Worker’s Compensation and Occupational Accident Insurance | Episode 121

Whether you are an owner operator or a fleet owner, Worker’s Compensation or Occupational Accident Insurance is something you will have to deal with. They are two different types of insurance, that are for a similar purpose. The basic concept is the same from state to state, but each state has some differences. Make sure you figure out what your state’s differences are so you follow the law. A good place to start is your state’s office that oversees this type of coverage, you can find their contact info here. Having one of these types of insurance usually is the law and most states audit it.

What To Expect From Episode 121

According to NIOSH (The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health), Worker’s Compensation Insurance is used to provide partial medical care and income protection to employees who are injured or become ill from their job. The concept is simple, the rules behind it are not. If you or one of your drivers is injured while working for your business, this type of insurance will help cover some or all of their medical expenses and typically give them a small wage while they are not able to work.

We’ll cover a lot of details during the podcast, but here is the bottom line. Most states require you have either Worker’s Compensation or Occupational Accident Insurance if you are an owner operator. If you have employee drivers, you typically have to purchase Worker’s Compensation Insurance. As an example, the way Utah works, if you are an owner operator, you can opt out of worker’s compensation by paying a $50 annual fee, submitting a waiver form to the Utah Labor Commission and showing proof that you have Occupational Accident Insurance, which is cheaper, but will still cost you money and provide some coverage.

One of the big topics we cover is how much the insurance costs and that answer varies, A LOT. Worker’s Compensation for a truck driver is way more expensive than it is for an office worker. The type of work you do is the biggest determining factor, the other two main factors are how much you pay in wages and the number of claims you have had. If you are a brand new company, they use a generic factor to calculate the claims part. We cover this in more detail, so be sure to listen.

Some other good options for learning more about Workman’s Compensation and Occupational Accident Insurance include:

  • Your truck insurance agent, they can usually get you the coverage and tell you all about it.
  • Search Engines. Google is pretty smart, google worker’s compensation in (put your state here) or Occupational Accident Insurance in ….. and you will learn a lot.
  • Your state’s Division of Insurance

Don’t try to skirt the system. If you don’t follow the rules you can get fined or sued. Worker’s Compensation coverage is one of the biggest reason companies that try to use 1099 contractors instead of employee drivers get sued by their drivers.

Impact Tip

Get your hook in the water. This impact type is brought to you by Chet, my much smarter than me brother. People have been asking a lot if now is a good time to start a business. The answer to that question depends on you. I would say your success in starting a company is 80% you and your preparation and 20% the economy and other factors out of your control. I have seen people start trucking companies when the economy is down and freight rates are terrible and succeed. I have also seen people start a trucking company when the economy is booming and freight rates are awesome and fail. The owner’s ability and their preparation are the difference maker. If you are prepared and ready, do it. If not, wait. There is one thought I would like to add to that for you to consider.

Do you like fishing? When you are fishing you want your hook in the water when the fish start biting. If you wait until the fish start biting to find your rod, get all your gear and bait your hook, by the time you are ready and cast your hook in the water, you will have already missed some or all of the action. To catch a fish, you hook must be in the water.

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