Accident Insurance: When Workers Comp Isn’t a Viable Option

According to statistics from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), nearly 8,000 injuries and more than 14 fatalities occur each day in work-related incidents. Occupational insurance provides valuable protection to employees, and their employers, who are injured or killed on the job.

Why Not Workers Comp?

Some states do not require businesses to carry workers compensation insurance, and employers may opt to avoid the expensive premiums. In addition, many companies nationwide employ independent contractors who operate as de facto employees, but without the same benefits. This is particularly true in the trucking industry.

Legally, every employer is ultimately responsible for claims of job-related injuries or fatalities. Uninsured companies can face devastating legal and financial ramifications. It is this void of coverage that occupational insurance seeks to fill.

What Does It Cover?

Options are many, but, depending on the policy terms, accident insurance offers payments up to certain limits for medical benefits and legal fees. Accidental death and dismemberment benefits are determined by a prescribed multiple of the employee’s annual salary. Disability benefits also are available for a certain amount of time.

The Bottom Line

Businesses are tasked with choosing the levels of compensation and deductibles and must be cognizant of the fact that any expenses above those terms must be paid by the company. Still, there are some tangible advantages to choosing occupational insurance:

  • Lower premiums than workers comp
  • Inducement for independent contractors to work for the company
  • Protection if an independent contractor files a workers comp claim or lawsuit
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