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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 17190
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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Apologies in advance detailed question. I work company that

Customer Question

Apologies in advance for the long detailed question. I work for a company that provides care to people with developmental disabilities. Since I have worked there, an employee can either be a "driver" (use their personal car to transport clients around to various functions) or not. However, the pressure to be a driver is increasing if one wishes to be able to get significant shifts. They do have a requirement that you have certain minimum coverages, a clean driving record and that the car be insured "for business use." HOWEVER, I have found out that it is essentially a universal policy that, even with business/commercial insurance, if you are providing compensated taxi-like service (which this is considered to be), it falls outside of what is covered and any claim made will be denied and it is likely your insurance policy will be summarily canceled. I found this out when I first started working for the company and my agent informed me of this after they found out the work involved transport of people (the one allowable exception being if you go through the training to get a Class C license.) I checked with other insurance companies and found that every one I contacted had essentially the same rule. Apparently, the company is counting on most insurance agents not asking what the nature of the business is since, when I told them about my discovery, their only response was "They asked you what you were doing for work?" A friend who was a driver, when his insurance company did find out the nature of the work, immediately cancelled his policy since they claimed it was insurance fraud. When he approached the company about the problem, he was told that he was "supposed to lie and say that driving the client was an extremely rare occurrence." Some of my research has suggested that even if it WERE a rare event that any claim could legitimately be denied as it fell outside of the allowed business usage. My concern is that the company is knowingly pushing their employees to unknowingly commit insurance fraud. Is this the case and what is the correct course of action? I have some confusion on this since real estate agents, insurance adjusters etc. who are required to provide periodic transport of people for work can still be insured for this activity with no problem.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  ben.jones replied 3 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I got notification that you had replied to my question, but I don't see anything....?
Expert:  ben.jones replied 3 months ago.

Hi there. Please can you tell me if you are based in the UK?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
No, the United States
Expert:  Josie-Mod replied 3 months ago.
I am Josie, a moderator for this topic. Your question is open to all Experts at this time.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Unfortunately, I have to leave for awhile but will check back soon since this is a question that has been bothering me for quite some time now
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Oh yes. One more thing I should add is that when I was reading through a legal site that discussed the issue of employers requiring employees to use their personal car for work that would classify as business usage, it was stated that the employer should (for their own protection) include a sentence that essentially says "It falls to the employee to verify with their insurance company that the purchased insurance will meet the demands of their position." This statement is conspicuously absent from the driver's agreement for the company I work for, which I (perhaps cynically) take as further evidence they don't want their employees who are planning to be drivers asking questions of their insurance agent since they are likely to be told that they won't be covered. Granted the agent is supposed to inquire about the intended business use, but I've been surprised how many don't and aren't sure what their company's policy actually is until they check with the main corporate office.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Hope to hear from you soon.
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 3 months ago.

A different Professional here.

It is an insurance fraud if you do not disclose that you would be using your car for transporting these people on a daily basis. The company is trying to get you to commit insurance fraud and if you get into accident transporting these people, your insurance will not cover the damages. You would be left holding the bag. Your company knows this and is knowingly trying to get you to accept this huge risk. Your course of action would be to contact your insurance company, tell the underwriting department what your company is trying to get you to do and get the underwriting department to give you a written opinion that this cannot be done and that it is infact insurance fraud.

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