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commercial trucking insurance

Does My Fleet Need Workers’ Comp or Occupational Accident Insurance? 

When your trucking company makes it its mission to provide a safe and productive work environment, there are various kinds of insurance policies you might explore.

Even with every safety program, training, and policy you can think of in place, the risk of accidents happening is still high. When an employee gets hurt on the job, the employer can behold all of the liability such as medical bills, lost wages, and more.

Trucking companies should not only explore their options for commercial trucking insurance but also need to consider their workers compensation and occupational accident liability insurance as well.

Here is what you need to know about these state-regulated coverages:

Occupational Accident Insurance vs. Workers’ Compensation Insurance

While there are a variety of different types of insurance policies that companies should consider, something that covers wage replacement, accidental death, medical benefits, disability coverage, injury, etc.

Additionally, insurance workers compensation is something that business owners should consider to protect independent contractors and employees alike, and lessen the risk of spending more when accidents away from home happen.

While a general liability insurance policy is sometimes an option, there are other, more popular, policies that you should consider.

Occupational Accident Insurance

Businesses aren’t technically bound to pay for medical, disability, death, or dismemberment benefits for a new or old independent contractor. That’s because independent contractors aren’t technically employees. At the same time, employers may decide to offer assistance when an accident occurs.

Insurance occupational accident steps in during these instances when independent contractors need some kind of coverage.

Occupational accident insurance doesn’t always have the same statutory limits that come with workers’ compensation insurance. It does, however, offer more cost-effective policy limits than does workers’ compensation.

Most trucking company employers consider buying small workers’ comp insurance to cover their employees and add an occupational accident policy for their contracted drivers.

The risk of not having some kind of insurance coverage for your workers is too great.

Supplemental Contingent Liability Coverage

If a new or old contractor gets hurt on the job, they might try to sue the trucking company that hired them. At times, they will even claim that they are full-time employees.

In some cases, employers are surprised to find that they did, in fact, treat the contracted driver in such a way that makes them fit the true description of an employee. Make sure to discuss any concerns about your contracted employees’ employment status with professional insurance workers.

If you are a motor carrier that provides occupational accident insurance for your contracted drivers, you might also want to consider a contingent liability insurance or provision. This add-on policy helps in case your leased or contracted driver gets injured and tries to claim they are hired employees with hopes of being covered by your workers’ comp program.

Contractors vs Workers on Payroll

How you classify your workforce is critical that it decides how your company deals with income taxes, social security, medicare, and more. Most companies do not withhold any taxes for independent contractors but must do so for hired employees.

The general rule is that someone is an independent contractor if the business can control or direct the result of the contractor’s work, not what the work is or how it will be done.

When a company can control additional aspects of the work, the worker may be considered an employee. Contractors are not controlled by employment and labor laws, receive a 1099-MISC form, and are paid based on a mutually agreed-upon manner like per job, hourly, weekly, etc.

An employee, on the other hand, is covered by federal and state law, gets a W-2, and earns either a salary, hourly, or commission-based rate.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

According to both state and federal law, all businesses are supposed to cover lost wages and medical bills for new hired employees who are hurt on the job but not on their home. These are the benefits that they should have.

That doesn’t mean that if they got hurt at home, they will get their bills covered. They are only covered when the accident happens at work or on work-related business.

A prudent employer will look at adding workers’ compensation insurance to protect their business and help cover employees who get hurt while working away from their home. Without coverage, even a single employee injury can cost your company tons of money.

Depending on where your home is located, you may have options to cover your workers’ compensation through an occupational accident program. Work with your insurance provider to learn about your options and if this is possible for your business.

Check The Laws In Your State

Every state in the US has its own laws regarding your company’s workers’ comp liability insurance. Make sure you understand the laws where you have employees.

There are some states that tend to be more flexible in their requirements. Texas is a great example of a state that is so flexible that it allows for less expensive liability policies for truckers.

California, on the other hand, isn’t as flexible. That means some motor carriers struggle to find affordable coverage. Finding a quality commercial trucking insurance company is critical in keeping costs down and gaining more benefits.

Other states like Ohio, North Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming are considered monopolistic states. That means the only place you can get workers’ comp policies is through the state itself.

Whether you’re searching for a commercial truck insurance company or someone who can help you get the appropriate amount of workers’ comp coverage, make sure your agent knows where you operate and the laws pertaining to that area.

Side By Side Comparison

Truckers Occupational Accident Insurance

  • Covers independent contractors
  • Not required by law
  • Less expensive overall
  • The limits, deductibles, and payout amounts decided by the motor carrier’s policy

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

  • Covers employees, such as warehouse worker and company drivers
  • Required in most states by law
  • More expensive than occupational coverage
  • Benefits tend to be statutory and fixed by law

Work with the Right Insurance Company

At SoCal Truck Insurance, we believe that the best protection for your commercial business and employees doesn’t have to break the bank. From covering new drivers to dealing with disability coverage, we offer the kinds of insurance policies that you need at prices you love.

Due to the high cost of medical bills, the risk of operating without some kind of liability coverage is too high.

Our team can discuss all the information about occupational truck insurance quotes to you, or whether workers comp or occupational accident insurance is right for you. We are here to answer our questions and provide sound advice for your business.

We’ll give you a free quote and explore which kinds of insurance will provide you the greatest benefits. Contact us at SoCal Truck Insurance today.