Should I Purchase Workmans Compensation For My Pet Sitting Independent Contractors? [Interview With Insurance Agent]

I received an email yesterday from a concerned pet sitting business owner who has pet sitting Independent Contractors [Ic’s] She was rightfully concerned Pet Sitting Business ICabout them being injured on the job and what would happen after reading “I could have lost my pet sitting business if I had pet sitting independent contractors” She emailed me and asked:

” I’m wondering if I should just purchase Workmans compensation for my pet sitting business, etc to protect myself and my ICs?”

 

Should I Purchase Workmans Compensation For my Pet Sitting Independent Contractors?

 

Figuring that this question is best answered by the Workmans Compensation expert himself, Dennis Stowers an insurance agent with Mouer Foster answered this question for us:

The above question comes up often in the pet sitting business. There is not a yes or no answer to this question . We have been involved in all the aspects of workers compensation for pet sitting and IC’s.

You have a couple of worries on this subject .

1.       Unemployment  ( the States are cracking down on anyone who pays 1099 vs. W-2  because they do not pay un employment and the States are looking for any additional money they can get .  So they are the government entity that usually strikes first .

2.       Then you have the workers comp people saying that you IC are employees and you need to have Work comp.

3.       Then you have IC’s who want to be IC’s to get more pay until they are hurt and then they want to be employee of the month .

You should take a look at how the government uses to determine what the person is  ( an employee or IC ).  Normally the first few questions are what they go by .

I would love to send you the test and the form that Dennis suggests you have your ICs fill out quarterly waiving WC.

The biggest part of this answer that alarms me is the simple fact that it is NOT black and white and you run the RISK of having to defend yourself at some point. Like I always say it comes down to the question, “How much risk are you willing to take?”

I have done a lot of research on pet sitters who have been audited, interviews with an auditor, and more. Just type in audit to the top left corner of the site to read even more!

 

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7 replies
  1. Doug
    Doug says:

    I/Cs as a rule have to purchase their workman’s comp, that is why they are I/Cs.
    They must also buy their own liability insurance also.

    I think it’s about time states crack down on this practice of pet care companies that use I/Cs.
    If you are small and only need help a few times a month I understand. If you need help on a daily basis and you are established and have people working for you each day, they are employees!

    Let’s stop fooling ourselves!

    Reply
  2. Beth Green
    Beth Green says:

    I don’t agree with the above statement at all. I have 8 IC’s that I use daily/weekly and/or monthly and they are NOT employees. They sign independent contractor agreements and non-disclosure agreements. I do not give them an employee manual. I do not tell them how to do their jobs. I don’t make them wear uniforms, plaster my magnets on their cars, etc. Half of them own their own pet sitting companies and yet they enjoy working for my company and I can keep them busy making money. I’m not sure that I agree with your statement about it being time that the states “crack down” on pet sitters who are following all the rules in terms of using IC’s to grow their business. The state has specific guidelines for what an IC is, and if you are following them then why should you be punished? I have several friends who own their own businesses (not pet sitters) who use independent contractractors and have all purchased Workman’s Compensation policies. Should they be “cracked down” on to…even though they are not pet sitters?

    Reply
    • Bella
      Bella says:

      Betheny, Most companies that I come in contact are not like yours. You legitimately have ICs. Many pet sitters run their companies with ICs but treat them like employes. MANY of them!

      Reply

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