Workers’ Compensation in the Trucking Industry

For trucking professionals, taking care of yourself behind the wheel can already be more complicated given the payload you’re hauling. But when you throw other moving vehicles, winding roads, various weather conditions, and government regulations into the mix it makes the job even more of a liability. This is why workers’ compensation packages are so important in the trucking industry, and so often used compared to other industries.

For instance, in Washington, one in every 13 truck drivers suffered some sort of injury annually. With this in mind, it’s important for trucking professionals to understand the need for an effective workers’ compensation program.

How Workers’ Comp Works

Most people know the basics of workers’ compensation, in so much as it’s a government-required way to protect employees of all industries who may become injured on the job. Given the element of danger that comes with trucking, having protection in place to cover things like illness, disability or disfigurement that occur because of the job itself is a necessity.

Another piece of protection that is just as valuable is having commercial truck insurance for the companies trucking individuals work for. Commercial truck insurance is an effective piece of coverage that provides protection for trucking companies in the event a claim is made, saving a company financially during litigation.

When it comes to financial support for employees, workers’ compensation provides this kind of help to cover medical costs, lost wages, or disability payments. Employees need to report any injury or illness as a result of their job to their employer and file a claim immediately.

Workers’ Comp in Trucking

On the level, workers’ compensation works no differently in trucking as compared to other industries. The basics are the same to a certain degree: an employee is injured, they make a claim, and they are provided for financially and legally. But one thing to note, however, is that many truck drivers are not necessarily employees of a commercial trucking company. Many truck drivers are owner-operators who are not considered an employee for the trucking company; meaning the company is not required to make a workers’ comp payout if a driver is injured.

For those owner/operators, the trucking company CAN elect to include them in their workers’ compensation program if they choose to.  Or, they may select another alternative, called Occupational Accident Injury Coverage, where the owner operator purchases his own coverage for medical benefits and some disability coverage in the event of an injury while on the job.

The entire configuration of workers’ comp for employees and  Occ/Acc coverage for independent contractors can be very confusing and the many variables that need to be considered play a role in determining the best solution. This is where a trained insurance broker will assist in the process.

Regardless of the situation, understanding workers’ compensation limits and the importance of commercial truck insurance can make a huge difference in financial and legal issues down the road.

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.