Alaska Ambulance Services Insurance Policy Information
Alaska Ambulance Services Insurance. If you operate an ambulance service, the community you serve literally relies on you in life-and-death situations. That's a pretty major task and one that has to be handled properly and responsibly.
Despite making sure that everything is running smoothly and that your services are benefiting the community, there is always a chance that something could go wrong.
Ambulance services provide medical assistance and transportation services to ill or injured persons. The service may be part of an emergency response unit, such as a firefighting team, that provides immediate first aid at the site of an incident in addition to transportation. Other ambulance services provide patient transport between hospitals or other medical or convalescent facilities for non-urgent care.
Ambulances are equipped with sirens and flashing lights to alert other drivers of their presence on the road. Services may be municipally owned and funded through taxes, nonprofit organizations staffed by volunteers, or for-profit operations. The crew generally includes a driver and one or more emergency medical technicians (EMT) or paramedics.
Private services may provide a registered nurse (RN) or a doctor during patient transport. While AK ambulance services primarily transport patients by motor vehicles, some will have boats or helicopters available for situations that cannot be handled using public roads.
As the owner and operate as an ambulance service, you are responsible for any issues that may arise; be it an employee injury, a slip and fall accident, equipment breakdown, or an accident with one of your ambulances. In order to protect yourself from the unexpected, you need to invest in the right type of Alaska ambulance services insurance coverage.
Below, you'll find out why it's crucial for ambulance services to be insured - and what type of coverage you'll need to carry.
Alaska ambulance services insurance protects your medical transport business from lawsuits with rates as low as $67/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do Ambulance Services Need Insurance?
AK ambulance services work around the clock and are always ready to jump into action when a dire situation arises. A car accident, an injury, or any other type of medical emergency can happen at a moment's notice and your service needs to be ready to respond fast.
While you are tasked with saving lives and providing the medical assistance that the AK community you serve needs, there is always a chance that something could go wrong. An ambulance could be involved in an accident on the way back from the hospital for example, a pipe could burst and damage your commercial facility, or a member of your staff could slip and fall on the job and need medical care.
The above are just a few examples of the types of situations that could arise, and if they do, you are financially responsible. The cost of repairs, medical care, and anything else that you're liable for can be exorbitant. If you're properly insured, however, instead of paying these expenses yourself, your Alaska ambulance services insurance carrier will cover them for you.
In addition to helping you avoid serious financial hardship, by having the right coverage, it ensures that you are complying with the law. Ambulance services are legally required to carry certain types of insurance coverage, and if they fail to, they could face stiff monetary penalties or worse, lose their license to operate.
What Type Of Insurance Do Ambulance Services Need?
Where you're located, the size of your operation, and the size of your staff are just a few of the factors that will dictate what type of coverage you need; however, there are some key types of insurance that all ambulance services should carry. Examples include:
- Commercial General Liability - If someone were to slip and fall on your commercial property, suffer an injury, and file a lawsuit against you, commercial general liability insurance would help to pay for the related expenses. That's because this policy covers third-party property damage and liability claims.
- Commercial Auto - If your ambulance is involved in an accident - it rear-ends another driver or damages a sidewalk, for example - AK commercial auto insurance will come to the rescue. This policy covers the cost of any damages to a third-party's vehicle if you're responsible for an accident, as well as injuries that anyone in the other vehicle or on the road may suffer as a result of the accident.
- Workers' Compensation - If you employ a crew, you'll also need to have a workers' compensation policy in place. This type of coverage pays for any work-related injuries or illnesses that your employees may face, including their medical care and any wages that they may lose if they are unable to work while they're recovering.
- Commercial Property - To protect the facility that your ambulance service operates out of - as well as the contents it contains - you will also need to have a commercial property insurance policy. This coverage will help to pay for any repair or replacement expenses that your building the property within it may need in the event of a fire, a pipe burst, an act of vandalism, or theft, for example.
The above-mentioned policies are just a few examples of the type of Alaska ambulance services insurance coverage you should carry as an medical transport provider.
AK Ambulance Service's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is limited due to the lack of public access to the office and garage. If fundraisers or other special events are held on premises, visitors may slip and fall. Visiting children should be supervised by parents or teachers. The off-premises exposure in working with patients is more severe but would normally be covered under professional or automobile liability.
Property damage claims may arise from patients or family members accusing workers of damaging property or stealing money, jewelry or other valuables, either at their homes or during transport. Workers should document all items found with a patient and obtain a signature from the patient or relative to verify its accuracy.
Personal injury exposures may include allegations of assault or battery, discrimination, and invasion of privacy.
Professional liability exposures are high for medical malpractice due to the services provided at the site of an emergency and during transport of patients to medical facilities. The exposure increases if the ambulance service fails to conduct thorough background checks to verify employees' credentials, education, and licensing. Certifications must be kept current.
Employees must treat patients only within the constraints of their training and certification. There must be regular training on the proper use of all medical equipment. Needles and other equipment must be sterilized and sanitized between uses to prevent the spread of blood-borne infectious diseases.
There should be a clear-cut chain of command in responding to emergencies. Response times should be monitored as the ambulance service may be sued for failing to administer emergency care in a timely manner.
Workers compensation exposure can be severe due to interactions with patients. Gloves and masks should be worn at all times when working around any bodily fluids to prevent the possible transmission of disease from a patient. Vaccinations should be current. Injuries from lifting patients are common.
Backup assistance should be required when lifting and transporting, particularly when patients are obese. Unruly or unpredictable patients can cause harm including strains, back injuries, and contusions. Cuts and puncture wounds may be caused by the use of sharp equipment such as scalpels or needles. Responding to emergency situations may expose workers to violence or toxic chemicals.
Workers should be trained to deal with uncooperative patients, relatives, and other bystanders. Workers may slip or fall on slick or icy surfaces. Safety equipment should be provided, and procedures in place for decontaminating soiled equipment and supplies.
Driving at high speeds through congested areas or on rugged terrains increases the exposure to injuries from accidents. Repair facilities can result in cuts from auto repair tools, burns from welding, and respiratory ailments from inhalation of fuels and other contaminants.
Proper safety equipment should be provided. Due to the high physical and emotional demands of the job, all workers should be examined periodically. Pre-employment physicals, including psychological evaluation, should be required.
Property exposures are limited to electrical, heating and cooling systems at the dispatching office. Garages used for storing ambulances increase the exposure, particularly if the vehicles are serviced and fueled on premises.
Oxygen tanks stored on premises or in vehicles must be regularly checked for leaks, and stored upright away from any heat source, such as heating or cooking equipment or the sun. Smoking should be prohibited.
Inland marine exposures include accounts receivables for billings to insurers and other guarantors, computers, mobile medical equipment, communication devices, and supplies needed to care for patients during transport, and valuable papers and records for patient and supplier information.
All data must be duplicated and kept off site for easy replication in the event of a loss. There may be a bailees exposure for property belonging to patients.
Crime exposure is from burglary, robbery, and employee dishonesty. Pharmaceuticals and other medical equipment are in high demand. If the ambulance service is not attended 24 hours each day, there must be appropriate protective systems including physical barriers to prevent entrance to the premises after hours and an alarm system that reports directly to a central station or the police department.
Background checks, including criminal history, should be performed on all employees handling medical supply inventories or money. There must be a separation of duties between persons handling deposits, billing, ordering, disbursements, and reconciling bank statements. Outside audits should be conducted on a regular basis.
Commercial auto exposure is very high as a timely response is critical in an emergency situation. Ambulance runs may require travel on congested streets to residential areas with children present. While drivers may legally exceed speed limits or drive through red lights in an effort to get an ill or injured patient to a hospital quickly, all vehicles should be equipped with proper signage, flashing lights, and sirens to warn other drivers of their presence.
Drivers must verify that other vehicles are stopped before driving through an intersection. Patients should be properly secured to prevent additional injury during transport. All drivers must have valid licenses for the vehicles being driven. MVRs must be checked on a regular basis. Drivers must participate in regular training activities in order to maintain skills.
Vehicles must be maintained, and records kept of the maintenance. Should a vehicle be damaged in an accident, obtaining a replacement vehicle outfitted with the proper medical equipment is expensive.
Ambulance Services Insurance - The Bottom Line
To find out more about the specific types of Alaska ambulance services insurance policies you'll need, how much coverage your business should carry - speak with a reputable commercial insurance broker.
Alaska Economic Data, Regulations And Limits On Commercial Insurance
If you're an entrepreneur who is thinking about starting a business in Alaska, it's important to have a basic understanding of the state's overall economy before you set up shop. Regardless of how high-quality the products and services you are planning on offering may be, if the location where you open your organization doesn't offer a target market that your products and services will appeal to, chances of success are slim. Furthermore, if a workforce isn't available to support your business, you'll have a hard time staying afloat.
With that said, it's important for business-minded individuals who are thinking about starting a company in Alaska to familiarize themselves with the state's economy; it's also a good idea to have an understanding of the commercial insurance requirements.
Following is an overview of economic trends and commercial insurance policies that business owners are required to carry in The Last Frontier.
Economic Trends For Business Owners In Alaska
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in Alaska was 6.1% in December of 2019. While that's significantly higher than the national unemployment rate, which was 3.4% in December, 2019, it's lower than it was one year prior, when the rate of unemployment was 6.5% in December of 2018. Though the workforce is growing slower than it is in other states, economists do predict that the rate will continue to decline in the coming years.
Despite Alaska's remoteness and cold climate, it's actually a great start to start a business. According to the Tax Foundation, Alaska is the second most tax-friendly state for business owners in the United States, as there's no individual income tax or state sales tax. Additionally, Alaska has the second highest rate of new business owners, as well as the second highest percentage of available employees (as per 2016).
As in most states, the best spots to start a business in Alaska are the state's biggest cities and the surrounding areas. This includes Anchorage, Juneau, and Fairbanks. Other key areas that are seeing a boost in business development in recent years include Homer, Sitka, Prudhoe Bay, and Ketchikan.
While there are several industries that are experiencing growth in The Last Frontier, specific sectors thrive more than others. Businesses that are related to the following industries are booming in AK:
- Fishing, which is also one of the largest contributors to the state's economy.
- Mining, which provides more than 4,500 jobs in Alaska.
- Petroleum, which is responsible for 34% of jobs in the state. In fact, Prudhoe Bay is North America's largest oil field.
- Tourism is the second largest private sector employer in the state. Each year, millions of people from around the globe travel to Alaska to marvel at the numerous natural wonders that can be found here.
Commercial Insurance Requirements In Alaska
The Alaska Division of Insurance regulates insurance in AK. Alaska mandates very few forms of insurance coverage by law. They enforce worker's compensation.
Alaska requires you to have worker's compensation insurance if you hire even one employee on a regular basis. This includes part-time employees, family members, minors, and immigrant employees. It is not required for independent contractors or domestic employees, though you should check to make sure any contractors you have are true contractors, and not employees.
Alaska also requires all business-owned vehicles to be covered by commercial auto insurance. Other types of business insurance that business owners should carry depend on the specific industry.
Additional Resources For Commercial Auto Insurance
Learn about small business commercial auto insurance which includes liability and physical damage protection for vehicles that are used for business purposes.
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The person injured in an vehicle accident may be a child, a wage earning single parent, a brain surgeon, or even a homeless person. The costs of the accident may be relatively small or run into the millions of dollars, depending on the victim and his or her injuries. Do you have the assets to handle such costs?
Trucking operations in this chapter are among the most heavily regulated in the country. All are subject to multiple types of regulation including municipal, state and federal. The regulations are necessary because potential for severe property damage and/or bodily injury is extremely high.
All carry cargo that if not handled appropriately could have serious consequences to the cargo owner and/or the public at large. Those that carry people must prove that they keep their equipment in good condition and that employees operate in a safe, sober manner.
The insurance company pays amounts an insured is legally obligated to pay as damages because of bodily injury or property damage and certain types of pollution events covered by this insurance caused by an accident and resulting from ownership, maintenance or use of covered vehicles.
The obligation to pay is triggered only by accidental occurrences involving vehicles covered under the Business Auto Coverage Form. An eligible pollution event is covered only if it is connected to a covered bodily injury or property damage loss.
It is important that you have the proper Limit of Insurance to protect your operations. This limit is the most the insurance company pays for the total of all damages, including any covered pollution cost or expense resulting from any one covered accident, is the Covered Auto liability limit of insurance on the declarations.
This limit applies regardless of the number of insureds, autos covered, vehicles involved in an accident, premium paid, or number of claims made.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Building, Business Personal Property, Business Income and Extra Expense, Accounts Receivables, Computers, Motor Truck Cargo, Valuable Papers and Records, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, General Liability, Employee Benefits, Umbrella, Motor Carriers Liability and Physical Damage, Hired and Non-owned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Earthquake, Flood, Mobile Equipment, Signs, Warehouse Operators' Legal Liability, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices, Environmental Impairment, Underground Storage Tank, Stop Gap Liability and International Coverages.
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