Trucking industry over the last period of time didn’t pay attention to truck driver health insurance. To be more precise, some segments such as is long haul trucking business, paid almost zero attention to truck driver health insurance.
It is estimated that only 20% of long-haul trucking companies are covering health insurance for their company drivers. The numbers go even lower when we start talking about independent truck drivers, in most cases called owner-operators.
The business worked in a way that trucking companies didn’t mention this, and truck drivers didn’t ask because all of them wanted to get as much as the money they can from their weekly cheque. Only maybe more experienced (read. older) drivers started asking for this but then they would simply transfer to another company that has this option covered.
This situation worked in a way of some sort of secret agreement between truck drivers and trucking companies. Don’t ask – don’t tell kind of relationship.
But situation started to change over the last few years. Truck driver shortage and trucking industry continue growth forced the trucking companies and industry as well to start thinking outside of the box. Trucking companies need to adopt and offer better working environment and perks if they want to keep their most valuable asset – truck drivers.
Why Truck Driver Health Insurance?
Besides obvious reasons health care protection is providing there are more reasons I think trucking companies should start thinking to offer this to their truck drivers.
Back in old days and even is some recent years this was reserved for companies that are really big or market leaders (Schneider, FedEx, JB Hunt) or companies having dedicated loads and contracts with some big companies allowing them to make higher profits and gross margins in their business and then distributing this to the company truck drivers.
So, if you ask me there are a lot of reasons as well benefits that trucking companies can achieve by covering truck driver health insurance so I will mention only part of them:
- Drivers feel happy and satisfied working for company;
- They and their families are protected in case something unexpected happens;
- This saves money for truck driver and trucking companies;
- By contracting a group policies companies can save money (till March 2017 group policies were more expensive per person than singe but that changed in March 2017);
- Truck drivers are less willing to quit and change job;
- It builds the company culture and makes it easier to hire new truck drivers;
- By offering health insurance you can attract the best sand most experienced truck drivers;
As you can see benefits from introducing the truck driver health insurance are multiple. For investing extra few hundred dollars you can receive multiple returns and in the same time, you can have your drivers happy.
Who Should Pay for Truck Driver Health Insurance?
Since the amounts to cover the truck driver health insurance can heavily vary it is not easy to decide how to introduce this service into your trucking company.
On the market nowadays you can see multiple different ways how companies deal with this and at the end, I would say it all depends on how much money you are willing to invest and what is the amount your company budget can handle.
These are the ways to deal with truck driver health insurance outside on the market:
- The trucking company covers the full 100% of the amount;
- Trucking company and truck drivers agree to pay 50% each;
- Moreover, the trucking company pays 50% first year but if the driver stays in the company after 1 year they will provide the full 100% coverage;
As you can see there are multiple variations. I just mentioned the three most used on the market at the moment. Out of those three mentioned above, we could easily develop ten more solutions but this is enough so that you can understand how to approach this situation and make the most out of the budget your company has.
What Determines The Price of Truck Driver Health Insurance?
Well, this is tricky. People that are inside of this industry shared with me that health insurance is one of the most complex systems on the market and that a number of factors that have the impact on health insurance price is very huge.
But in most cases, there are things that we know that can affect the price of the health insurance. Some of them sound perfectly logical and make perfect sense if you ask me but in some cases, there is no logical connection if you ask me.
I leave that for you to decide. But here is the list of factors affecting the truck driver health care prices from the words of one health care insurance agent:
- Age of theTruck driver;
- Drivers’ health condition and hospital record;
- Truck driver family health condition and is there any inherited diseases;
- State from which truck driver comes from (for me this is weird but actually it is this way);
- What kind of loads they transport;
- In the case of need, what are the doctors they would like to visit? Tier 1 or lower?;
- What is the amount of coverage and what is covered in the health care policy.;
So based on the things mentioned above you can conclude that the prices can very heavily. Yes, that is true. Prices can vary among the truck driver working for the same company for up to 50% and in some cases even more. For that reason negotiating a group policy that would cover all truck drivers and getting some discounts sounds like a good start.
Drivers age is one of the unfair things if you ask me. The older the driver you have the higher the premium you need to pay. Makes sense right? But this sounds like they are penalizing you because you want to have experienced truck drivers and reduce the possibility to have truck accidents.
Liability insurance will reward you if you have this kind of drivers and you can get lower prices and on the other hand health insurance is penalizing you because of this. Isn’t crazy it?
What is Included in Truck Driver Health Insurance?
This is also very complex subject and requires a lot of attention when going trough it. We all know those small letters at the bottom of the page of the 20-page contract we are about to sign that we haven’t read. Not just that of we get the 20-page contract usually on page 7 or 8 there is some things dig in the side that no one wants us to see.
This is done on purpose so that some very and special cases that might happen are masked in this way. Why is this important? Well, because those cases and those medical situations that are very rare are in most cases very expensive to cure and health insurance companies want to make sure if that happens they will be the ones that cover the less as possible.
Pay attention to the following items in the contract. Make sure that you ask your insurance agent about this items. Because it could cost your truck driver a huge amount of money if you don’t pay attention to it and this could also reduce the value of the policy your trucking company is paying:
- Ask what is the percentage of general coverage;
- What are the situation health insurance covers;
- Is there any situation where you looking forward to paying for something and wait to get reimbursed from health insurance company?;
- What do doctors include in the policy? Are you allowed to go to the best doctors or not?;
- How often and is there a cap on insurance level. For example, are they covering everything until you get better or just basics;
- Can they and how (what is the procedure) cancel the insurance?;
What Are The Real Prices? Take a Look at Real Up to Date Offer For Health Insurance.
I know all of you are super busy running your company and that there is never enough time to do everything you would like to do.
After spending a day in trucking office there is family and friends waiting to see you. Dedicating a day to go around and do meetings just to get some quote for the health insurance seems very hard and like a time wasting because you never now at the end how good prices you can get.
So to save you a lot of time and to make your life easier I decided to do that for you. I managed to get a quote from the insurance agent. The quote listed here below shows multiple options and packages. I know for each company this can vary, but this can of a use as a good guide to see what you can expect from your company.
This will also show you the price category so that you can calculate the monthly cost of introducing this service into your business. I would strongly suggest not to look this as one-time expense only. Try to see a bigger and wider picture how this can make your company better and attractive to keep existing and attract new truck drivers.
We all know that the average cost of replacing the truck driver that quits the job is estimated on $6,000. This doesn’t include the really high cost of recovering the truck if it is left unattended on some truck stop location in the middle on nowhere. If that is the case then cost of replacing the driver can easily go up to $10,000. Having truck health care in place minimizes the risk of those situations.
Take a look at the quote. I asked the quote for the company doing long haul dry van trucking all over the state and having 20 trucks in the fleet. As you can see the average price is around $500 dollars per truck driver a month.
What Are The Companies Paying For Truck Driver Health Insurance?
In the last few years, there are more and more trucking companies deciding to this coverage fro their truck drivers. But in most cases you won’t be wrong if you say that trucking companies that pay truck driver health insurance are the good ones. So pretty much a lot of Top 10 trucking companies in the US provide some sort of truck driver health insurance.
If you take a look at the list of the best trucking companies to drive for you will find that all of them have some sort of truck driver health coverage. Here is the list:
- C.H. Robinson;
- Roadway Trucking;
- Yellow Transportation;
- Prime Inc.;
- J.B. Hunt;
- Gordon Trucking;
All the companies have a thing in common that they have been in business for a while. They have built the reputation that is providing the good work environment and terms for their truck drivers. It is not a rare thing to see that some truck drivers work for the same company more than 20 years.
Recently more and more small and medium trucking companies are offering this services as well. I need, to be honest. If anyone sees a small and medium trucking company offering this service that means this is a great company, and it is a great sign how the company culture looks like.
There is no difference what so ever between large and small companies offering this service. So, all truck drivers, wherever you decide to go you will have the amazing environment.
Is It Worth Covering Truck Driver Health Insurance
Yes. I can’t answer in a more simple way. Yes, it is. Do it. Don’t think about this. If you want to have a steady trucking company and you are thinking on a long run you need to do this in order to be able to attract the best people to work for you. Not just to attract them you need to make sure they are going to stay with you for a while.
Trucking recently became like an IT and there is more and perks and benefits offered to the truck driver. It is very simple, if you are not doing it your competitors will do it and you might miss the chance to hire amazing drivers that could serve and work with you for decades.
Here are few benefits to letting you know how valuable this benefit can be for you and your trucking business:
- You can eliminate the $6,000 truck driver replacement cost. They will stay with you longer;
- You can build a better company culture;
- You can get the best and most experienced truck drivers that will drive with care and save money on the fuel;
- Best truck drivers take care of the trucks so your trucks will need less maintenance;
Changes are coming to the trucking industry and the wheel of change can’t be stopped. We can all either resist to the changes and eventually disappear or we can try to align with it and make the most and best out of it.
Due to constant trucking industry growth, good truck drivers are like a gold. Its very hard to find them and they are very valuable. This is the way to attract them so please make sure to use it and to use it now. Do the test, start using it one one or two new truck drivers you are about to hire and I’m sure you will see a huge ROI within months.