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Workers' compensation for a self-employed roofer

If you are self-employed and have a roofing company, you may have concerns about insurance in the event of becoming injured on the job. Roofing has several and many obvious risks associated with it, so it is vital that you cover yourself and any contractors that you employ appropriately.

When you are employed, in almost all cases you will be covered by workers' compensation. However, when you are self-employed, you are not covered by the benefits of workers' compensation automatically, because you must voluntarily cover yourself.

How do I know whether I am self-employed?

As a roofer, it might be difficult to figure out whether legally you are an employee or whether you are self-employed. The simple way to figure this out is by looking into what type of tax form you receive at the end of each tax year. If you receive a W-2 form, you are classed as an employee and are likely covered by your employer's workers' compensation coverage. If you receive a 1099 tax form, you are classified as an independent contractor or as a self-employed worker, so you will not automatically be covered by workers' compensation coverage.

Should I take out workers' compensation coverage?

It is important to weigh the risks of your particular job. Roofing jobs are very high risk in nature. Therefore, it may be beneficial to cover yourself. However, covering yourself can be expensive. If you are an independent contractor and you injure yourself while doing a job for a particular company, you may still be able to gain compensation through arbitration or through a third party injury claim. The process in doing this would be much different from making a workers' compensation claim.

Often, contracts that self-employed people enter may require them to gain workers' compensation. This is so that the hiring company does not have any risk of being sued for injuries that occur while the contractor is performing the job.

If you have been injured as an independent roofing contractor in the state of Illinois, it is important to take action so that you can stand up for your rights.

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