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Understanding Trucking Misclassification and Workers’ Compensation

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Let’s face it, a bad accident with an eighteen-wheeler on a hectic highway can be a disaster for everybody involved. Your transportation business is complicated and needs specialized commercial truck insurance based on the type of trucks you operate, the type of cargo you haul, and the distance you travel.
With the right insurance plan, you can sleep well, knowing that you’re protected from possible loss.

What is commercial truck insurance?

Commercial truck insurance protects trucking businesses, independent truck drivers, or businesses that use trucks. The purpose of this insurance is to offer legal and financial protection from property damage and bodily injury. In addition to trucking equipment insurance, many trucking businesses need cheap insurance or cargo insurance.

What is workers’ compensation insurance?

Workers’ compensation insurance is a policy to cover a worker’s medical costs and other losses in the event of a work-related accident. Some businesses are obliged by law to carry this policy.
This insurance is designed to do three things: offer financial support for injured workers, safeguard the company in the event of a lawsuit, and lessen the risk of employee lawsuits.

Why do trucking companies need workers’ compensation insurance?

When trucking companies hire truck drivers, they might get injured while on the job. Without insurance coverage, they could go bankrupt in the event of needing to pay their worker’s medical bills out of pocket. Workers’ compensation insurance covers these costs if the drivers are injured on the job. The laws for this coverage differ state by state.
line of big rig trucks

What is trucking misclassification?

Many truck drivers are independent contractors, thinking if they’re adequately classified. A truck driver who is classified as a contractor is considered trucking misclassification unless the hiring company of the trucker can present all of the following: (1) the trucker runs a business that is independent of the hiring entity, (2) the trucking job falls outside the usual course of business of the hiring entity, (3) the truck driver is free from the control of the hiring entity. Truckers who are misclassified as independent contractors can collect fines of approximately $25,000 per driver for their hiring entity. 
But why do employers misclassify their truckers? Because it benefits them.
If an employer were to name a trucker as their employee, that employer should pay state and federal taxes, offer insurance for unemployment and workers’ compensation, give benefits, and will have to comply with different federal and state regulations governing wages, working conditions, and the number of hours an employee can work.
With the recent CA court ruling in May 2021, all CA truckers must be subject to the 3 prong ABC test to confirm whether their driver is an employee or independent contractor.

How trucking insurance companies can help you safeguard your business and drivers with

Trucking companies must meet FMCSA safety requirements. Every motor carrier should keep a driver qualification file for every driver it hires. The file should include driver’s road test and certificate, annual driver’s certification of violations, annual driving record, driver’s application for employment, and medical examiner’s certificate.

Not sure how much or what type of coverage you need to safeguard your business? SWAN insurance will understand your business requirements to help you find an insurance policy that suits your needs. Our insurance experts will listen to your needs, look at what is best for you, and offer our professional guidance.
Call Us Today: 858-381-3108
Email: info@swan-ins.com