Sunday, July 31, 2016

What Is Contractor Insurance?

To those unaware of the ins and outs of professional insurance products, dangers in the workplace and of course the many legal loopholes within our busy business world, never fear, as you are certainly not alone.

In everyday life, insurance exists as a means in which individuals can protect themselves against most of life's misfortunes. This is of course, what insurance companies and money lenders tell people, and although rightly so, often falls on unwanted ears. To most of us, insurance is a word that is met with a sigh, our minds conjuring up pictures of faceless men in suits, with outstretched arms and briefcases of bad news. This is of course a natural reaction, but in reality, insurers do, and insurance does work in our best interests... In a roundabout way.

Contracting is a popular profession in the 21st century, contractors working alongside employees as if they were the same, but in reality (concerning tax, status and of course insurance) they are quite different. Contractors are not employed by the companies that are hiring them, instead they work for their own limited companies, and it is these companies that are hired by firms who require the contractor to work. This is an overtly confusing concept to those who are not directly involved in contracting, but it is a professional way of life that exists and works well.

Contracting brings with it a number of perks to the contractor, their hours are versatile and they are beneficial to a lower tax bracket than the average employee. This being said however, as technically self-employed professionals, contractors are required to take out a number of specifically designed contractor insurance policies, each tailored to the professional risks of contracting.

Contractor insurance is so important, as being self-employed sole traders; contractors are 100% liable to any mistake or misfortune that may occur within the workplace, making the financial risk a potentially huge overhead. The policies themselves that are available to contractors range from cover designed to protect professional indemnity, to accident and sickness insurance should a contractor fall ill.

What makes contractor insurances unique however are its relevance to contractors and its advantages to limited company professionals. Each policy is designed to cover an eventuality that concerns contractors specifically, and each insurance cover aids contractors in different ways. Take PI insurance for example, which is a contractor policy that may not be required by an average employee. It would cover a contractor in a case of professional negligence that would result in financial loss. This would not be necessary for an employee to have for example, as their employing company would most probably have a policy similar to employer's liability that covers any employee's mistakes.

If you are a contractor, then insurance I'm afraid to say, is a necessary and advantageous commodity to have within your arsenal of professional weapons. Acting as a shield to protect your limited company assets and finances, contractor cover still remains a must-have form of protection, and its importance should never be overlooked.

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

2017 NFPA Conference & Expo – Boston

NFPA Conference & Expo comes to Boston, Massachusetts June 4-7, 2017! The NFPA Conference & Expo® is the premier fire, electrical and building safety event, for bringing together thousands of professionals—from designers and contractors to inspectors, facility managers, and first responders

Monday, July 25, 2016

Small Biz Cheers Tax Reform and Labor Rule Victories

This week in small business, U.S. House Republicans released a blueprint for tax reform, containing lower rates and fewer brackets. NFIB praised this effort to promote business investment, job growth, and a stronger economy. Also this week, a U.S. District Court granted a request by NFIB to temporarily block the Department of Labor’s new union persuader rule until its constitutionality is settled. And finally, NFIB member Warren Hudak testified before the Senate HELP Committee about the difficulties of purchasing health insurance under Obamacare.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Why Contractor Insurance?

Insurance is obviously a very important commodity in life, and for the modern day professional, it is essential. Professional/Business insurance is vital in the fast paced, often high risk commercial sphere, and it takes understanding its benefits to fully appreciate its importance.

Business Insurance comes in many forms depending on circumstance and situation, and each cover policy is designed with an area of professional risk in mind.

Contractor insurance specifically is small business insurance designed for those who are classed as contractors and work from a contract to contract basis.

Contractors are skilled professionals who are not under direct employment by any company or firm and instead work via their own limited companies. Although a contractor may be working for a firm or company, they are not employees, rather hired hands on behalf of their limited companies who will have agreed to a prior working contract (6 months / a year for example).

Contractors fundamentally are self-employed and work for themselves. As well as certain benefits that come with being a one man company hired within a larger firm, the largest advantage that contractors have is that their tax bracket is far lower than that of an average employee, thus making their take home pay considerably more.

Contractors are able to earn up to 25% more than the average worker due to a much lower tax bracket. This is because contractors work for their own limited companies therefore do not fall under the typical taxed payroll of an employee. This amount of freedom does however come with downsides, as being your own boss means that you are not covered with sick pay, health benefits or welfares that large cooperate businesses offer, and that is where the benefits of contractor insurance become apparent. Contractor Insurance provides the relevant and helpful protective cover to any contractor or freelancer.

Contractors protect themselves with appropriate Contractor Insurance. It can be extremely useful if mistakes are made throughout the course of a contract, or if misfortune such as accidents or illness occurs.

Without the proper insurance, tax investigations, negligence claims, illness and much more would be an extremely costly and harsh process. Insurance for contractors is designed in a way in which a contractor is covered both for all costs and efforts should any claims occur or legal action (IR35 for example) is taken against the contractor.

As a professional, insurance is obviously important, but as contractors are practically self-employed, their high risk position makes the need for specific insurance far greater. Contractor insurances range from Professional Indemnity Insurance, a policy designed to protect a contractor in any case of claims of negligence being made against them, to full IR35 insurance, a must have policy for any secure contractor.

Not all contractor insurance policies will be necessary to all areas of expertise, but most apply across the board and provide benefits to a vast number of contracting professions.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

NFIB’s Top 3: Turn A Good Employee Into A Great One

When managing employees, you probably focus most on your stars and on those who are struggling. But what about your employees who fall in between? Here are NFIB’s top 3 ways to turn a good employee into great one: Set the record straight; Create space; Make a plan. Watch now to learn more about these tactics. More small business resources:

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Do You Have To Pay To Play Music In Your Business? | NFIB Legal Ease

Have you ever received a letter demanding a music licensing fee? A typical demand letter asks for anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars for a one-year license, and small businesses in the retail, food-service, and entertainment industries are targeted often. So do you have to pay this company just to play music in your business? Watch now to get the answer. Learn more about the NFIB Small Business Legal Center:

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Myth Busters—Minimum Wage Edition

Misinformation swarms around minimum wage. See what common notions are actually works of fiction.

Monday, July 4, 2016

10 Things Businesses Might Not Know About California’s Paid Sick Leave Law

One year ago today, California employers had to begin providing the paid sick leave (PSL) benefit to their employees. To highlight several less-known aspects of the PSL benefit and provide practical tips to follow, the California Chamber of Commerce has released a Capitol News Report video, along with a white paper and infographic.

Friday, July 1, 2016

2017 New American Remodeled Home: Phase 2

Remodeling a home presents a unique set of challenges. See what Phil Kean Design Group discovered while remodeling The New American Remodeled Home…