Truck accidents are often deadly, and those that aren’t often leave truckers with significant injuries and recovery time. Traditional accident insurance may offer some protection to truckers, but it will not provide the same level of protection as occupational accident insurance.
What Is Occupational Accident Insurance?
Independent contractors need to have protection if they’re in an accident. Occupational accident insurance helps trucking firms cover one or hundreds of contractors under one insurance policy that focuses on:
- Helping truckers recover from accidents
- Helping truckers get back to work ASAP
While similar to workers’ compensation, it’s important to note that workers’ comp doesn’t cover independent contractors. Only employees are covered, so any owner-operator that is hauling for a company on a contract basis will not be covered by the insurance policy.
Truckers Occupational Accident Insurance for Owner Operators
As a form of accident coverage, occupational accident insurance provides coverage for both accidents and injuries in the workplace. The coverage is cheaper than workers’ compensation and suits owner-operators and trucking companies that don’t need as comprehensive of a plan as workers’ comp offers.
The insurance will provide coverage for:
- Death benefits
- Dismemberment benefits
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
All plans have traditional terms that cause the price of a policy to go up or down. You’ll be able to choose a policy limit, disability coverage and deductible. The higher the deductible, the lower the premiums because you take on more risk.
One thing to note is that occupational accident insurance does not cover any legal expenses.
Additional commercial accident insurance should be sought if you want insurance that will cover your defense costs. Otherwise, you’ll be assuming some financial risk. Business owners are susceptible to liabilities because they have a legal obligation to ensure that employees have adequate coverage.
Business owners should consider that they have a burden of proof to demonstrate that a trucker’s injuries or illness is related to their job duties. There may be investigative costs involved, beyond legal fees, to defend a company in court if an employee or owner-operator decides to pursue a lawsuit.
The lower cost of occupational accident insurance is attractive for businesses, but there is additional risk that must be considered.
Some of the benefit options that are available include the items above or:
- Temporary / permanent total disability
- Non-occupational accident insurance
- Passenger accident benefit
- Survivor benefits
- Contingent liability
What is Contingent Liability Coverage?
After you have an active occupational accident insurance plan in place, you may be able to seek contingent liability coverage. This contingent liability is offered by most insurance companies and protects businesses if an independent trucker, or owner-operator, claims that they’re an employee and not a contractor.
In some cases, the trucker will demand workers’ compensation benefits, although they’re not offered to non-employees.
The contingency liability plan will provide cover for legal costs and will compensate businesses up to the policy limit of the account. Contingent liability offers the gap coverage left behind by many insurance policies.
Is Occupational Accident Insurance Required by Law?
Maybe. Depending on the state where the company operates, companies may be required to have occupational accident insurance to cover workers’ compensation obligations. It’s important to consider each state’s requirements and speak to an insurance agent in your state to ensure that you have adequate coverage.
Occupational Accident Insurance Companies
Owner-operators or businesses that contract to owner-operators may want to contact their insurer to see if they offer this form of insurance. If insurance isn’t available, the following companies can help:
All Risks protects trucker and independent contractors with insurance that can fill the gap other types of insurance leave behind when a work-related injury occurs. Competitive premium payments and a zero deductible option allows for full coverage without any risks involved.
The coverage is offered in all states except Alaska and New York.
Businesses can assume less risk, and independent contractors have peace of mind that they’re protected while on the road. There are benefits for accidental death, dismemberment, medical expenses, non-occupational benefits, contingent liability and paralysis.
The one downside is that only group policies are available, and all policies must cover five or more drivers or lives.
Trusted Choice helps truckers and trucking businesses find an insurance agent that will help them find the right insurance for their needs. Potential policyholders can request a quote online, and they’re connected with an agent that specializes in occupational accident insurance.
In states like Texas and Oklahoma, businesses can also opt out of offering workers’ compensation benefits. When this occurs, the business can obtain occupational accident insurance, which assumes some of the risk left by not having workers’ comp.
Great American Insurance Group
Great American Insurance Group protects single or hundreds of independent contractors under one main policy. Coverage includes a variety of benefits, such as death, disability, dismemberment and medical.
The insurer offers flexible polices with a variety of limit options that offer protection for businesses small and large. Coverage can be bundled with other coverage through the company to lower premiums, and generous disability calculations help drivers reduce their out-of-pocket expenses.
Plans can also extend to passenger accidents.
Occupational accident insurance adds an extra layer of coverage to owner operators and the businesses that they haul goods for. The coverage can often be bundled to reduce policy costs, and limits are often between the $1 million and $5 million mark, although you’ll need to speak to your insurer to find a policy limit that works best for you.