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Across the board, knowledgeable trucking companies know they need to operate with general, auto, and cargo liability insurance, physical damage, and worker’s compensation insurance to protect their employed drivers. However, regulations and requirements get a little hazy when talking about insuring independent contractor truckers.

While independent truckers aren’t classified as W2 employees, that doesn’t mean the companies they contract with are off the hook for liabilities and legal obligations that arise when an accident happens. Without the right independent contractor insurance in place, trucking companies may find themselves forking over a hefty sum of money in medical expenses.

A Look at OCC/ACC

Trucking companies are having to deal with the risk of operating without sufficient insurance due to increased costs. Rapidly rising rates, in particular, are putting many smaller operators at risk of having to close. Even still, insuring independent truckers is necessary to stay protected while on the road. This is where occupational accident insurance, or OCC/ACC, comes into play.

OCC/ACC provides coverage for owner-operators and independent truckers leased on to a motor carrier and may protect against accidental death and dismemberment, disability, and medical expenses in addition to other coverages. The policy isn’t just meant for owner-operators either–it’s available to motor carriers as well.

Using the services of independent truckers has become the typical business model for many motor carriers as an alternative to adding full-time employee drivers to their payroll. Trucking companies that prefer to contract with independent truckers can still obtain sufficient coverage, such as OCC/ACC, which offers some of the same benefits as workers compensation but at a much lower price.

Working with Independent Truckers

Motor carriers should be careful in how they work with owner-operators. Workers who are classified as independent drivers instead of employees should be contracted and treated as such. Motor carriers need to understand the rules otherwise they run the risk of independent contractors being listed as true employees; requiring proper compensation, withholdings, payroll taxes and making them eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

Additionally, independent truckers may attempt to take advantage of their classification after an accident and claim employment status to make a workers’ compensation claim against the company. Motor Carriers have to distance themselves from this situation by understanding the application of the Borello and/or ABC tests.

Trucking companies should also require independent truckers to receive the same training and education on operations as their employed drivers to ensure all drivers, regardless of classification, understand the company’s outlook on safety.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck, and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes. Contact us today at (800) 937-8785 to learn more.

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