Occupational accident insurance, or OAI, is a type of insurance policy that’s able to provide benefits to employees who are injured or killed while performing their job. It acts almost as a hybrid between long-term disability and worker’s compensation, and could be a good choice for many people out there. Let’s look at some of the statistics. Nearly 2.3 million people die each year from accidents and injuries resulting from their work according to the International Labor Organization. In addition, there are around 340 million injuries related to work each year. Having some added protection can be very helpful.

Who Might Benefit from Occupational Accident Insurance?

Many people who are independent contractors could benefit from using this type of insurance policy. One of the most common fields is trucking, since owner-operators are not generally employees of the company they drive for – they technically freelance. Trucking companies like to offer this type of policy for the drivers, as it helps to keep the owner-operators from saying they are employees to get added benefits. It will provide protection to the trucking companies so that no one will file worker’s compensation claims against them. Many owner-operators also find this to be an attractive option, and having it available could actually help the trucking companies find more employees.

Others who work in this fashion may find that OAI could help them, as well, so they have some form of protection from personal injury while on the job. However, it is important to learn as much as possible about the policies and the options before choosing one.

The Policy Is More Complex

When you have worker’s compensation through an employer, the coverage is cut and dry, for the most part. When you have OAI, things get more complicated quickly. Those employers who want to provide this as an option for their workers will have to make a number of decisions when you need to decide the amount of liability to carry for each accident, the deductible amount for each accident, the level of disability coverage, and the level of the death benefit.

Despite the fact that they can seem more complex, they tend to have quite a bit more flexibility as well. Coverage choices for OAI can cover a variety of different areas including accidental death benefit, accidental dismemberment, survivor’s benefit, accident medical expenses, temporary total disability, permanent total disability, hernia, chiropractic, and passenger accidental benefit. The areas chosen for the policy will vary based on the nature of the work and the needs of the policy holder, naturally. Take the time to look over each area of the policy and make sure that you understand it entirely.

How and When Do Payouts Happen?

Those who need to use their policy will usually receive weekly or biweekly benefits if they sustain an injury while they are working as an independent contractor. The policy, in most cases, will last for two years for those who are no longer able to perform the same duties they had prior to the injury. The only way that the payments will continue is if the injured party is able to show that there are not other jobs that they can perform available in the area at the time.

If you are still injured, you have to prove this to the insurance company to keep them paying the benefits. This can be quite difficult. You need to make sure that you keep hold of all of the reports, medical updates, and more, from the doctors and specialists so that you can prove you are truly still injured. It requires more than mere documentation from your regular doctor – they will generally need to have information from experts or they may deny the benefits.

In the event that you are denied the benefits, you will have time to appeal. The time limit can vary with some policies, while others do not have them at all. That’s why it is so important to know exactly what your policy says before you settle on it.

How to Find What You Need

No one likes to think about a personal injury in the workplace that could sideline them from completing their duties and that would cause them pain and suffering. However, incidents happen all of the time, and it is important to prepare for those events just in case they do occur. However, that doesn’t mean that people who are independent contractors or owner-operators of a truck should run out and choose the first policy they find. They need to engage in the same due diligence that they would if they were to choose any other type of insurance. Spend the time to compare different quotes to see what the companies are able to offer.

If you are considering this type of policy or you have OAI and have been injured, you should speak with your attorney before taking action. The attorney will be able to let you know whether it may conflict with a worker’s compensation case, and which one you should utilize for your needs. In addition, you have to keep in mind the variance between the states when it comes to how they view OAI. Some states, such as Oklahoma and Texas, will let an employer opt out of worker’s compensation and provide OAI, for example. Always make sure you know all of the facts about the policy before you choose it.

In addition, keep in mind that some injuries and accidents that happen at work are not your fault. In addition to applying for disability and using OAI, you may also want to talk with an attorney about taking the negligent party to task. They could be liable for damages, which can help you to pay medical bills, lost wages, and more. Consult with an attorney who can learn more about your accident and who can let you know if it is a good idea to proceed with a personal injury case against the company or another party.