Learning to Thrive to Honor Our Parents’ Memory

New: James lost both parents. His story shows the incredible power of having some life insurance, or none at all.

Congratulations on your new apartment!

Whether you are moving to town for a new job or just moving out on your own after graduation – we have the renter’s insurance policy for you. Call us at (317) 420-2867 to discuss our Indiana Renter’s Policy and how it will protect you. You can also visit us on line at Scott Lynch Agency. Don’t forget to ask about our other great policies!

Employee or Independent Contractor? Know the Rules

IRS Small Business Week Tax Tip 2017-02, May 1, 2017

The IRS encourages all businesses and business owners to know the rules when it comes to classifying a worker as an employee or an independent contractor.

An employer must withhold income taxes and pay Social Security, Medicare taxes and unemployment tax on wages paid to an employee. Employers normally do not have to withhold or pay any taxes on payments to independent contractors.

Here are two key points for small business owners to keep in mind when it comes to classifying workers:

  1. Control. The relationship between a worker and a business is important. If the business controls what work is accomplished and directs how it is done, it exerts behavioral control. If the business directs or controls financial and certain relevant aspects of a worker’s job, it exercises financial control. This includes:
    • The extent of the worker’s investment in the facilities or tools used in performing services
    • The extent to which the worker makes his or her services available to the relevant market
    • How the business pays the worker, and
    • The extent to which the worker can realize a profit or incur a loss
  2. Relationship. How the employer and worker perceive their relationship is also important for determining worker status. Key topics to think about include:
    • Written contracts describing the relationship the parties intended to create
    • Whether the business provides the worker with employee-type benefits, such as insurance, a pension plan, vacation or sick pay
    • The permanency of the relationship, and
    • The extent to which services performed by the worker are a key aspect of the regular business of the company
    • The extent to which the worker has unreimbursed business expenses

The IRS can help employers determine the status of their workers by using form Form SS-8, Determination of Worker Status for Purposes of Federal Employment Taxes and Income Tax Withholding. IRS Publication 15-A, Employer’s Supplemental Tax Guide, is also an excellent resource.

Original Article

Self-defense Can Be Costly – Make Sure your Assets are Protected

Self-defense Can Be Costly – Make Sure your Assets are Protected by Nancy Daniel on 4/14/2017

Too often we see stories in the news of innocent people being thrown into scary situations through no fault of their own. Whether it’s a robbery or burglary, home invasion or carjacking, sometimes people are forced into a life-threatening scenario.

Your first priority is protecting your family. Ours is protecting you.  That’s why ERIE introduced a new coverage to help with the expense of defending yourself in court should something unthinkable like this ever happen.

But first, let’s talk about what happens if you’re put in a situation where you have to defend yourself, your family or your property. While you should always put your personal safety first, it’s important to know the law too. Be prepared by knowing your state laws, especially if you own a firearm or have a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

What are the laws?*

In the United States, intentionally causing physical harm to another person can result in criminal or civil legal liability. In many instances a person could be liable for causing harm even if the other person had threatened or attacked first.1  Many states, however, have passed laws providing that in certain situations an individual has no duty to retreat before using force in self-defense. These are referred to as “stand your ground” laws. This article from the National Conference of State Legislatures provides state-by-state information so you can be informed.

What happens after the incident?

If you’ve had to defend yourself or your property, what happens next? Typically, after the 911 call to report the incident, you will likely go through the following steps2:

  • First responders arrive.
  • Law enforcement personnel and possibly the assistant district attorney begin the investigation.
  • You may or may not be taken into custody.  Questioning takes place – be sure to ask for your attorney as soon as possible.
  • If you were taken into custody, you may or may not be released, asked to post bond or held in jail.
  • Law enforcement may or may not file charges against you.
  • If charges are filed, the prosecutor may support or disagree with charges filed by the police.
  • At your first appearance in court you enter a plea. (Your attorney will be your advocate advising you on your plea and guiding you through the legal system.)
  • The trial process takes place.
  • The outcome is determined by a judge in a bench trial or by a jury of peers in a jury trial.
  • If found “Not Guilty”, you are acquitted. (This is where our ErieSecure Homeâ policy comes in – see below.)

Naturally, all of this can be frightening, which is why it is essential to find and retain good legal representation. And even if you’re found innocent of any wrongdoing, the legal costs can be in the thousands of dollars. ERIE can protect you by covering some of those legal costs after charges have been dropped, you’re found not guilty or you have been exonerated.

 

There’s insurance for that

Our ErieSecure Home® policy with the Select bundle now includes criminal defense cost reimbursement3. Your local ERIE agent can explain how it works and give you a quote for adding the Select bundle to an ErieSecure Home policy in order to have the coverage.

Specifically, the Select bundle includes $25,000 of coverage for defense and legal expenses incurred to defend a criminal charge arising from reasonable acts to protect people and property, when the insured is found not guilty of the charges. Examples of legal fees covered include reasonable attorney fees, bonds and actual loss of earnings.

If you’re already an ErieSecure Home customer with the Select bundle, this new coverage is automatically included. You don’t need to do anything. If you have ErieSecure Homeâ insurance but do not have additional coverage through a bundle (or have the Advantage or Plus bundle instead), talk to your ERIE agent for a quote on the Select bundle.

Helping people deal with the alarming reality of today’s news stories is just another way Erie Insurance takes good care of its customers. We believe in treating people right and this is one more way we can do that.

Original Article

*Nothing in this article is or should be considered to be legal advice.  Readers are encouraged to find and consult qualified legal advisors regarding this subject.

1 http://www.criminaldefenselawyer.com/resources/using-a-gun-self-defense-laws-and-consequences.htm

2 http://dailycaller.com/2014/11/20/step-by-step-here-is-what-will-happen-after-a-defensive-shooting/

3 The information provided here is a summary and does not include all coverages and benefits available through an ErieSecure Home® policy or apply to all states. Coverages, benefits, limits and deductibles will vary. Conditions, exclusions and limitations will apply. Refer to our disclaimer for more information. Talk to an ERIE agent for state specific policy information.