Okay, it's more like three minutes. Sue me. Unless you're a member of my extended family. Please. I discuss the strange case of an aunt who sued her 12 year-old nephew, and why his parents' homeowners insurance didn't come through.
No, this is not a mirage -- it's a brand spankin' new episode of the Ask Tim podcast! It's been far too long. I hope you'll find this one worth the wait.
Last time, I discussed the criteria for determining whether a construction worker is an independent contractor. This time, we leave the construction site for the office, or the retail store, or any other non-construction work site. How can you tell whether someone is an independent contractor? As I explain in the video, I have some personal experience with this.
The New York State Workers' Compensation Board has a detailed list of criteria on its Web site, so be sure to bookmark it for future reference.
I hope it won't take as long to get you the next episode.
I am a self-confessed podcast junkie. I have an iPod Touch, and by far I use it more for listening to podcasts than I do for listening to music. One of my all-time favorite podcasts is NPR's Planet Money. Every Tuesday and Friday, the Planet Money team releases a fairly short (20 minutes or so) show about a money-related topic. Somehow, they manage to find interesting stories that you may have wondered about at some moment or other and present them in easy-to-understand, entertaining ways. Some of the offbeat stories they've covered include:
Why New York State built the Tappan Zee Bridge at the widest point of the Hudson River.
Why we buy cars the way we do, when people almost universally hate buying them that way.
Why Coca-Cola kept the price of a bottle of Coke at 5 cents...for 70 years.
Why the U.S. has a dollar bill instead of a dollar coin like Canada has.
The list is a lot longer. I highly encourage you to give the show a listen. If you find it as interesting as I do, I encourage you to subscribe. Either way, the Planet Money episode of Feb. 8, 2013 is definitely worth your time. In 21 minutes, they cover four stories, the first two of which are insurance-related: Why the federal government is in the flood insurance business; and whether gun owners should have to buy liability insurance. I learned something new about the history of the National Flood Insurance Program. Enjoy!
It's not unusual for me to get a phone call from an IIABNY member who has a client that is hiring people on a "1099" basis; that is, the client thinks the person hired is an independent contractor and not an employee. "1099" refers to the form on which the business reports the person's compensation to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. But does the mere use of a 1099 form make someone an independent contractor, rather than an employee?
This is the first of two episodes of the Ask Tim podcast in which I look at this question. This episode looks at the construction industy; the next one will discuss non-construction situations. Suffice to say, the answer is a bit more complicated than just an IRS form.
In this episode:
The Trusted Choice® chopper exhibition at the New York State Fair
We go really high-tech with episode 33 of Ask Tim. We installed this fancy software called Skype in order to do a remote interview with IIABNY legislative representative Michael Barrett, who was comfortably ensconced in his office near the State Capitol. Yup, we're trend-setters here at IIABNY HQ.
Our conversation centered on the health insurance exchange that the Cuomo Administration is creating in order to comply with the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. We talked about:
The technological preparations that are under way
The potential roles for agents and brokers in governing the exchange
What may happen over the next few months.
I conclude with a reminder about how IIABNY members may be able to use the exchange and potential tax benefits that may be worth investigating. Also, stay tuned for our upcoming new video series on health care reform.
Motor vehicle records (MVR's, for short) are an important part of the insurance business. Insurance agencies everywhere spend a lot of time on them -- ordering copies, reviewing them, flagging drivers with poor records. Much of the time, there are other people interested in sneaking a peek at the information in those records, and they want their insurance agents to share. These people tend to be the ones who write paychecks to the drivers described in the records. When this situation comes up (and that is almost daily), agents have two questions: Can they share the MVR's? Should they share them?
The new episode of the Ask Tim podcast seeks to answer those questions. Special guest co-host Dee Macheda joined me for this little eight-minute exploration of insurance geekiness. We examine in some detail: