If you are up with the latest technology, you may have heard that hailing a standard taxi is a quickly becoming thing of the past. Hotels are falling out of fashion, too. Scratching your head? Many of us are. The age we live in today, however, values on-demand services at rock bottom prices—all at the swipe of a screen.
We’re talking, of course, about the popularity of services that rely on mobile applications. Ride sharing services like Uber have skyrocketed in popularity recently, and with this surge came a wave of workers who ride the fine line between independent contractors and regular employees. While their actual classification is still being debated in courtrooms across the country, one thing is for certain—the workers’ compensation insurance industry is stymied.
How These Insta-Services Will Affect the Workers’ Compensation Insurance World
While the business world is slowly acclimating to this new type of worker, there still exists a large legal grey area for those who are hurt on the job while performing these services. By all definitions, these employees (take Uber drivers, for example) are considered independent contractors.
The companies that hire these independent contractors make it very clear that liability lies squarely on the shoulders of the contractors, which eliminates the need for the “employer” to purchase workers’ compensation coverage. The only problem for these contractors is that their personal auto and health insurance won’t cover their damages incurred while operating as a contractor. This means that in order to be covered for an on-the-job injury, they will need to purchase their own workers’ compensation coverage.
In our economy, independent contracting jobs allow those unable to pursue traditional employment the opportunity to earn an income on a flexible schedule. This means that, whether the insurance sector is ready for it or not, that coverage policies will need to adjust and adapt to accommodate a growing field of employment.
Are you considered one of these new, “on-demand” independent contractors? What are your thoughts on workers’ compensation in your field? Sound off below, or let us know how you feel by contacting us on Facebook today!