Trucking is one of the most dangerous jobs, in fact, the bureau of labor statistics classify it as a high-risk profession. Truck drivers typically suffer from sleep deficit and tiredness which lead to reduced mental awareness that could ultimately cause serious errors and accidents on the road.
Apart from accidents, many truck drivers also suffer from serious health problems. Staying healthy while you spend long hours on the road can be a struggle. Many drivers eat fast food or drink more than their daily dose of caffeine to stay awake.
With various safety and health concerns, truckers need a suitable coverage which includes:
- Accidental Injury Cover – even a minor accident may cause you an injury which can have a long term effect. It’s best to get a cover that can help you pay your medical bills and related expenses while you are recovering.
- Health and Dental – unexpected visits to your dentist or doctor can get expensive and having a cover can relieve you of financial stress.
- Life Insurance – regardless of profession, a life insurance cover can help secure your family in the event of your passing away. This is even more important for hot shot truckers as the profession offers many inherent risks while on the road.
- Catastrophic insurance – this type of insurance pays only in case of catastrophic incidents such as heart attack and stroke. This type of cover will take care of hospital-related expenses which can easily cost you thousands of dollars. However, the costs of a private doctor and nursing care is generally excluded from the coverage as primary medical insurance covers for these types of expenses.
While insurance is a necessity for owner-operators, sadly many can’t afford to get the right coverage they need because of the expensive premiums. Luckily, there are other choices available:
Health Savings Account (HSA)
HSA is a savings account that lets you save money before tax to pay for your eligible medical expenses. You can only get an HSA if you have an HSA-qualifying insurance policy.
Advantages of HSA
- Easy to set up – You can set up your HSA account by visiting your local bank or by sending your application online. There are also no major paperwork to set it up.
- Tax deduction – HSA contributions are deductible from your gross taxable income, allowing you to potentially save a significant amount of money on taxes.
- Tax-free medical expenses – You can spend your HSA tax-free on qualified medical expenses such as dental or eye-care among others.
Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) Insurance Coverage
OOIDA offers carefully tailored health and life benefits to its members and their family. There is a small annual fee to be a member of this group but becoming a member allows you to enjoy a number of benefits including health care.
Currently, OOIDA offers the following coverage for members:
- Accidental Death and Dismemberment Plan
- Occupational Accident Plans
- Voluntary Group Short Term Disability Plan
- Group Dental Benefit Plans
- Group Life Insurance
- Voluntary Vision Care Plan
- Minimum Essential Coverage (ACA Compliant)
- Optional Hospital Indemnity Insurance
- FREE Prescription Card
Group Health Insurance
Some trucking companies offer group insurance to their truckers. If you are still looking for an OTR trucking job, you can check with the recruiter if they offer health insurance options and what the eligibility criteria are. Alternatively, you may inquire with your trucking group if they have a group plan as the policy is typically less expensive than when you get a similar policy as an individual.
There may be other ways on how owner-operators can get an affordable insurance coverage. If you know one, please let us know through the comment box below.