Occupational Accident Insurance: Why Truckers Need an OAI Policy

Trucking remains one of the most dangerous industries, says the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In 2017, deaths caused by large truck collisions reached an all-time high at 4,761 casualties, based on a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report. 

Long hours on the road result in over fatigued, sleep-deprived truck drivers. Demanding work conditions expose truckers to injuries and auto accidents, compromising their health and safety.

Due to their exposure to work-related injuries, truck drivers need to have an occupational accident insurance policy. This covers their medical and recovery expenses in case they get into an accident while on duty. The policy also provides accidental death and short and long-term disability benefits, if necessary.

Occupational Hazards of Truck Driving

OSHA says that heavy and tractor-trailer truckers had the third-highest rate of nonfatal injuries and illnesses compared to other occupations. Some of the common work-related injuries of truck drivers include:

  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Soreness and pain
  • Bruises
  • Fractures
  • Multiple traumatic injuries
  • Sprains and strains

Sprains and strains are the most common nonfatal injury sustained by truckers, accounting for 50 percent of the total.

Vehicular collisions are often the cause of these injuries. Semi and large truck accidents happen due to a variety of reasons, including job inexperience, distracted driving, improper cargo loading, lack of vehicle maintenance, and of course, driver fatigue. 

Truckers drive non-stop for hours and most of them find it difficult to get quality sleep, especially on nights spent on the sleeper berth. This results in overexertion, which impacts the trucker’s focus on the road and the ability to drive.

Having occupational accident insurance ensures that the truck driver can recover from a work-related injury or illness.

Occupational Accident Insurance

Occupational accident insurance is business-related supplemental insurance. Independent contractors can greatly benefit from this policy since truck owner-operators are usually just freelancers. They’re not employed, which means the company they’re contracting with will likely not pay for their medical expenses in case of an accident.

Midlands does allow truck owner-operators can apply for occupational accident insurance coverage themselves. Many trucking companies also offer this policy to independent contractors who freelance for them. The policy provides protection for the company in that the contractor won’t have to file worker’s compensation claims against them and they can apply for contingent liability coverage to protect them from unwarranted employment status suits.

Occupational Accident Insurance Coverage

For employers, it’s important to note that occupational accident insurance is different from workers’ compensation. The latter is required in all states except Texas, so its coverage is usually cut and dry.

On the other hand, occupational accident insurance has flexible coverage. Employers can customize the policy coverage according to how much risk they perceive. They also decide the limits for each accident, coverage amount, and how much liability to carry for each accident. 

Occupational accident insurance can cover the following:

  • Medical expenses
  • Accidental death
  • Accidental disability – temporary total and continuous total disabilities
  • Accidental dismemberment
  • Survivor’s benefit
  • Passenger accidental benefit
  • Paralysis benefit
  • Hernia
  • Contingent Liability

No one wants to think about a personal injury while at work. But it’s important to acknowledge that accidents do happen. And in an industry as risky as trucking, it’s good practice to secure protection for both the independent contractors and motor carrier companies.

Premier Occupational Accident Insurance Carrier

Midlands has been a leader in wholesale brokerage for more than 25 years. Our extensive knowledge of the industry affords us the ability to respond to a broad spectrum of risks, with dedicated departments for transportation, workers compensation, excess workers compensation, occupational accident, and more.

Call us today to learn more about our insurance policies.