Can my employer mandate how much auto insurance I have?

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Can my employer mandate how much auto insurance I have?

I work for a company where we are required to use our personal vehicles. I go on appointments but never transport anyone or anything. As I understand having certain insurance coverage they are now mandating that we have $500,000 liability insurance. This will increase my premiums over $500 a year. Can they do require this without assisting with covering the cost. My current insurance company does not even go that high.

Asked on August 16, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, South Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, they can do this, unless you have a written employment contract which has not yet expired, which by its terms in one way or another would prevent it. When there is no such contract, employment is "employment at will": this means that the employee has no right in or to his/her job, and also that the employer may unilaterally (on its own) set all terms, conditions, and requirements for work. So they can make this a requirement to have your job; if you don't meet it, they could terminate you; and your only options are either fulfill the requirement or seek other employment.
If it helps, there IS a good reason for this. If you use your car for work (e.g. to go on appointments), if you get into an accident while driving for work, your employer could potentially be sued, too. They have a legitimate interest in making sure there is insurance in place to help protect them. And while it seems unfair--and may in fact be unfair--they are under no legal obligation to foot this cost; they can require you to pay for the enhanced insurance, the same way an employer can require employees to provide  their own tools or equipment for work.


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