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Should a trucking company have workers’ compensation insurance?

On Behalf of | Oct 28, 2016 | Firm News, Workers' Compensation

Workers’ compensation insurance covers you if you’re injured in a work-related accident. Any employee working a typical job should have coverage provided by an employer.

Do trucking companies have to carry workers’ compensation insurance?

While some truck operators and trucking company owners are independent contractors, North Carolina law requires that workers’ compensation coverage is in place to cover these individuals. If the owner-operator of a business doesn’t offer workers’ compensation insurance coverage due to drivers being independent contractors, then the motor carrier needs to purchase workers’ compensation coverage for him- or herself.

Is a motor-carrier employer liable for workplace injuries that are suffered by an independent contractor?

North Carolina law states that workplace injuries that are suffered by an independent contractor are not the responsibility of a motor-carrier employer if the independent contractor is licensed individually by the U.S. Department of Transportation and personally operates the vehicle in which he or she was injured.

Can a company carry occupational accident insurance instead of workers’ compensation insurance?

While it might seem like a good substitute, carrying and occupational accident insurance instead of workers’ compensation insurance is not legal. It is a separate type of insurance that an employer can purchase on top of workers’ compensation coverage, but it only covers specific injury types and has limited benefits. Carriers in North Carolina are not required to have occupational accident insurance, but they may choose to if they want extra coverage for their employees. However, if the carrier is not carrying workers’ compensation coverage, this is against the law and can result in fines or lawsuits from injured employees.

Source: North Carolina Industrial Commission, “Frequently Asked Questions,” accessed Oct. 28, 2016

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