Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I am in the process of getting all my docs together to become an officially licensed home improvement contactor. In NY one requirement is proof of workmans comp insurance. Because I'm just starting up my business and have no employees nor any scheduled jobs in place, after recieving my workmans comp, do i maintain my insurance throughout the agreed period or is it possible to cancel and reinstate my insurance when there is actual work?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,670 Posts
Not sure how it works in NY, but in Ohio we pay a small deposit to open an account, and then it is based on payroll. It is possible for me as an owner, to opt out of it on myself. I would feel pretty stupid if I opted out on me, paid thousands in premiums on other guys, they I get hurt.
 

·
Interior Renovations
Joined
·
253 Posts
I am licensed in NYC and I am the sole employee of my company. I dont carry workers comp. You just need to fill out an affidavit claiming exemption form workers comp. You can download it from the Dept. of Consumer Affairs website. It just has to be signed by you and notarized. I just went through the mountain of paperwork so if you have any questions you can PM me.

NY State is impossible to deal with. I sent in a form to get a DBA name for my corporation and I left out a period at the end of inc. and it was rejected...They never notified me. I had to call them to check in after I didnt hear anything for 2 months. Just be sure to double check everything...
 

·
The Remodeler
Joined
·
1,536 Posts
There is no NY (state) license, it's all issued by specific counties.. Are you talking about NYC? As Kelly said, talk to the Dept of Consumer Affairs. You can get a waiver if you have no employees. Nassau County requires a waiver that's easily downloaded online, Suffolk County requires nothing.
 

·
The Remodeler
Joined
·
1,536 Posts
I tell the homeowners to take me out back and shoot me like a horse... :2guns:

Seriously, I have insurance for myself... As far as disability payments, I dont think it's necessary for the type of work I do. I dont climb ladders or walk on roofs. I suppose it's possible that I might take off my finger on a table saw one day, or shoot a 2" finish nail through my hand, but I'm certain I can still work if that happens.
 

·
Pompass Ass
Joined
·
2,090 Posts
I tell the homeowners to take me out back and shoot me like a horse... :2guns:

Seriously, I have insurance for myself... As far as disability payments, I dont think it's necessary for the type of work I do. I dont climb ladders or walk on roofs. I suppose it's possible that I might take off my finger on a table saw one day, or shoot a 2" finish nail through my hand, but I'm certain I can still work if that happens.
If you get a W/C waiver and then get hurt, what kind of insurance do you have that covers you?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
As a sole proprietor you are not legally required to carry workers comp on yourself...and most don't as it is exceedingly expensive (???? don't know why) Hope you have health insurance...But is required if you hire any subs or certainly if you hire employees. All of our townships require either a certificate of workers comp when pulling a permit or the aforementioned affidavidt or waiver.
 

·
Head Grunt
Joined
·
3,270 Posts
As said by others you dont need to be licensed in NY not that it doesnt hurt to be licensed. But different counties or cities may have different requirements so you may want to check into that. Here to pull any permits you need to have Workers Comp. or you have to file a waiver if you are sole proprieter and there will be no subs under you. As far as having Workers Comp being a sole proprieter why would you bother other than for subs? Workers Comp will not pay any benifits to the owner/sole proprieter if they are injured, it only pays for injured employee's or subs who get hurt on your job. NY has been pushing for Sole Proprieters into having Workers Comp even if they are not covered by it, just another way to get more money.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
At present we are all part of individual insurance groups which cover us for medical, hospitalization, dental, optical etc.
 

·
The Remodeler
Joined
·
1,536 Posts
If you get a W/C waiver and then get hurt, what kind of insurance do you have that covers you?

Splinter said:
I have insurance for myself...
Hmmm.. want my policy number? :whistling


What's more to tell? I'm covered by a health insurance policy... Medical, Dental, Optical. I gladly pay the premiums, even though the last time I needed it was 4 years ago when I was attacked by a rogue Hydrangea... Damn thing didnt like being trimmed and poked me in the eye. ;)
 

·
Pompass Ass
Joined
·
2,090 Posts
Hmmm.. want my policy number? :whistling


What's more to tell? I'm covered by a health insurance policy... Medical, Dental, Optical. I gladly pay the premiums, even though the last time I needed it was 4 years ago when I was attacked by a rogue Hydrangea... Damn thing didnt like being trimmed and poked me in the eye. ;)
Read the exclusions page on your personal policy, it does not cover injuries while you are working, that is what workers compensation insurance is for.
 

·
Pompass Ass
Joined
·
2,090 Posts
BWalley,

Well, you made me check, and as I suspected, you're wrong. Why make such broad statements about these things when you couldnt possibly have a clue about what type of insurance policy I carry?
If personal medical insurance covers you for work place injuries, why do companiies that provide medical insurance and disability insurance also have to carry workers compensation for their employee's?

If your medical insurance policy covers workplace injuries that is great, just make sure you explain to them how you got hurt when filing the claim.:thumbsup:

I have dealt with W/C and medical insurance policies enough to know what is covered and when W/C is required.

The reason for waivers is so you can't come back and sue the client where you got hurt after you get hurt becaus you decided not to carry W/C.

I hope you never seriously get hurt because you may end up not having the coverage you think you do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
I bet a lot of insurace stuff varies depending on what state you're in. I know my health insurance covers me if I get hurt while working, but it wouldn't surprise me if it's different in other places.
 

·
General Contractor
Joined
·
149 Posts
Workman's comp. isn't the same as health insurance. It is no-fault insurance that not only provides coverage for work-related injuries, but also protects a contractor and the homeowner against civil lawsuits filed by injured employees.

Personal health insurance policies usually include work-related injuries (although they consider workers' comp coverage to be primary insurance over their policy if the WC coverage exists). WC eliminates an employee having to provide his own insurance to protect himself in the workplace, or run the risk of losing that coverage or exhausting his benefits for an injury received while working for an employer.

Also, the WC laws protect those employers who provide WC coverage from being sued by the injured employee for medical treatment costs.

If you're injured on the job and it turns out your employer's WC coverage was bogus or has expired, your own health insurance likely won't turn their back on you. They'll pay the claim but then file suit against the employer to get their money back.

Of course, your mileage may vary.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Unfortunately, this was culled from SM, however they have a lot of interesting articles that they've built up over the years. I will not link to the article, instead post the full text here for all to read:

Choosing the Right Insurance Policies for You and Your Business
Going into a job with the right insurance is just as important as having the right tools for the project. However, rising insurance costs have made some budgets too tight for comfort. Keeping your costs as low as possible and still have adequate protection for your employees, your clients, and your company can be tricky business. If you're feeling the insurance crunch, here's some info that can help you make the best decision for your situation.

There are several types of insurance policies you can buy as a contractor to protect your workers and your company in the event of an accident, but having them all can be a financial burden. Whether you're an artisan flying solo or a contractor with a whole crew under your command, the insurance you carry can instill a sense of security in whoever hires you. It's a good idea to take inventory of your policies and make sure that you've got adequate coverage for whatever may occur.

Workman's Compensation Insurance
For very small companies (less than two to five employees, depending on your state) and contractors who live in Texas, having a worker's compensation policy may not be a necessity. However, even if your company exists in one of the above situations, having a workman's comp policy in place might be a good idea, anyway.

The cost of workman's comp changes from situation to situation, but the idea behind how the cost is figured is relatively simple. According to allbusiness.com: "To arrive at a base rate for workers' compensation insurance, each [job] classification is translated into a dollar amount, which is then multiplied by 1 percent per $100 of the total payroll for that employee. For example, the office clerk classification in California is roughly $1.25 per $100. So if that employee is paid $500 per week, the workers' compensation insurance premium for that employee costs roughly $6.25 per week." Unfortunately, most construction jobs are considered far more risky than "office clerk", so that "$1.25 per $100" is likely to be higher for anyone in the industry.

Though the expense of a workman's compensation policy might seem steep, there are ways to reduce this cost. For example, you can actually get a reduced premium if instances of injury on your job sites are less than the national average. How do you keep injuries at a minimum? The old fashioned way: training your workers in safe practices, hiring the best employees possible, and identifying and eliminating safety risks on the job site. Make sure to talk to your insurance provider about rate reduction if you already have a good safety record; if it's your first time buying a workman's comp policy, it is often worth the time it takes to get several different quotes.

Sole Proprietors
If you work alone, you may be able to depend on your own health insurance policy rather than workman's comp in the event of an accident, but this will not do you any good if you have a job requiring you to have another person help. In the same way that a general contractor needs to make sure that the subs he or she uses are properly insured, a sole proprietor needs to make sure that any help brought to the job site is covered. Since this can be a bit of a hassle, some sole proprietors choose to use a labor agency (who will make sure the person they send you is covered before they arrive) when they need an extra hand on the job.

General Liability Insurance
The sad fact is, lawsuits are now a very common occurrence in our country; this is why for most contractors, having a general liability policy in place is a good investment. Instead of protecting your company from claims brought by your employees like workman's comp, general liability insurance will kick in when damage to property or person affects the clients you are working for. Like workman's compensation coverage, how much coverage you should have and how much you pay for it can vary dramatically.

For a sole proprietor doing tile work, a policy with a $500,000 maximum might be adequate and may often be purchased for less than $1,000 a year; on the other hand, a roofer with a crew may end up paying a couple thousand per employee, per year for a $1,000,000 maximum policy.

Because there are so many variables, it is very difficult to say what the "average" cost of general liability insurance is. You can, however, say that even though it can be a pain, shopping around and getting quotes from several different companies might end up saving you thousands.

Is Insurance Worth the Cost?
Unfortunately, the amount you need to pay to the insurance company to stay covered can be quite a burden, at times. This is a growing problem; in fact, insurance payments can get so high that some companies might opt to go without coverage. In many situations, this is illegal, but in nearly all situations, the stakes are high enough to make it a bad idea.

Providing good service is (or should be) the goal of every good contractor, and that means hedging your bets with adequate coverage rather than leaving it up to chance if an accident occurs. Having insurance is not just a matter of being ready for the unforeseen, either. People are looking to the web for advice more and more. Websites such as Wiki-Answers, Yahoo, and Money-zine, all advise homeowners to make sure the contractor they hire is covered. You might even find that being covered actually helps you compete and could lead to more jobs, even if it doesn't seem cost-effective at certain times.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top