Hi Everyone, so many questions floating around out there on "What is Occ Acc?" and "Do I need to carry it"? "Occ Acc" means "Occupational Accident". It covers a number of expenses when a person is hurt on the job, so it's similar to Worker's Comp.
A number of states are requiring every independent contractor to carry Worker's Comp. Ostensibly, this is because if you're hurt on the job and can't work you would fall on the state's Medicaid when you don't have your own safety net.
Workman's Comp is very expensive, can be in the thousands for for Truckers and Expediters regardless of your age or health.
The good news is that there is this product called "Occ Acc" that can be purchased at a fraction of the cost of Worker's Comp. It's less expensive because it pays up to certain limits, versus lifetime like Worker's Comp.
A good plan should include at least these limits:
$1 Million per occurrence/$2 Million aggregate (per year)
$300,000 Accidental Dismemberment or Paralysis Benefit
Temporary Total Disability Benefits for up to 104 weeks, and up to $200,000 for Continuous Total Disability Benefits
Accidental Death and Survivor's Benefits if you have a family
Very important to make sure you also have these limits in your plan:
Accident Medical Expense up to $1 Million (If you have an extremely low
priced Occ Acc plan now, this is
what they've excluded)
Various additional Medical Expenses like Physical Therapy, Ambulance, etc.
...and if the plan is REALLY good, you should also have these limits:
Non-Occupational Accident Limits of Liability to pay some expenses if you're hurt while not on the job (especially if you don't have Health Insurance)
Passenger Accident Coverage of $50,000 for Death, Dismemberment or Medical Expenses
Most importantly, make sure you have a plan that includes a very BROAD Definition of when you're under dispatch...you want this plan to cover you MOST of the time (talk to your agent about this).
There's two ways to buy Occ Acc, either through the group plan that your Motor Carrier you're leased on to sponsors or a standalone plan of your own that you take with you from Motor Carrier to Motor Carrier.
Group plans are sometimes less expensive than your own plan, but not always. Be sure to read the actual COVERAGE of what you receive based on the suggested limits I've given you above.
To give you an idea of what your cost is for a solid plan of your own:
$117 per month for Cargo Vans or Sprinter Owner Operators
$124 per month for Straight Truck Owner Operators
$147 per month for Tractor Owner Operators
*There is always at least a $5 per month service fee on life and health products FYI, if it gets much higher than that, look into it for your true total cost per month.
When you purchase an Occ Acc plan, the Motor Carrier you're leased on to can then show this as proof to the state or any auditor that you are not an employee, you are an Independent Contractor Owner Operator.
...long winded Blog today, but hopes it helps to answer your Occ Acc questions! Email me if you like....
Have a safe and Happy Easter everyone!
Shelly Benisch, CIC Commercial Insurance Solutions, Inc. (C.I.S.)
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