Take the 2-minute tour ×
The Workplace Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for members of the workforce navigating the professional setting. It's 100% free, no registration required.

My company sent me to another state for 2 weeks and I was told to rent a car while I was there. Since our corporate credit cards had expired the week before, they told me to use my own credit card. They also said to decline the rental car insurance as it was covered under their corporate agreement.

I ended up getting into an accident (my fault) and totaled the car. It turns out my company did not realize that the rental car insurance applied to the corporate credit cards only. Therefore I totaled a car without insurance and was considered liable.

My employer is asking me to claim the car under my personal insurance policy, which would obviously increase my premium through the roof. I disagree with this since they sent me on a business related trip and told me to decline insurance since it was covered under their corporate agreement.

How can I professionally resolve this disagreement with the company? I'm not even sure where I should start.

I realize it may lead me parting ways with my company; however even if that's the case I still want to behave like a business professional in my interactions with them.

share|improve this question
1  
Also, this question is not a question which satisfies the requirements in the FAQ as currently written. Are you asking how to handle this situation? Who's right is not a question any of us can answer considering the legal, contractual, and other unknown factors. –  enderland Jan 10 '13 at 19:49
3  
Being on a business related trip may void any coverage that your personal insurance may have provided, unless you have an appropriate rider. You're asking a question that can't be answered here - there are too many variables, as @enderland points out. As an employee, I'd find it worrying that the company allowed the credit cards to expire and explicitly instructed you to decline the insurance - insurance which would protect you. Extreme cost-savings attempt? –  alroc Jan 10 '13 at 19:58
3  
Also, when it comes to an auto accident, never admit fault, even if you think it was your fault. Explain the facts (don't lie about what events transpired) & let the authorities determine who is at fault. If you admit fault and later it's determined that you weren't at fault, you may be held accountable anyway because you volunteered it. –  alroc Jan 10 '13 at 19:59
3  
Hopefully I'm being too suspicious here, but ... keep (at home or in a bank lock box) hardcopies of any correspondence (email or paper) which may exist regarding the company's direction to use your own credit card and especially to decline insurance. Unfortunately, if things don't go well, you may want to consult an attornery. –  GreenMatt Jan 10 '13 at 20:07
2  
@GreenMatt: The OP's employer probably has a general liability policy that will cover this if the issue is pushed by his auto insurance carrier. Subrogation rarely results in a lawsuit; usually it's a one-insurance-company-to-another call where they settle it. The bottom line here is that the company told the OP he'd be covered, and they need to make good on that. If they're going to jerk him around the flagpole about it, there's no reason for him not to let his insurance company take care of it; that's why he pays premiums. –  Blrfl Jan 15 '13 at 22:31
show 6 more comments

2 Answers

You wrote "Since our corporate credit cards had expired the week before, they told me to use my own credit card. They also said to decline the rental car insurance as it was covered under their corporate agreement."

How did they tell you this, do you have it in writing? If so, I imagine you have a very good leg to stand on, that you just followed orders and therefore the company is liable. Even if not, you still have a good argument, especially if the person who instructed you is willing to admit it / unable to refute it.

I suggest communicating with your insurance company about the situation - speak in hyptotheticals until you're ready to file a claim. Since chances are they would rather not pay and raise your premiums, they may go to bat for you against your employer regarding liability, and they likely have the lawyer resources to get it resolved quickly in your favor.

Ultimately this battle is between your insurer and your employer (your premiums increasing is just collateral damage), and if your insurer turns out to be strong and gets your employer to admit liability after gathering the facts, your employer shouldn't hold that against you.

share|improve this answer
    
As I said in a comment above: If the only damage was to the rental car, the insurance company may consider it more cost effective to just raise the OP's rates than to pursue legal action against the employer. –  GreenMatt Jan 15 '13 at 21:57
    
they may GreenMatt, wouldn't it be worth asking them (in hypotheticals, as I suggested - for example you call and say "what would happen if i had to rent a car for work and my employer told me to decline coverage and i got in an accident")? –  JoeT Jan 16 '13 at 0:38
add comment

You have an obligation to make sure that any vehicle you operate is insured. That is your obligation and you should always obtain proof of insurance from your employer prior to declining insurance on a rental car that they say their insurance will cover.

If your insurance will cover the damage then I would suggest you turn it in to them. The alternative is to pay for the damage out of your pocket and seek reimbursement from your employer. If your company refuses to reimburse you for the damage then you will need to talk with a lawyer to see if you have cause for action against them. If your insurance covers it if there is any liability for your employer then they will go after that reimbursement.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.