Seasonal businesses may require health insurance and business insurance. Having a business compliance strategy is no longer an option; it’s a necessity.
Bud Bowlin has been advising business owners about health insurance and benefits for more than 35 years. For his 70th birthday, we gave him his own advice column. Got a burning benefits question for Bud? Send it to [email protected].
I run a seasonal camp for underprivileged kids in upstate NY. I employ 10 full-time staff and 15 part-time counselors during the winter season, and at least double the part-time counselors in the summer months. As you might imagine, we always feel understaffed and struggle with funding, but we are now also becoming really concerned with new compliance regulations. What are my insurance requirements as a seasonal business?
Seasonally Affected By Rebarbative Insurance Non-compliance Anxieties
Keeping up with children and insurance regulations is a lot to take on—especially when both change so quickly! Add in the new burden of ACA compliance, and you’ve got a major headache for well-meaning business owners. Here’s the thing: having a business compliance strategy is no longer an option; it’s a necessity. Luckily, professional advisers can help, and there are some great tools that make managing your requirements a lot easier.
Since you didn’t specify whether it’s health insurance or business insurance that’s got you worried, we’ll tackle both. I’ve got good news for you: per current law, you are not required to provide health insurance to your employees. I think it’s helpful to understand why.
The ACA considers a business to be a large employer, and thus, required to offer health insurance to employees, if it employs an average of 50 full-time employees, including full-time equivalents. Part-time and seasonal employees’ hours are factored into the full-time equivalent employee count. However, if your workforce exceeds 50 full-time employees (including full-time equivalents) for fewer than 120 days during a calendar year, and the employees in excess of 50 are seasonal workers, you are not considered a large employer.
And you, S.A.B.R.I.N.A. are not a large employer! So, unless you increase your full-time staff (or Mother Nature increases the duration of the seasons), you can take ACA compliance off your plate. That said, though it’s not required, you may want to consider offering health insurance to your employees. I don’t want to sound like a broken record in my column, so I’ll link you to this story on how providing health insurance helps you retain the employees you train.
Moving right along, laws that cover workplace health and safety apply to seasonal workers, just like any other employees. Some of these laws—like unemployment benefits and workers compensation—differ from state to state. Since you’re in New York, you’ll want to check out the DOL’s page.
I usually advise business owners to strongly consider a Business Owner’s Policy. A BOP combines General Liability Insurance with Property Insurance and Business Interruption Insurance. It protects your business by replacing any lost income (including paying your employees’ wages and other operating expenses) if camp is interrupted due to a natural disaster. I really think it’s a must have protection for most business owners—even super small businesses like this woodshop.
Now, in your case, I might recommend Seasonal Business Insurance. Since you operate during two of the four seasons, and money is tight, Seasonal Business Insurance is a way to have protection during the seasons you need—without paying for the seasons you don’t. As a parent and a grandparent, I know what it’s like to focus all my attention on keeping the kids safe. Camp can be rough and tumble—people do get hurt and property does get damaged. Seasonal Business Insurance keeps you—and your camp safe—too.
My colleagues and I specialize in matching the right policies and protections with a business owner’s individual needs and wants—while keeping you compliant and alleviating your burden. Let us know how we can help you succeed.
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