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Self-employed workers comp & disability policy

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Steve Kownacki
Self-employed workers comp & disability policy
on Mar 5, 2015 at 2:08:57 pm

For those of you that are W2 employees of your own company, do you opt in and pay worker's comp on yourself? Do you have a Disability Policy on yourself or key employees?

Steve





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Nick Griffin
Re: Self-employed workers comp & disability policy
on Mar 5, 2015 at 3:23:12 pm

[Steve Kownacki] "do you opt in and pay worker's comp on yourself?"

Steve-
I don't know how it is in PA, but I believe in the past I was told that as the owner of a company I would never be allowed to collect unemployment pay. Not sure if this has any relation whatsoever to workers comp, but it wouldn't surprise me if it were the same. Probably a question best asked of your CPA.


[Steve Kownacki] "Do you have a Disability Policy on yourself or key employees?"

Yes. I've had one for myself for about 20 years. By having a 90 day period before any benefits would kick in the premiums have been very modest. This is one of those things that seemed like a good idea at the time, but now as the hair grows more gray by the day, maybe not. And, no. I haven't gotten around to getting a disability policy for my VP... yet. Probably should along with "key man" life insurance.


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Ned Miller
Re: Self-employed workers comp & disability policy
on Mar 5, 2015 at 5:09:27 pm

I agree with Nick, although I'm in IL. As the owner I was not eligible for WC. In theory, in IL, if you hire an employee or non-incorporated "Independent Contractor", you're suppose to have a WC policy. A cheap one starts at around $1200 a year. I had only one client, a national crewing service, who required I have a WC policy. When they stopped using me I dropped it. When all things are equal it is safer to hire an incorporated freelancer.

As to disability, I had a policy with the US's largest writer of that. However, when my BIL was severely injured and tried to collect from that company they told him to "Sue us". Little did they know he had the money and fortitude to do it! They do a push back based on your zip code if you don't want to settle for peanuts. Many people figured they are covered but the test is when you want to collect and it's a serious case. If you Google the name of the carrier and reviews you will see that disability is such a squishy diagnosis that, unlike SS or the state, the independent insurers will do all they can to screw you. So, I dropped mine.

When I add up all I pay for all the various insurances I pay I want to cry. It's not noticeable when business is booming but when you're slow you realize it's a waste of money, when you see how little they want to pay on a claim. As you can tell, I have fought a few insurance companies for what they were suppose to rightfully pay in the first place.

However, the next puppy we get we will get the vet insurance!

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com
www,bizvideo.com


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Rich Rubasch
Re: Self-employed workers comp & disability policy
on Mar 5, 2015 at 6:05:48 pm

I don't carry Worker's Comp on myself, but I do have a beefed up Life Insurance policy and a rider on my auto insurance on myself for injury with loss of work time etc. So I put insurance in other places to cover more likely losses than at work. I looked into disability and it was pretty expensive.....like $150+ per month.

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage
Founder/President/Editor/Designer/Animator
http://www.tiltmedia.com


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Ned Miller
Re: Self-employed workers comp & disability policy
on Mar 5, 2015 at 6:20:50 pm
Last Edited By Ned Miller on Mar 8, 2015 at 3:19:00 pm

I forgot to mention the real problem in disability is what is called Own Occ:

http://www.about-disability-insurance.com/ownocc.htm

The cheaper policies will screw you by saying that you are no longer disabled because you are capable of selling pencils on a street corner, they don't care if you can still work in the video biz. So the better policies are what's called Own Occ which means if you can NOT make a living in your present OWN OCCUPATION then they will give you the full amount of your claim. Of course they usually have to be dragged kicking and screaming to pay off, regardless of what the agent says at signing.

However...because many of us on this forum make good money doing post they could claim that since you can sit, see a monitor and click a keyboard you are NOT disabled, hey, you can still edit! If you say you're mainly a producer they can snake out of even an Own Occ policy claim by saying, Hey, you can still use the phone and email! You can still produce! So you can't go on location anymore to supervise the shoot? OK, we'll pay 20% of your limit for that.

In sum, for those of you with or contemplating disability insurance, make sure it's an Own Occ policy and be sure to tell them most of your revenue is because you can carry a large camera on your shoulder. They are very savvy and put videographers in the same rate category as roofers, so it is more expensive than a policy for a sit down profession. They are very wiley...Remember, everyone thinks they're covered until it's a good size claim...

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com
www,bizvideo.com


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