October 2009
President's Message
Article By Lisa Paul, President/CEO Paul Hanson Partners 
 
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The Importance of Understanding the Exposures of having Independent Contractors
 
During these difficult economic times we are having more of our customers seek to use independent contractors in lieu of employees to reduce employer related wage, benefits and insurance costs.  To that end we have included a copy of an article on whether an individual meets the IRS or state law on their status as an independent contractor or employee.  Please note that if the individual does not meet the IRS criteria significant taxes and penalties may apply.

What's at stake? If a worker is not an independent contractor, the employer would be liable for back income or payroll taxes, back employer's portion of FICA taxes and insurance premiums for workers' compensation.
 
In an effort to increase federal and state revenues the IRS and state tax authorities have come down hard on the classification issue, targeting  health care, trucking, construction industries, messenger services and those companies that tend to use professional consultants.

In light of the IRS's crackdown on independent contractors, it is vital that companies considering classifying workers as independent contractors first seek professional advice.  If the individual or company meets the criteria of an independent contractor and the contractor is to provide their own insurance coverage we have also attached a sample insurance requirement document that we suggest you incorporate into your contractor agreements.
 
In future issues of this newsletter please look for further explanations on the various insurance products for independent contractors.  We value your business and hope you find these communications helpful.
 
Sincerely,
 
 
Lisa R Paul, CPCU
President, CEO
Zurich's HelpPoint - Windstorm Protection
Article By Sue Ortiz, Underwriter
 
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Zurich's HelpPoint Website a One-Stop-Shop for Windstorm Preparedness
 
As the summer comes to a close, for many places, that spells the beginning for some nasty weather in the upcoming months.  One of the more severe threats is windstorms, especially in the Southeast.  WIndstorms may not only be a threat to the well-being of our businesses, but they can be a threat to our lives as well.
 
That is why we at Paul Hanson Partners invite you to visit Zurich's HelpPoint -Windstorm website, which is designed specifically to help you prepare for such an occurance.  It features videos, articles and help guides to assist you before, during, and after a windstorm.  It offers tips to help your business get back on it's feet quickly following a storm, as well as Claims information and resoures.
 
Loss Control Topic of the Month 
Article By Sandy Quiett, Claims Manager
SandyProper Cleaning Tips to Avoid the Spread of Pandemic Influenza
 
Pandemic influenza has been a hot topic and a serious threat in our country, especially in the last several months.  Most recently, the swine flu has slowly swept across the country and beyond, infecting several and taking the lives of many.  This is a real threat, and surprisingly, most people do not know how to prepare for, prevent, or take action against this harsh reality. 
 
One topic in our industry especially is how to properly cleanse your business vehicles after they have been driven by someone suspected to have pandemic influenza.  This can be a serious hazard to your business, as well as the livelihood of your employees.  The article linked below offers several tips to prepare for such a situation.  Many times, as hard as you may try, this cannot be prevented.  However, when you have knowledge to help you handle such adversities, you have a much better chance to avoid a catastrophic loss, and minimize the damage.
 
 
 
We always encourage feedback in regards to our newsletters and announcements.  Providing relevant, accurate and useful information is very important to us, and if you have any suggestions, comments or concerns we always want to hear your voice.  We value our relationship with you and appreciate your business and your loyalty.
 
 
nicks web pic 
Nick Pedisich
Marketing/Account Executive
(707) 261-2709