When Do Trucking Operations Need Occupational Accident Insurance?

Those in the trucking industry know that being safe behind the wheel may not always come by easily. There are a number of things to consider when trying to be safe—from weather conditions to other drivers to the truck itself, it’s becoming even more dangerous to get behind the wheel of a truck. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, more than 4,500 people lost their lives as a result of a large truck or bus accident in the United States in a 2016 study, a 5% increase from 2015.

To protect against liabilities, there are different kinds of insurance that can help to keep trucking companies safeguarded from legal issues down the road. Among these truck insurance options is occupational accident insurance. This is similar to workers’ compensation, but has some specific parts that keep it separated. Let’s look at why you’d need this kind of truck insurance.

Occupational Accident Insurance

This kind of truck insurance provides benefits similar to workers’ compensation, but is specifically designed for independent contractors/owner operators. Since independent contractors aren’t technically on the payroll as employees, trucking companies aren’t bound by law to pay for their medical, disability, death, or dismemberment benefits in the same fashion that they would have to for a hired employee. If a trucking company hires an independent contractor for a job or set of jobs and that contractor is hurt, this is when occupational accident truck insurance would step in instead of workers’ comp.

Independent contractors hurt on the job still need help paying for hospital bills and can sue a trucking company claiming they legally are deserving of compensation. This kind of coverage doesn’t automatically cover the same statutory limits that workers’ comp does, but it’s an effective alternative, in essence. Most carriers usually purchase smaller workers’ comp packages to cover hired employees and add occupational accident truck insurance policies to cover contract drivers.

Know Your State Laws

There are some states in which trucking companies are allowed to cover their workers’ comp obligations through an OCC policy and some don’t. Almost every state has their own fine details when it comes to the wording of their requirements, so it’s important for trucking companies to look into what is needed to be done.

In Texas, trucking companies can be more flexible about allowing for occupational accident insurance rather than workers’ compensation. However, in California, where workers’ compensation is largely unaffordable by typical standards, most motor carriers have to rely on state funds for coverage. Regardless of your location, it pays to be diligent about the kind of insurance that is needed to keep your operations safe against legal risks.

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.

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.