OOIDA backs Colorado bill ensuring Occ-Acc coverage to independent truckers

April 4, 2018

Keith Goble

|

An effort halfway through the Colorado General Assembly would ensure occupational accident insurance coverage is available to independent truckers in the state.

Colorado law now requires independent commercial operators to have workers’ compensation or a private insurance policy that provides similar coverage.

The Senate voted to advance a bill that would change “private insurance policy” to “occupational accident coverage insurance policy.” The bill, SB178, also would specify the requirements for when such a policy may be considered as providing similar coverage.

The rule change would apply to commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of at least 16,001 pounds and for hauling commerce on public highways.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association supports the effort. Of OOIDA’s more than 160,000 members nationwide, about 2,470 reside in Colorado.

“According to our members, Occ-Acc is a preferred alternative to workers’ compensation because it’s generally more affordable, provides unique benefits, and includes coverage for nonworking-related accidents,” OOIDA Director of Government Affairs Mike Matousek wrote in a letter of support to bill sponsors. “Conversely, workers’ compensation is often times too expensive and doesn’t reflect the needs of the person being covered.”

Matousek adds that trucking is an extremely diverse industry.

“One-size-fits-all seldom ever fits in trucking. Truckers need options, including options that determine what they’ll be covered for in the event of an accident,” he wrote. “In short, our members like Occ-Acc insurance coverage, and it should be preserved as a legal alternative to workers’ compensation.”

SB178 is scheduled for consideration April 10 in the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Colorado, click here.

Keith Goble has been covering trucking-related laws since 2000. His daily web reports, radio news and “OOIDA’s State Watch” in Land Line Magazine are the industry’s premier sources for information regarding state legislative affairs.