Trucking companies often employ independent drivers to carry loads. While this may be a smart business move, it can come with liability issues—particularly because workers’ compensation coverage won’t apply to contractors. And, if they ever had an accident on the job, those drivers might sue a company to get workers’ comp benefits. Fortunately, if you own a trucking business, you can help avoid this scenario by offering occupational accident insurance.
Occupational Accident Insurance Explained
Occupational accident coverage offers some of the same protection options as workers’ compensation policies, such as:
- Accidental death and dismemberment
- Accident disability
- Accident medical
But your business is only required to handle administrative functions for the policy, and contractors have the option to purchase the insurance through you. Then, they get some protection as they perform both driving and non-driving tasks.
Benefits of Occupational Accident Insurance
Occupational accident insurance solves a liability problem for trucking companies, but it also has other benefits. For example, independent drivers work a dangerous job, and this insurance proves you care about their wellbeing. It also makes them feel like a part of your company, and thus, it fosters healthy working relationships. Plus, employment benefits help attract and retain quality contractors that can improve your company’s efficiency.
This kind of policy also helps document a driver’s independent status. You need to keep the distinction very clear to avoid penalties and misclassifications that could force you to offer employee benefits to contractors.
Considerations for Occupational Accident Insurance
Always check a carrier’s reputation before purchasing any insurance policy, including occupational accident coverage. So, find a company with experience in the trucking industry that knows how to care for your needs.
Next, make sure to purchase policies with adequate limits. If they’re too low, you could still risk a lawsuit. We recommend at least $1 million for accident medical coverage, $50,000 for AD&D coverage with a $200,000 survivor benefit, and temporary total disability coverage of $500 per week.
Your insurance should also clearly define what tasks it covers, such as driving, loading, unloading, etc.