In the last few years, business has begun going places once unthinkable. Along with the Internet came the creation of virtual offices, which meant that businesses could choose to have no on-site employees. With a virtual office, a business owner in South Dakota could hire employees all over the world without even meeting them.
If you have hired these virtual workers as employees, however, and not simply retained their services as contractors, you still have some insurance responsibilities; even if they don’t work in your office with you.
- Worker’s compensation: If you can’t self-insure potential worker’s compensation needs, then you must have a policy to cover your virtual employees. Although these individuals will be working in their own space, should they become injured while doing work for your company, they may be eligible for worker’s compensation benefits.
- Group insurance benefits: Although not required in most locations, giving group health, life and dental benefits to virtual employees can help your employee retention and advocate a sense of loyalty to your business. This loyalty is something that may be more difficult for the owner of a virtual office to foster. Some of these benefits, such as health and dental, can keep virtual employees and their families healthy and reduce their need to take medical leave or sick time.
- Liability protection: Every business, whether virtual or brick and mortar, has exposure to liabilities. Customers can be given the wrong information, products can be faulty, and services can be conducted late. All of these instances can result in damages that your customers can sue you for. Your business needs general liability and may also need product liability, but it may even need professional liability to cover the specific duties of your employees.
- Disability: Some states require disability insurance benefits be provided to employees, even though this covers injuries and illnesses that are not work related. If you hire a virtual employee in any of the following states, you should find out if you are required to offer disability coverage:
- New Jersey
- New York
- Puerto Rico
- Rhode Island
There are many variables that factor into what a virtual employer may be required to offer his or her employees. These variables can depend on the location of the employee (whether domestic or abroad), the hours worked, the number of overall employees and the type of work that is completed. In order to get specific answers about virtual employee insurance requirements for your business, request an appointment with one of our agents. Together, we can ensure that your business interests, and your employees, are properly covered.
To discuss your Regina Business Insurance policy, contact your agent at Heritage Insurance today.