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insurance for employee vehicles / importance of contract with employees and independent contractors May 30, 2017

KEN KIRSCHENBAUM, ESQ
ALARM - SECURITY INDUSTRY LEGAL EMAIL NEWSLETTER / THE ALARM EXCHANGE
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insurance for employee vehicles / importance of contract with employees and independent contractors
May 30, 2017
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insurance for employee vehicles from May 24, 2017 article
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 Ken, 
    Damages caused to others by your employees driving their own vehicle while in the course of working for you can be covered by Hired & Non-Owned Liability (HNOL) coverage.  This is an expensive coverage normally included on a company’s Commercial Auto policy for under $200/year total, although it can also be added to many General Liability policies for a bit more if a company doesn’t have a Commercial Auto policy. 
We recommend it to our customers.  It’s an easy-to-get coverage that you don’t think about until you need it, and then you’ll really need it (HNOL average payout is over $100k).  Thanks for  highlighting it here.
Thanks,
Larry St John, CIC
Eclipse Marketing & Insurance Services
lstjohn@eclipseinsurance.com
707.469.6776 x102
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Ken
    The SARRG policy does cover non owned autos when the alarm company is accused of having liability. Employment records are essential to any defense of these claims. Real records, not diner napkin notes. If you're employee is per day, or sub-contractor and is wearing your uniform at the time of the accident and was off duty or not working for you, you will get sued; guaranteed. 
Bart A. Didden, Claims Administrator
 SARRG 
866-315-3838,
info@securityamericarrg.com. 
http://www.securityamericarrg.com 
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importance of contract with employees and independent contractors
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Ken,
    Here is a situation that you may want to use for your daily blog.
    I had an interesting occurrence the other day.  It had nothing to do with the Alarm Industry but it points out the importance of written agreements.
    The “technician” from my pool cleaning company called to let me know that he is “starting his own pool cleaning service.”  He let me know that he could do the work for $120 per month as opposed to the $150 that I am now paying.  He went on to say that if I paid him 12 months in advance I could get a whole year of cleaning for just $900. 
    Many people would jump at the opportunity to save over 33% on this service, but I am a bit skeptical and I work in an industry that is dependent on recurring revenue.  I called the pool cleaning company to inquire.  They were aware that he was contacting their customers and told me that they were “getting a lawyer.”  I said “I am sure that this violates his Employment/Contractor Agreement” and they told me that he was an ‘independent contractor’ and that they didn’t have any written agreement.  I started to let them know that in my opinion he was tortuously interfering with their contract with me but I realized that I never signed an agreement with them.
    I have been using this pool cleaning company for nearly ten years and I pay them nearly $2,000 per year.  If they have a 50% margin on pool cleaning my “value” to them has been at least $12,000.  I will be sticking around because I prefer the reliability of a brick and mortar service provider over a one man show, but how many customers are going to leave.  Ken can tell us what the pool cleaning company’s remedies are but, absent any written agreements they may have a hard time preserving their customer relationships.  If he is successful at poaching just ten customers, that  may result in a long term loss of over $100,000. 
    This is another industry, but how many security companies fail to maintain agreements with their customers, employees, ‘independent contractors?’  If you look very closely at the term “independent contractor” you will notice that, buried in the second word, is the word “contract.”  It would seem to me that if someone is doing work for you as a “contractor,” you may want to have them sign a “contract.” 
 Mitch Reitman
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Response
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    The employer in your scenario could and should have protected himself with an Employment Agreement and Subcontractor Agreement, both of which would prohibit soliciting customers and competing.
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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301
ken@kirschenbaumesq.com
516 747 6700
www.KirschenbaumEsq.com
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