Greatwide introduces insurance program

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Transportation giant Greatwide Logistics Services has launched a new insurance program for its owner-operators. Dubbed Greatcare, the carrier says it’s the “nation’s first fully integrated package of insurance products and related driver services.” The plan offers $1 million of lifetime medical coverage similar to a traditional major medical plan, but at half the cost that owner-operators typically pay.

Rob Newell, vice president of recruiting and retention at Greatwide, said Friday at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas that truck drivers – because of their on-the-road lifestyle and occasional poor eating habits – generally are snubbed by insurers. Plans offered to truckers are either piecemeal or budget busters, he added. Ray Greer, Greatwide president and chief executive officer, said lack of insurance “is one of the main reasons (truckers) leave the driving profession.”

Newell said the plan is open only to Greatwide drivers and is open immediately to owner-operators after they lease onto the carrier. The plan is now available in 19 states; Worksite Benefits, the insurance provider, said it will expand the service to other states.

Greatwide has exclusive dibs on the plan until year’s end; in 2007, Worksite can market the plan to other trucking companies. The medical plan includes preventive and supplemental health care benefits, dental insurance, 10-year term life insurance and disability income protection.

In addition to the health care portion, Greatwide, through MetLife, will offer legal counseling, home and personal auto insurance, pet insurance, a Preferred Savings Plan and critical illness insurance. These benefits will be rolled out over a period of months, Newell said.