Should a Lawyer Review Your Contracts?

contract-1464917_640Dealing with contracts is something you do every day when running a business. Whether you’re getting raw materials, premises, or the skilled staff you need to make your business work, you need to lock it all into place with a series of contracts.

It’s important not to let all of this blur into one. If you take your eye off of the ball, and let the details of a contract slip past you, you could find yourself liable for far more than you’ve budgeted for.

A good business lawyer can check the contracts you sign and make sure not only that they are compliant with law, but also that they cover exactly what you want them to. This is too important a step to overlook: whatever you may have discussed previously, once you’ve signed a contract you are locked into that version of the agreement (unless you can prove you have actually been deceived, voiding the contract). Not putting your contracts before an expert’s eyes before signing them is the definition of a false economy.

A lawyer can review all kinds of contract for you, checking your rental agreements for premises won’t see you evicted for specious reasons and with little warning, that your customers giving you their data online are consenting properly, and even conducting an IR35 Contract Review to make sure your employees and consultants are correctly covered and compliant.

If you don’t have access to an in house legal team, you can consult high street lawyers, or you may opt for the increasing trend of using an online law firm. These offer greater flexibility. You can keep costs down by ensuring you only pay for the service you require, rather than an escalating series of billable meetings, and work via email and phone to make sure you get things done your schedule.

However you get it done, using the services of a lawyer is far superior to simply checking a contract yourself. Taking a lawyer’s advice means you are protected against problems you don’t have the expertise to predict. It has the secondary bonus of giving you something to fall back on if there is something unexpected in the contract the lawyer misses: you are no longer responsible for this lapse. Your lawyer is. This gives them an incentive to defend you from the consequences all the more vigorously and even possibly gives you an avenue for compensation when necessary.

This Insurance Compare Giant is Helping Rideshare Drivers Get Insurance

navigation-1048294_640Ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft have completely revolutionized the way people get around cities—and given the taxi industry a run for their money in the process. These ridesharing companies aim to reduce traffic and vehicle emissions by offering popular Line and Pool services to complete more trips with fewer vehicles. All you need is a smartphone and credit or debit card to ride.

While these services have taken the world by storm, it’s not without its share of unique issues and challenges—chief among them being the problem of insurance. While Uber and Lyft do provide a certain amount of coverage while you are en route to pick up a rider, there isn’t much they offer for the interim when you are waiting for a call.

While ridesharing has massively disrupted public transportation and how Americans get around, the insurance world is scrambling to keep up. CoverHound, an insurance-shopping platform for the auto, homeowners and commercial business industries, recently announced that they’re rising to the occasion to meet the needs of the many rideshare drivers using these services.

When you own a car and pay for insurance, the policy will almost always have the verbiage that says that it doesn’t apply if you are charging people money to drive them around. The two rideshare giants have back-up policies that go into effect if a driver’s personal insurance provider denies the claim because of policy exclusion that prevents the exchange of rides for money.

This puts many drivers in a tricky spot. They can tell their providers the truth about the use of their car commercially and risk a policy cancellation; or, they could omit their activity with the ridesharing company and hope that the insurance company doesn’t catch wind of the truth.

The online insurance company has affiliated with large carriers across 24 states for drivers who use ridesharing apps, like Uber and Lyft. Keith Moore, CEO of CoverHound, told Insurance Journal, that the need for rideshare insurance became clear to him, and the other executives of the company, after using the rideshare app to get around while traveling for business and noticing that many drivers are “in need of education on rideshare insurance, the requirements to carry it, and the benefits of having it.”

Rideshare insurance has been a hot-button issue after a fatal New Year’s Eve accident involving an UberX driver in San Francisco. The driver was in an SUV and drove into a family walking across a Tenderloin crosswalk—killing a 6-year-old girl. Uber said the driver was not covered under their $1 million liability policy because he was in between calls.

“Insurance can’t be content with maintaining the status quo; our industry must keep up with constant innovations and disruptions in transportation and the sharing economy,” said Moore. “Ridesharing is a phenomenon, and we are committed to helping drivers find the coverage they need on our online comparison platform.”

CoverHound is an insuretech company that makes it simple for consumers and businesses to compare car insurance rates among providers in their region. The platform handles most of their business online but also has support available over the phone. States currently served are: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.

Tips for Dealing with a Bad Work Environment

tips for dealing with a bad work environment

If you’re unhappy in your job, it may be time to take action. In today’s article, I share tips for dealing with a bad work environment that will hopefully alleviate some of the negative feelings you’ve been facing.  

It’s the last leg of Memorial Day Weekend, and for many of us, that means we’ve enjoyed a three-day weekend in honor of the men and women who died serving our country. Whether spending more time with family, going away for the weekend, or simply just resetting your brain for the week ahead, it is undeniably nice to have that extra day off. But, that extra day doesn’t really matter if you work in an unhealthy atmosphere and always dread going back to work every week. That kind of negativity can not only affect your productivity but your overall mindset as well, which could essentially be holding you back in your career.

In fact, professional solutions agency Willis Towers Watson states “employees suffering from high-stress levels have lower engagement, are less productive and have higher absentee levels than those not operating under excessive pressure,” as shown in their 2014 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey. Leaving your job for another is easier said than done, but it does not mean that improvements can’t be made. Below you’ll find some tips for dealing with a bad work environment.

Tips for Dealing with a Bad Work Environment

#1: Have a Daily Refocus Meeting

If you manage a team or the office as a whole, try to incorporate a daily refocus meeting with the group. By doing so, you can make sure everyone is on the same page with the big picture. Discuss goals and the focus of the day to help keep everyone on track. The objective is to maintain a focus at work, keep everyone positive, and deter people from office pettiness. If you don’t hold a management position, see if your supervisor would be willing to do this and explain your reasons why you feel it is necessary.

#2: Implement a Plan of Action

In the daily refocus meeting, express or suggest a series of steps that staff or coworkers will take to achieve the daily tasks. Again, if you are not in control of this, see if this is something you may be able to work out with your boss.

#3: Assist with Time Management

Some people do not do well with time management, and sometimes this occurs due to a lack of direction or not enough to do. With more time on their hands, it leaves room for work pettiness to happen. When you notice this, follow up with your staff on current projects and make sure they have a clear to-do list. You don’t need to micromanage, but you do need to keep tabs on projects. The challenge is to not overload them while also ensuring they do have enough to do to keep them focused throughout the day.

As the co-worker and not a manager, you can simply be an advocate for the daily office goals by not feeding into the negativity of others. It may get lonely, but you’ll keep yourself focused on what you are paid to do instead of paying attention to unimportant details and office drama.

#4: Take the High Road

Being the bigger person does not mean you are better than anyone else; it simply means that you are looking onward and upward. Remember, too, that we all have our own personal challenges we are facing, so try not to take comments or issues personally. Instead, see how the individual is doing and how you can help them, even if just taking them for lunch to let them vent about their life. Knowing someone cares may be all they need to help them find better outlets or ways of dealing with their problems.

As a former office manager, I have had to hold the position of mediator on more than one occasion in order to improve office morale. If you do not have control of this at your job, you can still avoid overstepping by having a one-on-one meeting with your boss and letting them know how the work environment is affecting your own productivity. You do not need to mention any names in the office, but it may prompt your manager to take action.

However, if you do not have a supportive boss, these are issues that may never be resolved, and it, unfortunately, may be time to look into other working for another company. Hopefully, though, the above advice can help you in your current situation, at least in some aspects.

What tips for dealing with a bad work environment would you add to the list?