One of the highest insurance costs for your trucking company is going to be workers’ compensation. This only pertains to companies that have employees that are required to provide this coverage to their workers. With AB5 going through California and similar laws in other states, you will need to consult with your employment attorney if this coverage is needed, but if it is, then here are a few tips to keep the cost down on your workers’ compensation coverage.
What is workers’ compensation?
Owner Operator Truck Insurance is a coverage that helps pay your employees for work-related injuries or illnesses. When a worker gets hurt on the job, the coverage will help pay for medical costs such as going to the ER, physical therapy, and/or chiropractic. Not only does this coverage pay for medical bills, but it will also pay the employee for time off during the time they are hurt or have an illness. Depending on the severity of the injury or illness, the coverage could pay a few hundred dollars or up to your limit of the policy – usually $1,000,000.
What are the most common claims?
Here is a short list of the most common workers’ compensation claims:
- Muscle pulls and strains
- Transportation related (car wrecks)
- Slip and Falls
- Machinery Accidents
The type of claim that you will experience with your trucking business will vary from the above, but usually we do see these types of claims for our clients. The most common type of workers’ compensation claims that we see for our clients is usually muscle pulls and strains, slip and falls, and cumulative trauma. Cumulative trauma is the act of doing one task over and over (driving a truck) and having an injury happen due to an extended amount of time, not just one incident that causes the injury. Most common cumulative trauma claims are carpal tunnel and back injuries.
How do you lower your workers’ compensation costs?
The more claims you have the higher your premiums and less likely an insurer will want to insure you. As workers’ compensation is a mandatory requirement in most states, then how do you lower your claims and insurance premium? Reducing your claims is a direct relationship with safety and your management team. If you have a strong management team in place with good oversight on your employees that preach safety and good training, then your workers’ compensation coverage will be directly impacted. Here is a short list of risk management tools that you can do to lower your workers’ compensation claims:
- Safety Meetings – We suggest every week
- Hire a consultant with OSHA experience to review your company safety to highlight key areas that need work
- Look to the web for safety training classes for your employees – make it a mandatory item
- Build a Return-To-Work program where you modify an employee’s schedule based on their injury
The items that we have provided are a short list of things to do to keep your claims low and your overall workers’ compensation premiums from getting too high. Each company is unique and you will need a hands on risk manager to assess your operations to put together a program to help reduce your claims and workers’ compensation costs. As insurance brokers we take on this responsibility for our clients and have seen great success with our process! Reach out to us for more information. Stay healthy out there!