Can my employer mandate how much auto insurance I have?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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