by Ed Sneineh, CLU, ChFC
Occupational Accidents refer to work related accidents that take place in the course of a person's work. Occupational accidents do not cover any work related illnesses.
Occupation related accidents account for over 90% of occupational disabilities in the USA. In most cases the injured worker is eligible for compensation under state laws. Workers compensation is a coverage that is mandated by law on all wage paying employers that hire people as 'employees' rather than 'independent contractor'.
Workers compensation and occupational accidents normally deal with the following issues:
- All medical payments for health care that are reasonably required to treat or relieve the injury.
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits while the worker is in recovery.
- Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) benefits while the worker is not fully recovered but is doing some light work.
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) provides for payments to an injured worker who sustains a permanent disability but can perform light work.
- Permanent Total Disability (PTD) provides for payments to an injured worker who is ruled to be unable to work forever.
- Survivorship Benefits including death benefits for surviving spouse and family members.
- Vocational rehabilitation to allow the injured employee get gainful employment through rehabilitation programs to improve employment skills or education or vocational training.
Differences and commonalities between workers compensation and occupational accidents.
Workers compensation is a coverage that is mandated by law. Workers compensation policies are issued with certain minimum limits pertaining the matters listed above. The coverage along with provisions, conditions, and exclusions of the policy are closely monitored by certain governmental bodies in each state. Also the government watch very closely the claim paying practices. Workers compensation insurers work within strict legal and competitive environment. Occupational accident on the other hand is not mandatory and its terms and provisions related to the above factors are governed by competitive forces, not legal requirements.
Workers compensation cover both work related accidents and work related diseases. Occupational accidents cover only accidents.
Pricing for workers compensation coverage is based on class code (risk involved with the occupation), coverage limits and projected annual payroll. However prices of occupational accident is based on class code and coverage limits. Payroll is not a factor in deciding rates for occupational accident policies.
Rationale for occupational accident insurance.
In situations where companies are not required to have workers compensation and where the class of business is too high and where projected payroll is too high, some companies may find it beneficial to get occupational accident policy instead of workers compensation. A prominent example is a trucking company that hires independent owner operator truckers. Occupational accident for truckers can be challenging in some states because some jurisdictions have ruled those as "employees" that must be covered under a workers compensation policy, not under an occupational accident policy. For that reason, occupational accident policies may not be helpful to cover independent contractors who can be interpreted as 'employees.'
Some insurers provide enhancement to their occupational accident policies to the point where they offer an automatic endorsement where if the employer is sued for accidents covered under their occupational accident polices, and it was ruled that workers compensation was mandatory to cover the case, then policy will provide coverage tantamount to workers compensation.
Insurance Navy provides insurance quotes for primary trucking, cargo, and trailer interchange with several carriers. We also provide workers compensation and occupational accidents quotes for primary trucking and independent owner operators.