Trucker Workers Compensation - Why you need it, if you have employees.
Workers compensation for trucking operations is the most commonly excluded line of coverage, next to general liability. Not because agents don't recommend truckers purchase a workers compensation policy, but because most smaller operations choose to not purchase the policy. As a small business owner myself, I understand every expense matters. But what's going to happen when that accident occurs, your driver is seriously injured (or worse), and you don't have protection in place?
There was a recent accident that caused a small trucking operation to shut its doors. While traveling on interstate, another vehicle unexpectedly cut in front of the big rig. The driver of the tractor hit the brakes; which sent him into the median. The tractor struck a culvert; causing the rig to overturn. The driver was seriously injured with possible long term disabilities. The vehicle that cut in front of the tractor did not stop and was never located. The driver of the tractor had always been paid a percentage of the truck revenue and issued a 1099. Naturally calls were made to the owner of the truck post accident regarding medical bills for the driver. The owner advised the medical facility he did not have a workers compensation policy. The injured driver retained an attorney, and you can imagine how the story goes. Financial ruin and the loss of a business could have been prevented with a policy that would have cost $6,000-7,000 dollars per year. I cringe every time I think about this.
We get a lot of push back from smaller trucking partners when discussing workers compensation. It doesn't matter if you issue an operator a W2, 1099, or pay him/her in candy corn. An operator that is not the company owner, is considered an employee.
Workers Compensation laws vary state to state. State laws and possible fines are a whole other subject when it comes to operating a business without workers compensation.
To view your state regulations regarding workers compensation, CLICK HERE for NFIB's state by state comparison.
I hope this short post has planted a seed for you to speak with your agent about a workers compensation policy, if you don't already have one.
Any of our TEAM MEMBERS are happy to have a conversation with you as well. Our approach is simple and no pressure. We like to hear about your operation, discover the areas of possible risk, and present a comprehensive plan to make sure that you will be in good shape when the unfortunate occurs.
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