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Protecting your work ute if your apprentice has a prang


You’re proud of your ute. It carries everything you need to do your job and it’s a symbol of your business when you’re out and about.

But what happens if your apprentice prangs it?

Aside from damaging your pride and joy, a raft of questions around liability open up that can cause stress before you even begin to consider the costs of repairing or replacing your ute.

For example, who pays for the damage to your ute, or to the third party’s car or property if your apprentice is at fault? Who pays if your apprentice is driving your ute, but the other vehicle is at fault? Could you afford to replace any tools that were seriously damaged in the crash? Will you be able to afford a new ute if yours is a write-off?

Generally, you’re not liable if your apprentice caused damage by for example, driving it while under the influence, letting their partner drive it, or using it to pick up their mate from the airport1.

But if your apprentice causes an accident while driving your ute for work or picking something up for you, then you may be responsible for any damage they cause to another car or property. This is called ‘vicarious responsibility’2.

What are your business insurance options?

Your broker can help you to work out what level of coverage is right for you. You’ll not only want to protect your apprentice, but also your property, your business, and your ute.

For example, the right workers compensation insurance helps cover your apprentice’s salary if they’re injured in a prang as well as any rehabilitation they might need to get back to work.

Property insurance can cover the cost of replacing damaged tools, and business interruption insurance can cover your business cash flow while your apprentice recovers and you replace your tools and ute.

You’ll also want to make sure you’ve got adequate Commercial Motor insurance so you can replace your ute and pay for damage to any other vehicles or property. You also must have Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance, which protects any person you might injure while you’re driving.

What to ask your broker about motor vehicle and business insurance

When talking to your insurance broker, these questions can help you make sure your apprentice, ute, business and property are fully protected.

  1. Does my business insurance package include every type of insurance I need?
  2. Will my current Commercial Motor insurance cover any new vehicle I buy, or should I update it when I buy a new ute?
  3. What kind of legal liability is included in my insurance? How can I protect myself if a third party sues me for damages because my apprentice had a crash while driving my ute?
  4. What proof/documentation do I need to provide to make a claim if my apprentice has pranged my ute?

For more information about insuring your business and vehicles:


1https://www.lawaccess.nsw.gov.au/Pages/representing/lawassist_car_accident/who_is_responsible/Driving_for_work_when_you_are_an_employee_or_independent_contractor.aspx
2https://www.lawaccess.nsw.gov.au/Pages/representing/lawassist_car_accident/who_is_responsible/owners_and_drivers.aspx


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