When someone is injured on the job, most people assume workers’ compensation insurance must be investigated for claims purposes. While this is probably correct in most cases, some claims require a different approach, such as occupational accident insurance. Occupational accident insurance is similar to workers’ compensation insurance in that it provides coverage for independent contractors and employees who are not covered by a workers’ compensation program. The amount of insurance required is determined by the workforce, the risk that is willing to be assumed, and the laws of your state. Here are some things to think about when deciding between occupational accident insurance vs workers compensation for independent contractors and truckers.
What is Occupational Accident Insurance?
Occupational accident insurance (OAI) covers work-related injuries and death for employees, independent contractors, and truckers who are not covered by workers compensation. OAI coverage is a type of accident insurance that is similar to but not as comprehensive as workers’ compensation.
Why aren’t some employees covered by workers’ compensation? One reason is that some states allow employers to opt-out of the workers’ compensation program in their state. Employers must, however, continue to cover their employees in the event of injury or death on the job.
Second, contractors who work for a company but are not full-time employees are not usually covered by workers’ compensation. Employers are not required by state law to purchase coverage for independent contractors. OAI can also be used in states that allow employers to bear a portion of the workers’ compensation risk.
What Does Occupational Accident Insurance Cover For Independent Contractors And Truckers?
OAI coverage is usually divided into three parts:
- Money to cover medical expenses incurred as a result of a single accident.
- Accidental death and dismemberment benefits are typically capped at a multiple of the employee’s or contractor’s annual salary.
- Disability payments
Some policies provide a single combined limit and lump sum payment rather than three separate benefits. These three components are accompanied by a per-accident deductible amount and an annual maximum payable amount.
Occupational Accident Insurance For Truckers
OAI is widely used by trucking companies. It enables them to provide benefits to non-employee owner-operators.
Truck drivers face a higher risk of accidents and injuries than workers in most other industries. Drivers who are not employees are at a disadvantage because they are not covered by workers’ compensation.
OAI is a good option for trucking companies because it attracts independent drivers who would otherwise be concerned about not having coverage if they were injured while working for the company.
Employers are also protected by Occupational Accident Insurance for truckers if an independent driver claims to be an employee eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Furthermore, having a coverage program reduces the likelihood of an independent operator filing a lawsuit.
Occupational Accident Insurance for Independent Contractors
You never know where your work will take you as an independent contractor. Travel to job sites, changing work environments, and a diverse client base keeps you on your toes. Going solo appeals to many professionals for a variety of reasons, but there is also risk involved. Because the success of your company is entirely dependent on you, an injury on the job could have disastrous consequences for your future. Occupational accident insurance shields independent contractors who are not covered by workers compensation from the medical bills and lost income that can result from being injured on the job.
Workers’ compensation insurance is required in most states. However, independent contractors may not be considered employees and thus are only covered by the contracting business’s occupational accident insurance rather than workers compensation. If you are injured on the job or while performing contract work, you may be responsible for covering your own medical expenses and left without a safety net while you recover.
Though most states do not require self-employed independent contractors to carry occupational accident insurance, there are other reasons to do so. Some companies require independent contractors to have their own occupational accident insurance and include a Certificate of Insurance as part of the work contract. If your company expands and you hire subcontractors or other employees, having workers’ compensation insurance in place will make the transition easier.
Independent Contractor Injuries
Independent contractors are just as likely as full-time employees to be injured on the job. Being unfamiliar with office layouts, traveling on assignment, or working remotely on a laptop for an extended period of time are just a few of the risks that independent contractors face. Other health and safety issues may arise depending on the industry in which you work.
Independent contractor insurance protects you financially if you are injured while performing contract work by covering injury-related costs. Individual health insurance plans may partially cover medical costs, but high deductibles may not alleviate the financial burden. The majority of independent contractors do not have disability insurance, and even if they do, it may not meet their cash flow requirements during recovery. Having workers’ compensation gives you peace of mind, allowing you to concentrate on the tasks at hand. Most workers’ compensation insurance policies cover the following:
- Ambulance service and emergency room treatment
- Ongoing medical expenses (medication, physical therapy, etc.)
- Partial wage loss due to recovery time
Workers’ compensation insurance protects you as an independent contractor not only if you are injured on the job, but it can also protect you from costly lawsuits if a subcontractor is injured on the job.
Occupational Accident Insurance vs Workers Compensation
To begin, let’s look at what workers compensation insurance (“workers’ comp”) is and how it differs from occupational accident insurance (OAI).
Workers’ compensation is a state-managed insurance program that pays for medical expenses and lost wages if an employee is injured on the job and unable to perform his or her duties. This type of insurance covers ALL medical expenses, including those incurred years after the injury-causing accident. Workers’ compensation, in general, covers legal expenses as well as lost-income benefits.
Occupational accident insurance, or OAI, is a type of insurance that provides financial protection to both employees and employers in the event of an injury on the job. The coverage amount is determined by a number of factors, including the perceived risks to employers and their workplaces. Unlike workers’ compensation plans, employers can choose the plan’s coverage amounts and deductibles. These plans only cover medical expenses and lost wages up to the policy’s coverage limits.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Occupational Accident Insurance vs. Workers Compensation
When comparing workers compensation insurance vs occupational accident insurance, or any other type of insurance plan, each has advantages and disadvantages.
Worker’s Compensation Advantages
- Workers’ Compensation pays for employees’ medical expenses and lost wages.
- A guarantor or guaranty association protects benefits.
- In a work-related injury lawsuit, the burden of proof is on the employee.
- Workers, except for certain circumstances, cannot obtain lawsuit judgments for punitive damages or pain and suffering. The employer’s liability is significantly reduced as a result.
- Plans are relatively straightforward; if an employee is injured on the job, coverage can begin almost immediately and without complications.
- OAI plans typically cost the employer less than workers’ compensation coverage.
- These plans allow the employer to control or limit the amount of coverage provided to employees.
- OAI plans are frequently more flexible than workers’ compensation plans, especially for the employer. If the employer so desires, plans can include coverage for survivor benefits, temporary or permanent disability, or accidental death.
Workers’ Compensation: Drawbacks
- Employer costs are typically higher than those associated with OAI plans.
- In an employee injury lawsuit brought under these plans, the employer bears the burden of proof.
- Employees can also obtain judgments for pain and suffering as well as punitive damages. These decisions may have some limitations. OAI significantly increases the liability of employers.
- If the injured employee’s medical and lost wage expenses exceed the plan’s coverage limits, the employer must cover the remaining costs.
- The terms of the OAI policy govern legal fees in general.
- OAI plans and their coverages are far more complicated than workers’ compensation plans.
Should You Get Occupational Accident Insurance?
A workers compensation policy provides all the benefits required by a state’s workers compensation law. The policies provide little to no choice in terms of available coverage.
However, if you opt out of all or part of your state’s workers compensation program, you assume liability for the same benefits that a workers compensation policy would provide. Some very large employers have the financial means to insure themselves against worker injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. Most others will need to be insured against a large loss or series of losses.
Occupational accident insurance is typically divided into three categories:
- The amount available for payment of medical benefits resulting from a single accident.
- Accidental death and dismemberment benefits are typically capped at a multiple of the employee’s annual salary.
- Disability benefits pay a portion of a disabled employee’s salary for a set period of time.
Alternatively, the policy could include a combined single limit with a single lump sum available to pay benefits in all three areas. The policy will, in any case, have a per-accident deductible and an annual maximum payable amount.
Setting up an insurance program can be difficult. Work with an agent who can assist you in comparing options and rates from various companies in order to provide you with the best program at the lowest cost. You can get assistance from an independent agent in the Trusted Choice network.
How Much Does Occupational Accident Insurance Cost?
The cost of OAI will vary depending on the insurance company. The premium amount will also be determined by your industry, the number of employees, and your history of accident claims. The deductible, the amount of coverage, and the policy limitations are all policy attributes that will affect your cost.
The risks a policy will cover and the amount it will pay for an accident compared to the expenses likely to result from an accident are the most important factors insurers will consider. The greater the benefits provided, the higher the premium.
Truckers can find occupational accident policies with limits ranging from $500,000 to $1 million for between $60 and $160 per month per operator.
Buyers of OAI have more options than those offered by workers’ compensation. You have more power and must decide whether it is worthwhile to pay a little more to cover certain potential risks.
Because of the complexities of OAI, you should consult with an independent insurance agent. Rates differ depending on the carrier. Furthermore, certain companies have more experience in specific fields.
The right independent agent can assist you in locating the best company and policy for your needs and budget. Agents can also assist you in deciding which benefits to include in your policy.
Contingent Liability Coverage
Only after occupational accident insurance has been purchased can contingent liability coverage be purchased. It covers an owner/operator who files a claim claiming to be an employee rather than an independent contractor in order to receive workers’ compensation policy benefits. In this case, contingent liability coverage (accident insurance) covers all legal costs. If the employee is successfully proven to be an independent contractor, the policy compensates the employer for any additional expenses incurred (but only up to the policy’s limit). Employers can consider contingent liability coverage to be an additional layer of protection.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is occupational accident insurance the same as workers comp?
Workers compensation is not the same as occupational accident insurance. Medical expenses, death benefits, and lost wages due to incapacity are all covered by occupational accident insurance. Workers’ compensation insurance, on the other hand, covers legal expenses that occupational accident insurance does not.
Are workers' compensation benefits taxable?
Workers’ compensation benefits are not currently taxed by the federal government. If an employee has specific questions about this matter, we recommend that he or she contact the Internal Revenue Service or a legal advisor.
Is an employee required to use all of his or her sick and annual leave before he or she is entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits?
No. Even if an employee chooses to take time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act, the employer can’t make them use all of their earned time off.
- WORKERS COMPENSATION LAWYER: Top-rated lawyers in Philadelphia, New jersey
- HOW MUCH DO CONSTRUCTION WORKERS MAKE (2022): Average Salaries Updated!
- Independent Living Communities: What are the Benefits?
- CONSTRUCTION INJURY LAWYER
- EMPLOYEE BENEFITS BROKER: Simple Guide To Getting One
- Rebuilt Title Insurance
- Decreasing Term Insurance