Are you confused about what you should be looking for when shopping for a WSIB Alternative for your O/O’s? You’re not alone.
Not all Disability Programs that are being sold to Owner/Operators today are protecting them the way they should be. In fact, some actually even add more risk.
Although most disability policies look similar on the surface, one word in the limitations or definitions can determine if it’s a payable claim by their policy or if the risk is transferred to the Carriers auto policy.
When an O/O is shopping for coverage, they tend to focus on two main points.
- How much does the program cost?
- How much will it pay me each month if I get injured?
They don’t normally ask about the limitations/exclusions in the policy that can leave them and the carrier fully exposed.
Terms likes “excess” and “other insurance” can totally change the definition of the policy as it transfers the risk to other insurance (i.e. the Carriers auto policy). Pre-existing condition clauses can also give the option for the insurance company to deny the claim, especially in the USA. Although many companies offer long term benefits to age 70, it’s the definition of Total Disability that determines how long the O/O will be paid in the event of an accidental injury. Some providers define the Total Disability benefit as “own occupation” for as little as 17 weeks, where it then switches to “any occupation” definition. What this means is if the O/O can work at any other occupation (usually based on training, education or experience), then that’s what they are forced to do and can be cut off claim.
“When an insured carrier allows their owner operators to opt out of workers compensation coverage, we at The Guarantee look for best practice controls to be in place to help protect the insured as well as their transportation policy,” says John Farquhar, a Risk Solutions Specialist in Transportation. He continued, “These best practice controls must include a good solid alternative workplace coverage that is mandated for all owner operators. This program must be administered by the insured carrier either with the owner operator paying into the program and the provider monitoring compliance with reports back to the insured, or with the insured paying for the program on behalf of the owner operator. These are controls that must be in place to minimize the associated risks.
The best time to find out how your O/O’s policies stack up, is to find out in advance (not at the time of a claim). Isn’t that true?
NAL Audit Service
- Complete Review of your O/O’s Policy
- Highlight the limitations and exclusions in the policy
- Provide a written GAP analysis of how the limitations leave the O/O and Carrier exposed
- Included recommendations on how the issues can be corrected issues
- Offer a comprehensive solution (at special fleet pricing) for your consideration if the current provider cannot address the concerns
This service is a free service offered by NAL Insurance and the carrier is under no obligation to purchase the NAL policy. It does however allow you to benchmark your current program with all the other programs available.
“Last year, the NAL Travel Medical program paid a single claim that almost exceeded a million dollars,” says Katelyn Oke, Vice President of Risk Management & Compliance at NAL Insurance. “The O/O was unfortunately hit by another vehicle as he exited his truck at a truck stop in the USA. His injuries hospitalized him in the USA for only a month,” She continued.
NAL is not necessarily the lowest cost provider, but all NAL policies are specifically set up as “first payor.” Oke added, “Had the policy we sold to the O/O been an excess only policy, the entire claim would have been forwarded to the carriers auto policy. This would severely impact the Carriers claims experience which would severely impact rates the following year, regardless of their fleet size.”
Wouldn’t it be good to know, before an injury occurs, if your O/O’s have the right coverage in place? I think it’s worth a call, just to be safe, don’t you?