Teaming AD&D With WC
Adds Weight To Coverage
While industry in the United States is safer than ever before, accidents still occur. Some 15 American workers die on the job each day, and U.S. businesses spend $171 billion a year on the financial costs associated with occupational injury and illness, according to National Jury Verdicts Review & Analysis.
This is especially costly to companies in hazardous fields, such as energy, petrochemicals, chemical processing, mining, electrical utilities, construction, trucking and convenience stores. Risk managers in hazardous industries, however, can benefit in a number of ways by supplementing their workers’ compensation coverage with accidental death and dismemberment.
A bonus to adding AD&D coverage to a workers’ comp plan is that it gives employees in hazardous industries greater coverage it usually is difficult for workers in hazardous industries to obtain AD&D coverage. An added benefit for employers is that having AD&D coverage for workers in hazardous jobs may help keep down premiums on a company’s general liability policy.
Much is at stake for employers. Workers’ comp no longer is enough to cover companies for extraordinarily costly lawsuits. Courts increasingly are allowing employees or their heirs to sue in cases where it is alleged that the accident or cause of death was due to the company’s negligence. And the awards could be large enough to put a company’s financial viability in danger.
In Washington State, for example, a jury recently awarded $17.5 million to a man who lost both arms and was paralyzed after touching a 14,400-volt power line while installing a vinyl billboard.
In Western New York, a jury awarded $23.4 million to a roofer paralyzed in an on-the-job accident. In Minnesota, the family of a factory worker whose skull was crushed between a moving mechanical arm and a conveyor belt was awarded $35 million. And the list goes on.