OneBeacon Brings Injury Protection to Independent Contractors

PRODUCT: Driver Injury Protection

COMPANY: OneBeacon Accident and Health

BEST RATING: A (Excellent)

AVAILABILITY: Coverage is available through approved agents and brokers.

FOCUS: Typically, employees are covered by a workers compensation policy in the event that they sustain an injury in an accident.

But what about those who work as independent contractors? In most states, they’re not required to have workers comp coverage. Independent contractor truckers and couriers historically have not been subject to workers comp. With the emerging sharing economy, however, the use of independent contractors requires new ways of thinking about insurance protection.

In response, OneBeacon developed an affordable product initially designed for Uber partner drivers—that protects independent contractors who are injured on the job.

“The gig economy requires a different approach than the traditional economy,” explains Steve Mueller, managing director, OneBeacon Accident and Health. “Truckers and couriers are working pretty much full time every day, whether traveling across the country or just locally to deliver goods. In the gig economy, these are very short trips and the hours are flexible. We saw the need for a new product that suits this marketplace.”

Although it’s not a workers comp policy, “Driver Injury Protection includes the key components of an occupational accident product,” Mueller says—if an independent contractor is injured in an accident while working, the product provides accident medical, accident disability, accident death and a survivors benefit.

Plus, “the product is tailored more specifically to an independent contractor’s specific assignment,” Mueller explains. “With usage-based pricing, it’s about how much time they’re spending on an assignment or how many miles they’ve driven. They’re paying only for the time that they’re working—not for any of the down time.”

UNDERWRITING: The general policy structure includes a combined single limit of $1 million. Accident medical expenses are on an expense-incurred basis, and disability provides a maximum of $500 a week—but “a lot of this can be adjusted given the industry and what people are looking for,” Mueller notes. Accidental death provides $50,000 and the survivor benefit is $150,000.

MINIMUM PREMIUM: None.

TARGET: Groups within the sharing economy that utilize independent contractors to perform services—“not just ridesharing like Uber, but also home services, home care and babysitters,” Mueller points out. “There’s an incredible number of verticals that provide services in this new technology-driven way.”

COVERAGE TERRITORY: Coverage is available in most states.

CONTACT: Stephen Mueller, managing director; OneBeacon Accident & Health, 44 Whippany Road, Morristown, NJ 07960; 781-332-8374.

Jordan Reabold is former IA assistant editor.