Affordable Ways To Supplement Your Dental Insurance

Your benefits package from work probably includes dental insurance. With this valuable coverage, you can access regular preventative care and dental procedures that protect your smile and health. Your dental insurance coverage may not extend to your spouse, children or other dependents, though. Consider several affordable ways you can meet your family’s dental needs and protect their health, too.

Purchase Private Dental Insurance

Research private insurance companies that offer dental insurance, and choose one that offers the dental care your dependents need. With this option, you can save money by choosing a policy with a higher deductible or a limited number of in-network dentists.

Find Group Dental Insurance

Certain organizations like AARP, Costco and the Veterans Administration offer group dental insurance for members. In most cases, these options are affordable because numerous members purchase coverage.

Choose a Discount Dental Plan

As an alternative to private or group dental insurance, participate in a discount dental plan. Pay an annual fee that allows your loved ones to access a dental network that offers numerous preventative and other dental services, such as cleanings, orthodontia, root canals and cosmetic dentistry, at reduced rates.

Pay Out-of-Pocket

You could choose to pay only for the dental services your family members receive. When you pay out-of-pocket, you may be able to negotiate with the dentist and receive a discount for services.

Visit a Dental School

A local dental school often offers free or reduced cost dental services. Students perform the procedures under supervision, and you save money.

Find a Dental Clinic

Dental clinics provide a variety of oral care services for adults and children who don’t have insurance. Search the U.S. Department of Health & Human Service website to find a clinic near you.

Take Care of Your Teeth

While regular cleanings are important for oral health, your family members will also want to maintain good daily oral hygiene. Reduce bacteria, plaque, gum inflammation, cavities and decay when they:

  • Brush at least twice a day.
  • Floss daily.
  • Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash in the morning.
  • Rinse with a fluoridated mouthwash in the evening.

Tips to Choose the Best Option

To choose the most affordable dental care option for your loved ones’ needs, compare the annual cost of their dental services to the amount you would pay for a private, group or discount plan. Then be sure the coverage is right for them when you check details like the plan’s:

  • Maximum yearly benefit
  • Availability, location and customer reviews of covered dentists
  • Coverage restrictions that may limit your ability to get fluoride treatments, sealants or orthodontia
  • Restricted coverage for pre-existing conditions

Even without dental insurance, your family has affordable options that protect their health. For more assistance, talk to your insurance agent.

7 Tips for Hiring Reliable Construction Independent Contractors

Your construction business depends on independent contractors who may perform a variety of tasks, including demolition, installation or painting. Because your business depends on quality work performed in a timely manner, use seven tips to ensure you hire reliable independent contractors.

1. Preview previous work.

Check out jobs the independent contractor has already completed. Do they match the scope of your project and meet your quality standards? If so, you can assume the independent contractor will successfully complete your job, too.

2. Do a background check.

Your reputation, business and future career could depend on the work your independent contractors perform, and you could be liable for their actions on the job site. For these reasons, perform background checks and assess the independent contractor’s work history and any recent criminal charges.

3. Check insurance paperwork.

As you must carry contractors insurance for your business, independent contractors must also carry insurance. Inspect their paperwork to ensure they’re adequately insured for construction site hazards.

4. Complete a W-9.

Independent contractors are not employees, and according to IRS rules, they must complete a W-9. This form includes their name, address and Social Security number (SSN) or Employer Identification Number (EIN) and indicates that they are exempt from tax withholding. Reliable independent contractors will readily agree to sign a W-9.

5. Discuss Form 1099-MISC.

The IRS mandates that you must file Form 1099-MISC for all independent contractors who make $600 or more per year. If the independent won’t give you a current address or asks you not to send this form, that’s a red flag that could indicate they are not operating their business according to federal laws, and you should find a different contractor.

6. Sign a contract.

A contract is an agreement between you and the independent contractors you hire. It contains details about the project such as the timeline for deliverables, payment schedule and work expectations. It also includes a statement about the independent contractor’s status, a nonsolicitation clause and a right to terminate the contract for term violations. Because a contract protects you and the independent contractors you hire, only work with contractors who will sign a unique contract for every project.

7. Pay via invoice only.

Independent contractors will submit invoices to you when the job is finished. Only pay those invoices, not other expenses that are the independent contractor’s responsibility. At the end of the year, make sure the invoices you’ve paid coordinate with Form 1099-MISC.

Hire reliable independent contractors for your construction business when you use these seven tips. For more assistance, talk to your insurance agent or business consultant.

What You Need To Know About The 2018 Construction Risk Conference

The International Risk Management Institute’s Construction Risk Conference (CRC), held from November 4-7, 2018, in Houston, Texas, is designed for construction professionals like you. If you decide to invest in your business and attend this conference, here’s what you need to know.

What is the CRC?

Held annually, the CRC brings together a variety of experts who share up-to-date information about construction industry risks, insurance trends, and strategies and tactics you can take to avoid risks. This year’s sessions include:

  • Kathy Antonello, Chief Actuary at the National Council on Compensation Insurance, will discuss “Workers Compensation Trends and Challenges in Construction.” You’ll learn about trends, challenges and ways to manage your Workers’ Compensation program.
  • The View from My Seat offers tools you can use to manage new technologies, labor shortages, law and regulation changes, and other evolving construction risks.
  • Jim “The Rookie” Morris shares his inspirational and motivational story.
  • Breakout Sessions and Snap Talks dive into topics like contracts, design liability, construction delays, and your supply chain.

Who Attends CRC?

The CRC is designed for a variety of people who work in the construction industry. It’s important for:

  • General contractors.
  • Subcontractors.
  • Project owners and managers.
  • Developers.
  • Construction lawyers.
  • Insurance agents, brokers, underwriters, and adjusters.
  • Consultants and service providers.

Why should you Attend CRC?

Consider attending the CRC to gain five benefits.

  • Gain knowledge about emerging risks, trends and solutions. As you understand new threats in your industry and to your business, you’ll also learn how to manage these challenges in ways that protect your company.
  • Position yourself as an expert. Attending a conference will enhance your knowledge and understanding. Use the information you gain to improve your business offerings and reputation as an expert.
  • Expand your network. Meet and collaborate with other construction professionals as you strengthen valuable relationships and share advice and support.
  • Identify your insurance needs. After learning more about your risks, you can identify and purchase the right insurance coverage for your business.
  • Rejuvenate your mind and body. While you’ll listen to experts and network with peers, you also have time to rest and relax, which allows you to return to work mentally and physically refreshed.

How do you Register?

Registration is open until November 7. However, you can take advantage of the Standard rate and save $400 when you register before October 12. Save even more with the discounted rate that’s available to project owners and contractors. Also, remember the IRMI Conference Guarantee. You can request a registration fee refund if you don’t get your money’s worth from the CRC.

Invest in yourself and your construction business when you attend the 2018 IRMI Construction Risk Conference. It’s good for business.

What You Need to Know About Fitness Instructor Insurance

Your job as a fitness instructor is to help other people get and stay healthy. Unfortunately, accidents and injuries can happen during individual or group trainings or classes. Fitness instructor insurance protects you if you are sued by a student for injuries or damages.

Who is Eligible for Fitness Instructor Insurance?

Fitness instructors over the age of 18 are eligible for fitness instructor insurance. Depending on your policy, you can work in these fields:

  • Acrobatics
  • Aerobics
  • Cardio kickboxing
  • Children’s fitness classes and programs
  • Dance
  • Exercise
  • Fitness boot camps
  • Personal trainer
  • Pilates
  • Spinning
  • Strength
  • Tai Chi
  • Tumbling
  • Yoga
  • Zumba

What is Covered in a Fitness Instructor Insurance Policy?

Your fitness instructor insurance policy will cover several conditions.

General Liability – pays for bodily injuries and property damage caused by your fitness instructor activities

Professional Liability – covers wrongful acts, including breaches of duty, neglect, omissions, errors and misleading statements

Damage to Premises – pays for repairs if you or a student damages the building you rent for fitness activities

Sexual Abuse Liability – covers expenses related to charges of sexual abuse

Legal Liability – pays for expenses related to legal fees when a class participant sues you

You may also be able to purchase coverage for:

  • Personal or Advertising Injury
  • Medical Expenses
  • Defense Cost Reimbursement
  • Products Liability

Why do you Need Fitness Instructor Insurance?

Whether you teach fitness classes in your home, school, gym or training facility, you are responsible for your students. If they’re injured while training with you, they could sue you. You’ll be liable for the resulting medical payments, legal fees or other damages.

Fitness instructor insurance can cover your liability and pay any expenses that are your responsibility. It gives you peace of mind and protects your business and assets.

You also may need this policy to teach in certain settings, and clients may choose you over a competitor because you have insurance. With a fitness instructor insurance policy, you could potentially expand your business.

How to Purchase Fitness Instructor Insurance

Talk to your insurance agent today about fitness instructor insurance. Your policy can be customized based on the types of classes and style of exercise you teach, how often you teach and where you teach. Share details about your work with your insurance agent to ensure you purchase adequate insurance for your needs. Remember to update your agent, too, if your business services, location or focus changes.

Fitness instructor insurance protects you as you help others achieve their health goals. Purchase a policy before your next class to ensure you have this important coverage and protection.

Easy Ways To Participate In The Stop.Think.Connect.™ Campaign

Your business faces significant cybersecurity threats each day. October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and the Stop.Think.Connect.™ Campaign helps your team and business address cyber threats and remain safe. Consider these easy ways you and your staff can participate in this awareness month and protect your business.

Toss Anything Suspicious

Evaluate every email attachment and all the links in your email, instant messages and online posts. If the attachments or links look suspicious, delete them immediately. Cybercriminals can insert damaging information into attachments and links and then gain access to your system. For security, evaluate and then toss suspicious content.

Strengthen Passwords

Passwords for every account should be long, strong and complex. The best passwords include a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. Give every account a different password that you change often, too, and never share or write down usernames or passwords.

Improve Authentication

Add a second layer of security to your password with strong authentication. It’s a one-time code that’s designed to verify that you actually own the accounts you want to access. Multi-factor authentication is available on most email, financial and social media accounts and improves security.

Clean Machines

All computers and mobile devices should be cleaned regularly to remove potentially harmful information. In addition to removing cookies and cleaning the history and cache, update security software, the operating system and the web browser on devices that connect to the internet.

Make Backup a Priority

Backing up all your data both electronically and physically should become a habit that happens frequently throughout the day. This habit prevents costly data loss that can occur because of cyber theft, malware, viruses, computer malfunctions, or human error.

Guard your Devices

Train your staff to protect their devices from theft or unauthorized access. Computers, mobile phones and tablets should never be left unattended even for a minute. Also, lock devices when they’re not in use.

Report Suspicious Activity

Sometimes, you may experience a problem with your computer, question if a link is safe or receive phishing requests. Instead of blaming the problem on technology gremlins or ignoring it, report all suspicious activities to the IT Department. The professionals can fix the issue, offer sound advice for future safety and protect your business.

Share with Care

Only share essential information online. Personal and confidential details should not be sent through online channels. Use strict privacy settings, too, as another layer of information protection.

This October, celebrate National Cybersecurity Awareness Month in several easy ways. Partner with the Stop.Think.Connect.™ Campaign as you protect your business from cybersecurity threats.