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Independent contractors part 2: Workers’ compensation

As I mentioned in the previous post, the various regulatory agencies have stated their keen interest in rooting out misclassified independent contractors. In the context of work comp, there are two likely scenarios that could uncover a misclassification — a routine insurance carrier audit or a work-related injury suffered by an “independent contractor”. Since insurance companies regularly conduct audits for their clients, this article will focus an audit triggered by an independent contractor getting injured.

Recent trends in work comp claims related to COVID-19

Predictably, COVID-19 has made up a growing share of workers’ compensation claims, while other claims have dropped because of remote work, layoffs and shutdowns. In Minnesota, for example, the Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) reported that, since Minnesota work comp laws were amended to make it easier for designated frontline employees to file a COVID-19-related claim:

Civil unrest and business insurance

The civil unrest that has since quieted over the winter has the potential to flare again as the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd is set to begin Monday, March 8, 2021. City leaders in Minneapolis have been urging business owners to take precautions ahead of the trial. Businesses with the proper insurance policies in effect most likely have some type of protection in place. But statistics show us that only roughly half of businesses are covered by these policies, putting themselves at significant risk, especially those businesses that are more prone to being subjected to civil unrest. Most small and medium employers (those with up to 100 employees), should have businessowner policies (“BOPs”) that cover property, liability, and business income protection when the business is closed due to damages.