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jcremin

join:2009-12-22
Siren, WI
kudos:2

Various types of insurance

What is everyone else here using for insurance? I don't fit very well into the type of business that my insurance company typically deals with, so they have asked me to find a company more appropriate for the WISP business since it is hard for their underwriters to ensure coverage for the types of things I need coverage for. My policy expires April 1st, which is when they asked me to let coverage end.

Right now, I have a general liability policy, which I'd say is actually one of the most basic and easy to understand types of policies to understand . I have a 1 million general policy, with a 2 million aggregate limit which costs around $40/mo and seems to be quite reasonably priced. I'm hoping that the new company I find is in the same ballpark.

My auto is actually through progressive and has my personal vehicles and my business vehicles on the same business policy, but because I am converting to an LLC, I'm going to have to put them on their own policy anyway. I don't really need anything more than liability on the vehicles, so does anyone have any ballpark figures for what they are paying for 2 vans on a liability only auto policy?

I'm trying to figure out if I should have insurance for the 2 tower structures I have built and own, and the equipment on those and the rest of my rented structures. Does anyone have this kind of insurance, and what kind of premiums are you paying? Does anyone have a "loss of business" coverage that would cover lost revenue in the event you lose a structure?

I am currently renting office space. I don't have any "renters" policy right now, but I'm assuming I should have one for my stuff just as if I were a normal person renting an apartment? I need to cover my office equipment, inventory, and stuff that is in my vans. What are other people doing about this type of coverage?

How about equipment installed at customer houses? I retain ownership all of the equipment, but the user agreement states they are responsible for damages. It would take a heck of a storm to cause damage to a lot of customer antennas, but it could happen (and almost did this last summer). Most customer are fine paying $50 for a new routerboard after a lightning strike, and for anything major (especially if there is other damage to their house or electronics), I typically tell them they should put it on their homeowners policy. I'm really only breaking even on hardware costs and out for my travel and time, but I figure it is probably cheaper than insurance, even if I have a couple dozen that I have to eat part of the cost on. Does anyone insure their infrastructure at client houses and how much does it cost?

The last type of insurance that I am looking for (and one of the most important in the near future) will be related to hiring an employee. I will need unemployment insurance and workers comp insurance. I know very little about either since I have never employed someone as a W2 worker before. Does anyone know how much UI insurance runs? For workers comp, I was quoted a figure of roughly 15%, which seemed quite high for someone performing installations. What kind of rates do people pay for installers and also for someone who might climb an occasional tower?

Are there any other insurances I might be missing? Thanks in advance for any input.

Joe



John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:8

Tell them you are an 'antenna installer'...TV and satellite.

Same thing only different. The basic work is the same.



viperm
Carpe Diem
Premium
join:2002-07-09
Winchester, CA

What John Said and also general liability etc..


ctech99

join:2010-02-16
reply to jcremin

As for unemployment, I pay the state directly. ( »dwd.wisconsin.gov/uitax/ )

After each quarter I log on, input each employees quarterly salary, and it figures out the amount I owe based on the rate.

I believe the starting rate is 3% of each employee, up to $13,000 a year, which was just increased from $12,000. My other business is seasonal, so my employees are laid off part of the year, so my rate has been increased to 6%.

You always could make your employee an independent contractor.
1099 them, and not worry about withholding/comp/unemployment. They just be paid a bit more, as they would have to pay their own taxes of course.


jim_p_price7

join:2005-10-28
Henryetta, OK
Reviews:
·HughesNet Satell..
reply to jcremin

I have a great policy through Hartford. I pay about $68 a month for 2 mil general with 4 mil aggregate. This includes custom named certificates for my remote tower sites (on leased land and rooftops) as well as coverage for equipment at my core. The broker I went through is WISP friendly and knowledgeable. PM me if you want his contact info.


jcremin

join:2009-12-22
Siren, WI
kudos:2
reply to John Galt

said by John Galt:

Tell them you are an 'antenna installer'...TV and satellite.

Same thing only different. The basic work is the same.

That's what I've been classified under so far, which was fine until I started asking about insuring tower structures. If I didn't change my coverage at all, I'm sure I'd be fine, but I can't really add much else without crossing some boundary that they apparently have.

jcremin

join:2009-12-22
Siren, WI
kudos:2
reply to ctech99

said by ctech99:

As for unemployment, I pay the state directly.

Thanks for the info. What do you do about workers comp?

said by ctech99:

You always could make your employee an independent contractor.

He's being paid as an IC right now. In the beginning with the sporadic work, it was fairly easy to claim he was an IC, even though we treated hm as an employee in some respects. As we have more and more regular work for him, it would be even more obvious to someone that he really shouldn't be a contractor. I only want to push my luck so far.


nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
·surpasshosting

The IRS is cracking down on "contractor" type classifications. They have a really good page on their website that has a list of "questions" to determine if someone can be a contractor, or should be an employee.

Here is a list of SIC codes »archive.eeoc.gov/stats/jobpat/siccodes.html

I would think a WISP would be under "Communication Services".
Just make sure your policy says 'inside and outside of buildings'.
Acuity was the most reasonably priced liability I could find from an "A rated" company.

You have to be really careful about Workmans Comp. Work comp is a huge f__king rip-off. It's a racket. It sucks balls. But if you don't have it, you're not getting on to any job sites.
Hartford was the "cheapest" comp I could find. It's still crazy expensive. I think it varies from state to state though.
--
...because I care.



superdog
I Need A Drink
Premium,MVM
join:2001-07-13
Lebanon, PA
reply to jcremin

To be properly covered, you will need two GL (general liability) class codes on your policy. The first one is a satellite installer as mentioned before. The second GL class code is simply an Internet Service Provider. I have been doing this for years with CNA.

By using both codes, you have coverage for both sides of your business, whether it is on a roof or if you get sued for a service interruption or whatever. WISP's are still a fairly new thing and most insurance CO's still have no clue how to properly rate the exposure a WISP gets into. Sat. installers have been around for years, as have ISP's so it is just easier to do it this way.

As far as WC (workmans comp.) is concerned, you need to get it broken down into different classifications. If you have 10 employees and only 2 of them do installs, make sure you keep proper records, as the rate per $100 of payroll you pay for WC for the installers will be more than the other 8 who just shuffle papers or maybe change out a router or server once and awhile, as the chance of the latter getting hurt is much lower than the guys crawling around on the roof.

I really hate to get involved with the guys who are using so called "sub-contractors" to do their installs. in 99% of the cases I have looked at as an insurance agent over the years, only 1 or 2 cases actually had true subs working for them. Just because you call someone a sub and you 1099 them doesn't make them a sub contractor.

In the last 2 years or so, the IRS has REALLY cracked down on business' that are trying this. Long story short is that unless the person you are using as a sub gets 70% or more of their income from other sources, they are your employee. The new rules state that besides meeting all the original requirements, you must now have your sub sign a Hold Harmless agreement, provide you with a certificate of insurance listing you as a named insured on their policy AND you must have signed contract for each job done by the sub listing their duties, the scope of the work provided etc.

If you do not have this and you get audited, OR, the sub gets hurt and goes to the hospital seeking treatment etc and the medical facility calls labor relations and gets the state WC board to investigate, you could end up having a REALLY bad day, LOl
--
»www.wavecrazy.net



John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:8
reply to jcremin

If you're wanting to use subs, consider using satellite installers, as they have another income stream that is separate from your business.

The work they do is very similar to what a WISP requires, they're geared up for the work and know how to get the job done.


jcremin

join:2009-12-22
Siren, WI
kudos:2

1 recommendation

Hey Everyone, just to clarify:

I appreciate the concerns about sub-contractors vs employees. One of the main reasons I am wondering about the various types of insurance is because the one guy I have contracted to will become an employee at some point in the near future. I am trying to make sure I do this right.

Up until this point, it hasn't been too hard to actually show that he is a contractor, even if some might have claimed he should have been a part time employee. As summer approaches and my workload increases, it will become really hard to claim contractor status so I'm simply trying to make sure that I have all my ducks in a row for when I actually "hire" him.