Q. If an employee is involved in a “fender bender” en route to a work-related meeting in his or her personal vehicle, is the employer liable?
A. Absent some contractual agreement, an employer is not responsible for any damage resulting to an employee’s personal vehicle during its use for company travel.
Presumably, the accident was caused in one of three ways: (1) the employee’s own negligence, (2) the negligence of someone else (another driver or a poorly designed road, for example) or (3) just a pure accident caused by weather conditions or some other factor beyond anyone’s control. In any case, the accident was not the company’s fault.
I would put speeding and parking tickets in the same category. The usual types of employer-provided benefits when employees are required to use their own vehicles for business purposes are reimbursement for mileage for occasional business (or the employee can take a deduction for the mileage) or some type of car allowance for frequent use. Presumably, auto insurance takes care of most of these issues. If you require employees to drive personal vehicles for your business, you should require proof of certain insurance limits beyond the statutory minimums in case your employee causes injury to a co-worker, client or third party while on company business.