The Difference Between Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Accident Injury Insurance for Trucking Operations

Trucking companies across the country make it their mission to create safe and productive work environments for their employees on the road and in their warehouses. Even though trucking operations put their best foot forward to instill safety and accountability, there are still workplace injuries that occur, resulting in high loss of wages and reduced productivity each year.

To protect against liabilities, there are multiple insurance options that can help safeguard a company from more risk and more legal battles. Among these are two main types of commercial truck insurance: workers’ compensation insurance and occupational accident insurance. While they seem similar initially, they do have glaring differences. Let’s take a look at some now.

Occupational Accident vs. Workers’ Comp

Workers’ comp provides wage replacement and medical benefits to hired employees and occupational accident insurance offers similar pluses, but focus on independent contractors. Finding the right coverage depends on the workforce.

Occupational Accident

Companies in essence aren’t legally bound to pay for the medical, disability, death or dismemberment benefits of independent contractors. This is because contractors aren’t technically employees. However, when a contract worker is injured somehow help still needs to be provided.

Independent contractors who get hurt on the job sometimes sue the trucking company they have been hired by. They sometimes claim to be full-time employees to try to get legal compensation. This is where occupational accident coverage steps in.

This kind of coverage doesn’t automatically cover the same statutory limits that workers’ comp does, but it is an alternative for the independent contractor to protect himself and at much more reasonable cost than traditional workers compensation. Motor carriers usually purchase a small workers’ compensation policy to cover hired employees and add occupational accident policies to cover their contract drivers.

Workers’ Compensation

By law all businesses are required to pay lost wages and medical bills for their hired employees if they are hurt on the job. Most business owners choose to purchase this insurance to protect themselves and cover the employee if one gets hurt on the job.

It’s important to not only invest in coverage, but pick the best commercial truck insurance option that’s right for your employees and/or independent contractors. Depending on the state you’re located, there may be options to cover your workers’ comp through an occupational accident program. Work with your insurance provider to find out which is best for you.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates and coverage changes.

Why Commercial Truck Insurance is Essential

There are many reasons that finding the right commercial truck insurance is vital to the success of your business. Transportation insurance is multifaceted, so one of the most important parts of finding coverage is choosing the right insurance provider. You want to choose a company that offers the protection you need for an affordable cost. It’s also important to work with professionals who understand the industry, so you can rely on them for accurate advice, helpful tips, and support for your company. Here at Western Truck Insurance Services, we want to help you navigate the complex workings of truck insurance. Here are some important reasons to make sure you have the right coverage.

1. Insurance Is Required by Law

Perhaps the most important reason commercial vehicle insurance is essential is that it is legally required. If you are found to be without the right type of insurance coverage, you can face significant fines and legal actions. You may even be penalized in a way that threatens your ability to continue operating your transportation business.

2. Insurance Is a Large Business Expense

Aside from the actual cost of your vehicles and fuel  your commercial insurance policy is likely going to be one of the largest expenses of your business every year. You may think that choosing the least expensive policy is a smart business move, but having the wrong type of insurance can end up costing you significantly more, as  in the case of an accident or theft. You want your policy to have enough coverage that you can quickly and easily recover financially from an accident. However, you don’t want to be paying for coverage you don’t need. The right policy will balance coverage with cost in a way that’s customized for your company.

3. Insurance Covers More Than Accidents

While it is vital to have insurance to cover the expenses involved in a motor vehicle accident, there are many other aspects to commercial truck coverage. Most policies are designed to provide protection in the event of damage or loss to your   truck, trailer, and/or cargo. Insurance  also covers damage to others parties vehicles, and property affected by the accident. Here is a basic breakdown of the different types of commercial vehicle insurance:

  • Liability: Coverage for damage to other parties involved in an incident. If your truck causes bodily injury or damages to other vehicles, buildings, or other sort of property, the liability policy would provide funds to pay the injured party.
  • Physical Damage: Protection for your equipment damage due to numerous causes, such as severe weather, theft, or damage inflicted by another vehicle or person.
  • Cargo Insurance: Coverage for the items being transported.. This type of policy can provide coverage in the event cargo is damaged during an accident or stolen during transport.
  • Reefer Insurance: Additional coverage related to the refrigeration system.. This doesn’t cover repairs to the motor, but does provide coverage for damage done by failure of the reefer unit to maintain the temperature.
  • Bobtail Insurance: Liability Protection, called non-trucking liability, for times when the tractor is in operation without a trailer. This is usually recommended for owner/operators who take their rigs home during off hours and vacations.

4. Additional Services Can Make Your Life Easier

Some insurance providers offer roadside assistance coverage for commercial truckers. These policies are generally inexpensive but can save time, money, and frustration for trucking professionals. The exact coverage details will vary depending on the provider and the policy, but most programs include numerous benefits, such as:

  • Concierge service to find truck stops, lodging, restaurants, and more
  • Tire replacement assistance
  • Roadside assistance for multiple situations
  • Towing
  • Mobile mechanic services
  • Jump starts
  • Fuel delivery
  • Locksmith services
  • Navigation assistance
  • Truck rental help

In most cases, adding a roadside assistance package provides numerous advantages with a huge savings over a regular tow bill. significantly.

5. Insurance Protects Your Livelihood

The right commercial truck insurance policy helps protect your business from financial difficulties due to accidents, theft, or other disasters. Additionally, a good insurance policy can help you maintain the excellent reputation you’ve worked hard to build. Savvy clients will be sure to ask about the details of your insurance policy, and you want to be able to tell them about your trustworthy coverage. You can also count on an experienced insurance professional to help you return to normal operations as soon as possible after an incident, further cementing your company’s reputation for reliable service.