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Independent Contractor Insurance Considerations

- Thursday, January 31, 2019
Tristate Business Insurance - VA, MD, DC

As a general rule, employers conducting work in the states of Virginia, Maryland, and DC are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. While there are exception based rules that can apply, the specific employer coverage requirements are based on the individual state, type of industry, number of employees and entity organization.  

As an independent contractor, one of the joys of being independent is the general ability to conduct business your way.  On the other hand, working independently means that you will be completely responsible for any accident or injuries, property damage and even liability lawsuits. There exists a wide variety of contractor insurance options. Here are the most common types of coverage.

Bodily injury and property damage: This coverage is for contractors who work with heavy machinery and need to be prepared for accidents due to power tools and other hazards.

Professional liability: For contractors who provide consulting and advice, this coverage can protect you from liability risks due to losses a client may experience. Business liability insurance protects your business’s finances if a client accuses you of errors, whether due to mistake or negligence.

Commercial vehicles: Any vehicles owned by your business must adhere to state auto insurance laws. You can also protect your vehicles from various damages. Commercial auto insurance coverage protects not only the 1099 contractor but also the hiring entity in the event an accident occurs while the contractor is driving as part of the job he was hired to do.

Builder’s risk insurance: This one covers property and raw materials while construction is underway. This type of policy is often written per project.

Workers compensation insurance: Independent contractors may or may not need workers compensation. If you have employees, you’ll need workers compensation insurance in place in case they experience injury or illness on the job. This coverage compensates employees for medical expenses and lost wages after an on-the-job injury.

Disability Insurance:Disability insurance is a prudent insurance type for 1099 contractors to purchase. It is insurance that will pay a pre-established weekly benefit to the contractor in the event the contractor is unable to work due to a disability. It is not only the contractor engaged in potentially dangerous work who needs disability insurance. For example, a freelance graphic artist or writer due to an accident while in the parking lot or any other physical incident. The disability insurance typically requires a waiting period following the event that causes the disability before the policy begins to pay. The premiums fluctuate depending on the chosen waiting period length, the percentage of salary that will be paid each week and the general riskiness of the contractor's chosen occupation.

Performance Bond: Performance bond insurance guarantees the work will be done according to expectations, if not,  the bond money could be released to repair or complete the agreed project. This coverage is especially helpful when a contractor become disabled and not be able to finish the project. Rather than risk being sued personally and having assets seized to pay for damages, a cash performance bond protects everyone involved by guaranteeing the project completion within the agreed upon deadlines.

Your too busy taking care of business to learn all the regulations and nuances of these things.  Insurance agents who work directly for insurance companies will likely try to sell you all of these coverage options and likely at far higher maximums than you really need.  The path to value-based small business insurance acquisition is via your independent insurance agents like all of us here at TriState Business Insurance.  We serve all of Virginia, Maryland, and DC and can put you on an affordable path to the protecting you, your business, and your family at the most valued pricing being offered by the vast insurance markets today.  

Call us!