Car Damaged While Working

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about car damaged while on company errand:

We were in the process of moving into another building and I was asked to do a company errand and while I was doing the errand my window got busted. How do I go about asking them to pay for it?

Signed, Broken Window

Dear Broken Window:

If you have insurance, it will likely pay for the window without affecting your rates. Your insurance may work with your company’s insurance to be reimbursed if you can prove you were doing company business. Your company would then pay you any deductible. Or, your company may pay for the damage completely. All of that would depend upon if you could prove the damage was a result of you using your car for business purposes.

The size of your company and nature of the business might have a bearing on this matter as well. A small business may not have insurance and the owner may have to pay out of his or her pocket, making the matter more difficult. But a larger business would probably have a policy for such matters.Write a courteous letter to your supervisor or boss, with a request in the first paragraph that it be forwarded through your company’s chain of authority to the appropriate level, if that fits your business situation. In the letter give the date and time you were asked to use your personal vehicle for company business.

Then, state what happened, where and how, and include any police report you might have made, if the damage was caused by vandalism or some other reportable event. If no report was made, list any witnesses.If there are no witnesses and no report was made you may have problems proving the damage was caused during your company work. But, a good faith effort may result in payment for the window.At the conclusion of the letter, ask what is required for you to get the repairs and reimbursement done as soon as possible.

The amount of damage will affect how fast it needs to be done. If you only have a chip, you can wait for the paper flow, but if a window is literally busted and you can’t see out or can’t close a side window, immediate action is needed. In that case, you may need to do the repairs and be reimbursed later.I believe using your insurance will be your best bet in any case, but certainly you should ask for appropriate financial recompense for the damage if it wouldn’t have happened had you not been doing company business. Best wishes in this matter. If you have the time and wish to do so, let us know what results.

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.