmm...

    Interesting points Victoria S

    I'll be contacting my insurance company and also my employer and see how we go.
     

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