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.