Spring Cleaning Your Insurance Policy in TexasAre you busy with closet cleanouts and dusting remote corners of your house?  Spring has a way of motivating us to get busy and start afresh. And as you’re tackling your spring cleaning list, don’t forget to add checking on your insurance policies to the task. After all, they may need a bit of dusting or airing out.

Smart financial planning and managing a budget should include your insurance coverages and costs. Here are some tips that will help zero in on any changes needed.

Auto Insurance

Do you examine your auto insurance policy at each renewal time? If not, you should. Review your declarations page, which is the summary of your coverage and deductibles.

Are your liability limits high enough to adequately cover you in case you cause an accident? If you’ve simply renewed the same policy for many years, you might be underinsured.

Do you have collision and comprehensive coverage? This covers your own vehicle if you have a collision. If you’re carrying collision and comp on an older car, is it worth it? In the worst case, if your vehicle were totaled, these coverages would pay out only for the value of the vehicle. Consider the premiums you pay compared with the actual cash value of your vehicle.

If your deductibles are low — like $500 — this could be a savings opportunity. Switching to a higher amount, like $1,000, will reduce your premiums even more. Be sure all your vehicles have current insurance cards on board. You’ll want to have the current card handy in case there’s an accident.

Homeowner’s insurance

Reviewing your homeowner’s insurance, look on your declaration page to be sure updates are being made annually to reflect local construction and property costs. Are your deductibles what you expect?

Consider your valuables. If you’ve acquired expensive jewelry, for example, it may not be fully covered under a standard homeowner’s policy. You may need riders for items like jewelry, fine art, digital equipment and computers. Have a complete home inventory in case your house suffers serious damage.

Insurance policies protect you against financial disaster, whether it’s from a car crash, house fire, flood or burglary. Having your policies up to date is way more important than having a clean closet.

Workers Compensation Insurance Odessa, TXIndependent contractors are not eligible for workers’ compensation coverage; employers are not required by state law to purchase coverage for independent contractors. Whether or not a worker is an employee is not controlled by what name the employer uses for the worker, but by the circumstances surrounding the employee’s work.

Independent contractors provide a service, usually with a contract, whether written or spoken. An independent contractor controls how the service is provided, who provides it, and how it is delivered. The key is that the independent contractor acts independently, free of direction and control of the hiring company (employer).

To be an employee, the worker does not need to be interviewed and formally hired. Independent contractors typically receive payment by the job; on the other hand, employees receive wages on an hourly or salaried basis.

Another factor in distinguishing an independent contractor from an employee is who provides the equipment. An independent contractor typically provides the equipment necessary to complete the job, while an employer typically provides the equipment for the employee to complete the job.

Another thing to consider is the character of the work involved. If the work is highly skilled, and the worker only performs a single job, the worker is likely an independent contractor. Independent contractors almost always work for more than one company. Otherwise, if the worker is trained by and receives regular work from the same company, the worker is more likely to be considered an employee.

The state worker’s compensation board will consider all of the above factors regarding the workers’ employment situation to determine whether the worker was an independent contractor or an employee. Ask your independent insurance agent what works best for you if you have questions about worker’s compensation.