Comp insurer not liable for death benefits for out-of-state driver: Judge

A U.S. District judge ruled in favor of an insurer who filed a summary judgment on a claim involving an Iowa workers compensation policy for a company that hired an Illinois truck driver who only worked in his home state before dying from a work-related injury, according to the ruling issued in U.S. District Court in Chicago on Friday.

Eldridge, Iowa-based Worldwide Transportation Shipping Co. hired the driver, who worked in Illinois 100% of the time, in August 2014. The trucking company had workers compensation only for drivers in Iowa, according to documents in Hartford Underwriters Insurance Co. v. Worldwide Transportation Shipping Co.

In October 2014, the insurer was notified that the driver had been involved in a fatal accident in Illinois in September 2014. In 2015, the driver’s widow filed an Application for Adjustment of Claim against Worldwide, seeking benefits under the Illinois Workers Compensation Act.

“Worldwide hired an Illinois resident for Illinois work in August 2014, but it was not until Jan. 7, 2015, that Worldwide first requested (its insurer) to add coverage in Illinois. … For a company with mostly out-of-state operations, Worldwide took a risk by only applying for coverage in Iowa, and none of Hartford’s conduct suggested that Worldwide would be protected in taking that risk. Therefore, Hartford’s Motion for Summary Judgment on the affirmative defenses is granted,” the ruling states.

This article was first published by Business Insurance.

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