Independent Contractors and Workers Comp: Big Change

Independent Contractor
The definition of an Independent Contractor under workers comp in MA has been governed by a 2008 directive from the Attorney General. Under this definition, it states that

the individual must:

  • (1) Be free from control of the Employer
  • (2) Provide services outside the usual course of the employer’s business (3) Be engaged in an independent trade, occupation, profession or business.

If the employer cannot prove the independence of their contractors, they become employees for the purposes of workers comp.

Because of these strict guidlines, after an audit has been completed, payrolls of independent contractors are added to the employer’s workers compensation premium calculation – which could mean big increases.

The Camargo Ruling

The MA Supreme Judicial Court recently issued the Camargo ruling. Instead of a three-pronged criteria, there are now twelve prongs. A few new to note:

  • the skill required in the particular occupation
  • the length of time for which the person is employed
  • the tax treatment applied to payment (1099s do matter)
  • the right of the insured to terminate the relationship without liability

According to Renaissance Alliance’s Senior Workers Compensation Consultant Jon Coppleman; “Most important for insurance audit purposes, the burden of proof has been reversed: instead of the employer proving a sole proprietor/independent contractor is not an employee, sole proprietor/independent contractors must prove that they are employees. Absent a catastrophic loss, sole proprietors generally have no interest in trying to prove that they are employees; they take pride in their independence. In my reading, reversal of the burden of proof (as outlined in Judge Gants’s concurrence) may well end the practice of adding 1099 billings to the employer’s payrolls.”

If you have any questions on how this new ruling could affect your business or your policy, give us a call today. 

New Bike Helmet Rating System From IIHS

Riding your bike is one of the many things that we look forward to during nice weather. An activity that can be a solo, tranquil expierence or one that your whole family can be a part of. After learning the basics of riding a bike, one must learn how to safely operate one. This includes learning the safety features (breaks, gears, etc), rules of the road, and how to avoid hazards. Another key element to having an enjoyable bike riding expierence is your safety equipment. The most important piece of gear, being your helmet.

There has been many advances in helmet materials due to safety studies conducted. Improvements are made every year so it is important to check the quality of your helmet to make sure that the one you are using meets the standard criteria. New bicycle helmets are made of lightweight woven polymers designed with padding to absorb impact from all angles. They vary significantly in price, and cost isn’t necessarily the best predictor of performance.

To that end, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in conjunction with the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) and Virginia Tech have created a ranking system to allow bicyclists to see for themselves which helmet is best for them.

The team tested 30 popular bicycle helmets to start with and plans to add many more to their rankings, including helmets intended for off-road (BMX) biking. Check out their methodology and see their list of bike helmet ratings.

At Anastasi Insurance Agency, your safety is our top priority. Follow our blog to read more important safety tips.

Whether you need to protect your car and home, want insurance for the possessions in your apartment, or need a general umbrella policy for peace of mind, our agents will provide you with outstanding service and the policies you need. Contact our office today


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Keeping Your Home Safe While You’re Away

Summer is in full swing and the last thing you want to worry about while on vacation is if your home is safe. When preparing to leave for a vacation, it’s easy to overlook basic home safety precautions. There are a number of hazards that could affect your home while you’re away, including lightning, theft and flooding. The more you are prepared for the “what if’s” – the less chance of a disaster occurring. Keeping a check list will also prevent any worry while you are on vacation.

To protect your residence while you’re away and enjoy a worry-free trip, keep these tips in mind.

In order to keep your property safe while you’re on vacation, consider the following:

  • Unplug small appliances and electronic devices.
  • Stop the newspaper and mail. To do this online, visit the U.S. Postal Service’s website.
  • Lock all windows and doors.
  • Arrange to have your lawn mowed or snow shoveled while you’re away.
  • Have a neighbor keep an eye on your home throughout your trip.
  • Remove any house keys you keep outside your home, even if you think they’re in a safe place.
  • Set timers on inside lights. Install a motion-activated sensor on outdoor floodlights.
  • Consider turning off your home’s water.
  • Avoid posting photos of your trip on social media until after you return home.  Raise the temperature on your thermostat or turn the system off completely. This ensures that you aren’t paying to cool your home while you’re away.

Insurance Considerations: Taking the proper precautions before you go on vacation can make all the difference when it comes to preventing damage to your home. However, accidents can still occur, and it’s important to ensure you have adequate insurance coverage. Ensuring you have adequate insurance coverage should be top priority. Contact Anastasi Insurance Agency, Inc. to learn more.

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