If your trucking employees are injured while at work, it’s important that your business is able to replace their wages and provide a reasonable level of medical care while they’re unable to work for you.
This takes place through workers’ compensation, a type of financial agreement between your business and its employees that provides compensation for injured employees in exchange for them relinquishing their right to sue.
Workers compensation is an important part of every business, as well as a top reason for both small and large businesses to invest in insurance. Workers’ compensation insurance reduces the costs for your business of providing relief in the event one of your employees is injured.
In this guide, we’ll look at how workers’ compensation works and how your business should be prepared in the form of trucking workers’ compensation insurance. We’ll also look at what the typical workers’ compensation insurance policy includes for employees injured on the job.
Do You Need Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
If your business has employees, there’s always a risk that they could become injured while on the job. This risk is even greater in the transportation and logistics injuries, in which accidents can occur suddenly and without explanation.
Without workers’ compensation insurance, your business will need to pay out of pocket for an injured employee’s medical expenses. It is a significant cost that in some cases, can affect your business’s financial stability.
Because of this, any business with employees that could face injury while on the job absolutely should invest in workers’ compensation insurance. In the event of an accident, the right policy can save your business from financial ruin and provide much-needed help to employees.
In many states, it’s also illegal to operate without workers’ compensation insurance, providing an even stronger reason for your business to take coverage seriously.
How Workers’ Compensation Insurance Works
Workers compensation insurance (also known more simply as “workers comp insurance”) will cover the cost of medical bills and other expenses for employees that are injured while on the job.
Most workers’ compensation insurance policies are priced using a per-employee, per-month model. This means that the larger your employee base is, the more you’ll pay in total for your workers’ compensation insurance policy (although you may pay less on a per-driver basis).
Because workers’ compensation insurance covers both medical bills and things such as lost earnings, the amount your workers earn can affect the insurance cost. For example, a driver with a higher salary might be more expensive to insure than someone on a lower salary.
The cost of workers’ compensation insurance can also vary by state. On average, California tends to have the highest workers’ compensation insurance costs.
Finally, the type of work your employees engage in can affect their insurance costs. When a business is classed as “high risk,” from a safety perspective, it might cost more to ensure its employees than it would for a “low risk” business.
Workers’ Compensation for Trucking Businesses
Truck drivers are typically affected by a wide range of injuries, from accident-related injuries that occur on the road to pulled muscles, sore joints and back pain that occurs as a result of loading and unloading vehicles.
Because of this, workers’ compensation insurance is often quite expensive for businesses that involve trucking. However, there are simply ways for many businesses to lower their risk level and potentially save money on workers’ compensation insurance:
- Implementing and enforcing policies for a safer work environment, such as guidelines for lifting heavy loads and strict protocols for footwear, safety clothing and other accessories to reduce injury risk.
- Use modern, safe vehicles and equipment designed to provide optimal protection in the event of an accident. Often, upgrading to newer vehicles can significantly lower the risk of injuries resulting from road accidents.
- Shop around. It’s always a good idea to seek out multiple insurance quotes before you make a commitment, and trucking workers’ compensation insurance shouldn’t be any different.
With the right approach to safety and insurance shopping, most businesses that hire truckers can reduce their commercial truck insurance policy costs, lower the risk of accidents occurring and run a safer, more financially effective business.