As an independent contractor, you are not an employee of Dog Adventures Northwest. And, while the dogs in your care and the property you visit are covered under Dog Adventures Northwest’s business insurance, your personal health and potential lost earnings are not covered, even if an incident occurs while you are working.
While the choice of insurance rests with each individual contractor, Dog Adventures Northwest strongly recommends insuring your health and/or lost wages through one of the options below, and bears no financial responsibility for an independent contractor who opts to forgo insurance.
There are four main options for protecting your health and/or income as an independent contractor. These options include health insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, disability insurance, and supplemental insurance. Each of these, or even a combination of these, will help protect you from financial burden if you are injured and cannot work.
Having adequate health insurance is one of the most important steps in making sure you are covered in the event of an injury or illness. Health insurance is readily available on the Oregon Marketplace. Although health insurance will not replace lost income, it will help ensure that you receive the medical attention you need. The cost of health insurance varies by the level of coverage you choose and the deductible amount. You can purchase health insurance during the open enrollment period (Nov 1 – Jan 15) or if you have a qualifying event (i.e. having a baby, moving, getting married or divorced, changing jobs, etc).
Workers' compensation insurance provides medical treatment and income replacement for workers who are injured or suffer an occupational disease as a result of their work. As an independent contractor, you must elect to cover yourself on your own workers compensation policy to receive coverage benefits. Workers Compensation is an underwritten product. Each contractor must qualify for coverage based on many factors, such as the types of animals you work with, length of time in occupation, claims history, credit, etc. As an independent contractor, you do NOT already have workers’ compensation under Dog Adventures Northwest.
Please note that individuals who have not yet formed an LLC are still considered their own "business," and can have a workers' compensation policy written for them under their social security number (instead of their EIN).
For income replacement, disability insurance is a great option. Disability insurance is purchased for either partial income replacement or full income replacement for a specified period of time. There are two key components of a disability insurance policy: the waiting period and the length of coverage. The waiting period is the length of time that you are unable to work due to disability before the benefits kick in, and is considered a deductible. Common waiting periods include 30, 90, and 180 days. The most common length of coverage that income is replaced is either 5 years, 10 years, or until age 65. Whichever you choose, most providers will require that you seek meaningful employment after 2 years for any occupation that you are qualified for.
There are many supplement insurance products on the market that cover various ailments. A common coverage is Accident Insurance. With this type of plan, you will receive a specific payment for a covered accident (i.e. if you break an arm you will receive $X). Although these plans are relatively affordable, you will only receive payments for specific injuries that are outlined in the policy and those payments may not be enough to replace income or cover actual medical costs.
PDX Insurance Nerds
Workers’ Compensation, Disability, and Supplemental Insurance