Who in Massachusetts need to have occupational accident coverage?
Owner-operator truckers usually purchase occupational accident coverage, as they normally don’t benefit from any workers compensation protection. Any self-employed Massachusetts driver might want this coverage.
Self-employed contractors occasionally might also purchase a policy, although contractors get this insurance much less frequently than drivers do. Contractors who’d like to explore this insurance option can speak with an agent who specializes in occupational accident policies.
Can occupational accident coverage be a substitute for workers compensation?
In other states that don’t require employers to carry workers compensation, occupational accident coverage might sometimes be used as a substitute for workers compensation.
Massachusetts generally requires employers to carry workers compensation for any employees who need to be covered. Occupational accident coverage normally isn’t a suitable substitute in the state.
What coverages are included in occupational accident policies?
Unlike workers compensation, which follows strict state requirements, occupational accident policies let owner-operators to customize their policy's protections. There can be several protections to consider when setting up a policy:
- Liability Coverage: Potentially covers injuries and property damage for which an owner-operator is responsible.
- Medical Expense Coverage: Potentially covers medical expenses resulting from owner-operator injuries during an accident.
- Chiropractic Benefit: Potentially expands medical expense coverage to include chiropractic treatment.
- Passenger Accident Benefit: Potentially extends specific coverages to passengers in the operator’s truck.
- Temporary Total Disability Coverage: Potentially provides income protection if an owner-operator temporarily can’t work due to injuries.
- Permanent Total Disability Coverage: Potentially provides income protection if an owner-operator permanently can’t work due to injuries.
- Accidental Death & Dismemberment Coverage: Potentially provides financial support to the operator’s family if an owner-operator tragically dies in a vehicle accident.
These coverages typically apply only to incidents directly caused by a workplace accident, which is most often a vehicle accident but can be some other incident. An injury sustained while strapping down or inspecting equipment would likely be covered, but anything not related to work duties is unlikely to fall within a policy’s terms.
How much accidental death/dismemberment coverage do these policies offer?
Occupational accident policies frequently have death/dismemberment equating to one year’s salary or income. These limits can often be adjusted, however. An insurance agent who knows these policies well likely can assist with finding a policy that allows this limit to be set higher than one year’s salary.
Who is responsible for paying for occupational accident coverage?
While owner-operators can choose to get their own occupational accident coverage, the companies that sign contracts with owner-operators usually pay for coverage. Companies provide this coverage both as a benefit to their contracted drivers, and as a protective measure against potential liability.
If a driver was injured while contracted to drive for a company, the driver might sue the company for medical costs and/or lost wages. In such cases, occupational accident coverage could help the company defend itself (and ensure the injured driver is fairly compensated).
How can businesses get occupational accident insurance?
For help getting occupational accident insurance in Massachusetts, contact the independent insurance agents at Scotti Insurance Agency. Our team is committed to working with you, in order to make sure you yourself, any contracted drivers or potentially other workers are financially protected if they’re injured on the job.