Contractors Insurance No Comments

Worker’s Compensation Fraud Costs Ohio Man $55k

The holiday season typically brings about the happiest of feelings and an inspiring amount of generosity in most people. It is commonly known as the ‘Season of Giving,’ and one Ohio man probably ended up giving a little bit more than he intended at the end of last year. Todd Bittner of Hamilton County was found guilty this past December of two counts of worker’s compensation fraud, which will result in $55k moving from Mr. Bittner’s bank account and into the account of the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation (BWC).

The $55k will not be the only way Bittner will pay for insurance fraud. On top of the large premiums, he also faces four years of community control and 500 hours of community service. The sentence may seem extreme, but for a man who has continued to operate his construction firm since 2007, despite being approached on numerous occasions by the BWC for lapsed coverage, it appears these charges stem from years of negligence. In September of 2007, the BWC’s Employer Fraud Team (EFT) approached Bittner Construction about the construction firm’s lapsed coverage. Mr. Bittner explained to them that he was responsible for the firm’s worker’s comp duties, and that they would pay the premiums. However, he never paid the premiums, nor did he ever enter a payment plan that the EFT required him to do.

In July of 2013, Bittner was indicted for 12 fifth-degree felony counts of worker’s compensation fraud. He pleaded guilty to two of the 12 counts this past October as part of a plea deal. The other 10 counts were immediately dismissed.

Upon learning that Bittner had been found guilty, BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer stated, “Bittner Construction had lapsed coverage, and this wasn’t the first time. BWC attempted to work with Mr. Bittner, but he failed to pay the premiums or enter into a payment plan. The bottom line is that all employers need to pay for workers compensation coverage. We’re pleased that these overdue premiums will finally be collected.” Worker’s compensation insurance is required by law in the United States, and it is there to protect both employers and employees from litigation and injuries. By following the rules and not committing worker’s compensation fraud, employers can worry less about what unexpected legal fees they will have to pay in the future, and save themselves a lot of headache.

Collin McGorty No Comments

Why Most Contractors Start With Kitchen Renovations

Most Contractors Start With Kitchen Renovations.

Most Contractors Start With Kitchen Renovations.

Every year the number of search terms through which people find contractors online widens.  There is one key word that outshines them all with respect to renovation – kitchen.  Contractors must understand the reason why; it could be the source of their success.  According to some sources, the word “kitchen” connects homeowners with contractors 44% of the time.  This percentage equates to an astonishing 850,000 searches.

While, the simple mathematical facts are easy to see, they are less easily understood.  In an interview with one contractor it was stated that, “The kitchen is an essential room and people take pride in making sure it’s stunning.” Others have mentioned the fact that most paperwork when purchasing a home is also done in the kitchen.  The number one reason why contractors are contacted is because homeowners feel that their kitchen is no longer “in style”.

This perspective is actually contrary to the benefits of other home renovations.  The kitchen may be the trophy of each homeowner but contractors often wonder why people aren’t searching for ways to increase value of their homes.  One contractor spoke out against this influx of kitchen renovations.  His point of view makes perfect sense too, arguing that most people will update kitchens more than once instead of focusing on areas of the home which have not been renovated in a long time.  “Kitchens are frequently updated and may not be an indicator of the overall health and efficiency of a home,” stated Nick Rudnicki of Rude Works.

One area of focus often neglected is electrical components as well as windows.  Both pose major risks the price of insurance premiums.  Additionally, new windows can reduce the cost of heating and cooling during summer and winter months.  Before deciding on a kitchen renovation it would be smart to check for mold or water damage around the house, and most people don’t.  We realize the importance of having a clean kitchen but sometimes there are more important issues to address.  Most general contractors can handle more than just kitchen renovations, so before you go renovating the kitchen, be sure to consult an licensed professional to find out whether or not your home has more pressing concerns.