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October 15 2021

Workers' Comp or OAI: What's the difference?

When considering insurance to protect officers working off-duty details, it’s important for all parties to recognize the options and know the differences to make an informed decision.

Two common options that protect employees in case of on-the-job injury are workers’ compensation (workers’ comp) and occupational accident insurance (OAI). Which option (or both) is best for the officer depends on a few considerations.

Let’s start with the details.

Workers’ compensation

What it covers: Extent of coverage may vary but typically includes medical bills, death and dismemberment, lost wages and/or legal fees. 

Who is responsible for the policy: Putting a workers’ comp policy in place is the responsibility of the hiring business.

Other considerations: Most states require that businesses provide workers’ comp to employees on their payroll (W2) but not necessarily persons hired as contract workers (1099). One of the benefits of employers opting for workers’ comp is that it also protects the business from being sued for punitive damages.

Occupational Accident Insurance

What it covers: OAI is much more variable, but typically covers medical, death and dismemberment. 

Who is responsible for the policy: A business can provide OAI for employees in addition to workers’ comp, however, this is an uncommon situation. It’s more common for a private contractor (someone hired as a 1099 employee) to opt for OAI to protect themselves with insurance.

Other considerations: OAI is a great option for independent contractors to protect themselves in the absence of workers’ comp or as a supplement to workers’ comp.

Do officers need both?

If an officer working off duty is covered by workers’ comp, either through their agency, RollKall, or other means, they will get similar coverage to OAI. However, workers’ comp doesn’t necessarily mean there is no cost to the officer in the event of an injury. OAI will kick in to cover any deductibles, rehabilitation costs or other medical costs that may not be covered by the workers’ comp policy.

An officer doesn’t necessarily need both, but they may want both for higher-risk contract work that is executed off-duty (ie: traffic control). Additionally, while coverage on all fronts does vary, workers’ comp typically has a specific network of doctors the claimant must use. OAI under RollKall does not carry that requirement. 

Terms apply to all RollKall policies. Please talk to a representative to get more details about each of the insurance offerings. 

Want more Information?

Read about the three main types of insurance with off-duty security jobs.

Learn More
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