The promise of making a living while seeing the country attracts many to the Trucking industry, but as a career, it can also be uniquely hazardous.
Drivers are at risk of injury from loading/unloading cargo, accidents on the road and even blood clots, to name a few examples. When these injuries occur, worker’s compensation insurance can help truckers with the costs that come up while they get on the highway to recovery.
What Can Trucker’s Worker’s Comp Cover?
Whether injuries or illnesses happen on the road or the loading dock, worker’s comp can help pay for:
- Medical bills for acute injuries or illnesses
- Rehabilitation, like physical therapy or long term treatment
- Wages lost while off the road
- Funeral costs in the event of a driver’s death
Policies generally don’t cover intentional injuries, injuries sustained from a fight, or injuries that happen when the driver is intoxicated. Check out this article for a more in-depth look at general worker’s comp.
Does Worker’s Comp Cover Injuries On The Premises of Another Business?
Trucking is a unique industry in that your employees do a fair share of work on the premises of other companies. As long as the work is part of the normal course and scope of the job, worker’s comp insurance would generally cover injuries that occur. If, for example, one of your truckers hurts their back while helping to unload cargo at an outside warehouse, that is under the normal scope of the job, and would therefore be covered.
Do Owner-Operators Need Worker’s Comp Insurance?
While the vast majority of states require trucking companies to carry worker’s comp insurance for their drivers, if you own and operate your own truck the rules can be a bit different. Truckers who operate under their own authority, with no employees other than themselves, generally aren’t required to carry a worker’s comp policy. However, you might find it saves money in the long run to keep you and your operation protected.
Independent operators who lease out to a Motor Carrier might be required to hold Occupational Accident Insurance instead; or you might be covered under the carrier’s own policy while under their load or dispatch.
Whatever the situation, our experienced agents can help you determine the right policy to keep your operation protected in the event of an injury or illness on the job.
Do I Need Worker’s Comp Insurance For Every State I Haul Through or To?
The mobile nature of the trucking industry, along with the fact that each state has its own rules for worker’s compensation, means claims can sometimes be complicated, depending on:
- The state where the injury happened
- The state where the trucking company is headquartered
- The state where the driver lives
Every case is different, but sometimes these factors together can mean an injured driver may have a worker’s compensation claim in multiple states at the same time. Depending on the routes your drivers take and the customers you have, you may need a policy that covers more than one state as a primary place of business (often with a higher premium) or have your drivers sign a jurisdiction form, which is a formal agreement to handle any claim in the state where you’re headquartered. While jurisdiction forms do not hold up all the time, they do give a judge a good reason to assign a case to your preferred state.
No two operations have the same needs, but our agents have decades worth of experience, and they have the knowledge required to get you into the policy that keeps you covered.
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