Alaska Building Cleaning And Maintenance Services Insurance Policy Information
Alaska Building Cleaning And Maintenance Services Insurance. Building cleaning services clean the interior of premises for commercial clients, especially offices and retail shops. Some provide exclusive services to one client only, while others have a number of regular clients or offer services to the public on an "as needed" basis. Typical services include the removal of trash from all areas of the premises, cleaning restrooms, dusting, and regular vacuuming, mopping or sweeping of floors. Other services may include cleaning carpets, draperies, or eating areas, polishing floors, and window washing. Some provide cleaning services for properties up for sale or after criminal activity.
As a building cleaning and maintenance service company, you work with a variety of clients. From corporate offices to academic institutions, it's likely that clean and maintain several types of businesses. You also face a number of different risks, some of which are risks that businesses in all industries face; employees could sustain work-related injuries or your equipment could be stolen from a jobs site. Some of the risks that you face are unique to your specific line of work.
For example, if you're tasked with cleaning and maintaining delicate and expensive diagnostic imaging machinery, an employee could potentially break it; or, if you're polishing the hardwood flooring of a historic building, the solution you're using could damage it. These are just some of the incidents that could arise, and any of them could result in serious financial implications. This is why you should have Alaska building cleaning and maintenance services insurance to protect your business.
Alaska building cleaning and maintenance services insurance protects your janitorial company from lawsuits with rates as low as $47/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Do You Need AK Building Cleaning And Maintenance Services Insurance?
Of course, providing proper training and ensuring that you and your employees are following all protocols can help you avoid certain situations. However, regardless of how well-trained your staff is and how much you adhere to protocols, accidents do happen and emergencies can arise. When they do, you can be held liable. The cost associated with repairing or replacing damaged property and medical bills can be exorbitant. If a client or an employee ends up filing a lawsuit, you'll also have to deal with legal expenses. The bottom line: if something goes awry, you could be responsible for some hefty fees, the cost of which could potentially put you in financial ruin.
What's the best way to protect your business, your clients, your employees - and yourself - from liabilities and the associated financial responsibilities? Insurance. With the right type of Alaska building cleaning and maintenance services insurance coverage, you won't have to cover the cost of damages and litigation out of your own pocket. Instead, your insurance carrier will handle these expenses for you. In other words, having insurance can save you from serious financial turmoil.
What Types Of Insurance Coverage Should Building Cleaning Services Carry?
Since there are so many risks associated with operating a Building Cleaning and Maintenance Services company, there are several types of coverage that you should carry. Some types of insurance coverage are compulsory, while others are elective:
- Commercial General Liability - This type of coverage is mandatory and protects you from third-party claims; for example, if a vendor slips and falls while making a delivery, commercial general liability insurance will cover the cost of any associated medical care. If the client files a lawsuit, it will also cover the cost of litigation.
- Workers' Compensation - Whether you employee a staff of 1 or 500, workers comp coverage is legally required in most states. Should an employee slip and fall while waxing a floor and suffers a compound fracture, it will cover any medical bills, as well as lost wages.
- Commercial property insurance - Another mandated form of coverage, commercial property insurance protects the physical property of your business, as well as anything within it; machinery, supplies, office equipment, etc. If the building and contents are damaged in a fire or vandalized, for example, commercial property insurance will assist with the cost of repairing or replacing anything that's damaged or lost.
- Inland Marine - Commercial property insurance only protects those items that are housed within the physical structure of your business' property. That means that any machinery - floor buffers, for example - that aren't on your property won't be covered by your policy when they're in transit or on a job site. For that, you'll need inland marine insurance. If that buffer is stolen, vandalized, or damaged because a fire breaks out in the building you're cleaning, this type of policy will cover the cost of repairing or replacing it.
- Commercial Auto - If you use any vehicles for work-related reasons, you'll also want to carry commercial auto insurance. If the driver of the vehicle is involved in an accident, commercial auto will go into effect.
Alaska Building Cleaning & Maintenance Services Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposures are slight at the building cleaner's premises due to lack of public access to the premises, but moderate away from the premises due to hazards at the job site. When cleaning building interiors, there is some potential for slip and fall injuries to the client's employees or customers due to wet, slippery floors, spills and equipment and supplies impeding access.
The absence of basic controls (e.g., scheduling to minimize any work done while the premises are open for business, proper caution signs, the use of non-slip finishes, etc.) may indicate a morale hazard. There is also the risk of injury or damage to customers' property from spills, marring, scratched surfaces, and the upset or dropping of breakables. Many of these fall under the care, custody and control exclusion, and should be covered under inland marine bailees' forms. All agreements regarding responsibility for the property in the insured's care need careful review and evaluation.
Cleaning services typically employ casual labor and have high turnover, with minimal time or budget for training, which can increase the loss potential. Pre employment background checks and reference checks should be a part of the hiring process in order to protect clients. A major concern is failure to secure the premises during cleaning and especially upon completion of the work. This hazard increases with high employee turnover.
The cleaning service should have specific procedures addressing lockup and key control that include a final checklist by the supervisor of a particular client when the job is completed. Some areas of the customers' premises may need to remain closed because they contain property susceptible to damage or contamination, dangerous materials, or confidential information.
Personal injury exposures include invasion of privacy and even assault to the customers' employees. Failure to run background checks and review references on employees increases the hazard and reduces available defenses.
Workers compensation exposure can be high. Casual labor, high turnover and minimal training time are all factors affecting losses. Work is frequently performed under time constraints, which can encourage workers to cut corners. Lung, eye, or skin irritations and reactions can result from cleaning chemicals. Slips and falls can occur during cleaning operations. Back injuries, hernias, sprains and strains can result from lifting.
Employees can be assaulted while working "off hours" in empty buildings. Close supervision is needed. Workers may be injured in auto accidents during transportation to and from job sites.
Property exposures at the cleaner's premises are usually limited to an office and storage of equipment, supplies, and vehicles. Cleaning supplies may contain flammable chemicals that require proper labeling, separation, and storage in approved containers and cabinets to reduce the potential for fire. There may be a garage area for vehicles transporting equipment and crew to job sites.
Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty, including theft of customers' goods. Background checks, including criminal history, should be performed on all employees handling money. All ordering, billing and disbursement should be handled as separate duties with reconciliations occurring regularly. Supervision and monitoring are important to control losses.
Inland marine exposure includes accounts receivable if the building cleaner offers credit to customers, contractors' equipment for cleaning supplies and equipment, such as vacuum cleaners, taken to the customer's premises, and valuable papers and records for customers' and suppliers' information. Some cleaners may store some of their equipment on the customer's premises; others do their work with equipment provided by the client.
There may be a bailees' exposure for customers' property in the cleaner's care, custody and control. Damage to high-valued items like carpeting and draperies could result in a sizable loss since a small spill or other damage could result in the entire item being unusable.
Business auto exposures are generally limited to driving to and from clients' premises with crew, equipment, and supplies. All drivers must be well trained and have valid licenses for the type of vehicle being driven. MVRs must be run on a regular basis. Random drug and alcohol testing should be conducted. Vehicles must be well maintained with records kept in a central location.
If employees provide their own transportation to worksites, the exposure is limited to non-owned for workers running work-related errands. If workers transport coworkers in personal autos, the cleaning service should verify that personal automobile insurance has been purchased.
Alaska Building Cleaning And Maintenance Services - The Bottom Line
To learn more about the different types of janitorial policies you should invest in and how much coverage you should carry, speak to a reputable 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 Contractors & Home Improvement Insurance
Learn about small business contractor's insurance, including what it covers, how much it costs - and how commercial insurance can help protect your contracting business from lawsuits.
- Air Conditioning Systems Installation Repair
- Appliance Repair & Service
- Blacksmith & Metal Workers
- Boat Repair & Dry Docks
- Boiler Contractors
- Builders Risk
- Building Cleaning & Maintenance Services
- Cabinet Installer
- Cable And Satellite TV Installer
- Chimney Sweep
- Cistern Contractors
- Contractor Liability
- Curtain Cleaners
- Deck Builders
- Door And Window Installers
- Dryer Vent Cleaning
- Drywall Contractor
- Electrical Contractors
- Environmental Remediation Contractors
- Fence Installation
- Fire Sprinkler Contractors
- Fire & Water Restoration Contractors
- Flooring Contractor
- Furniture Repair
- Garage Door Installer And Repair
- General Contractors
- Glass Contractor
- Glazier Insurance
- Gutter Installation And Repair
- House Cleaning
- HVAC Contractor
- Insulation Contractor
- Janitorial Cleaning Services
- Lawn Care
- Lawn Irrigation Sprinkler System Installation
- Oil And Gas Well Drilling Contractors
- Paperhanging Contractors
- Plastering And Stucco Contractor
- Pressure Washing Contractors
- Propane And Fuel Dealers
- Rug, Upholstery & Carpet Cleaning
- Sandblasting Contractors
- Security Alarm
- Septic Tank Cleaning
- Siding Contractor
- Sign Installation & Repair
- Solar Panel Installers
- Snow Plow
- Stone And Tile Installer
- Surety Bonds
- Swimming Pool Contractor
- Swimming Pool Service And Maintenance
- Tool Grinding And Repair
- Tree Surgeon
- Tree Trimming
- Tank Cleaners
- Upholstery Shop
- Waste Haulers & Garbage Collection
- Water Well Drilling
- Welding Contractor
- Wildlife & Pest Control
- Window Cleaning
A contractor that wants to begin or stay in business, liability coverage must be obtained for the premises or operations, off-site locations and products/completed operations exposures. These coverages may be included as a part of a businessowners policy (BOP) or purchased in a commercial general liability (CGL) policy. Owners and contractors protective liability and railroad protective liability coverages may also be required in certain cases in order for a contractor to obtain a particular job.
Physical damage coverage for tools, supplies and equipment, both on and off the contractor's premises, is a concern. Liability exposures at the premises of the contractor, and at the premises of the contractor's customer, must be properly addressed along with completed operations. Business insurance is very important as is workers compensation insurance protection for employees.
Contractors may work under a general contractor as a subcontractor in larger construction projects - like a new commercial site or residential subdivision. They can work on smaller projects directly with a home owner, usually specializing in renovations or remodels.
In business insurance speak, often called 'artisan contractors' or 'casual contractors', they are involved in many aspects of construction and contracting work – and include various trades and skills. Carpenters, painters, plumbers, electricians, roofers, tree trimmers, landscaping are just a few examples. They may do roofing, fencing, drywall, tile work and many other trades that involve skilled work with tools at the customer's premises.
An artisan contractor performs a single trade or job, and each has its own specialized liability needs with its own exposures to risk and accidents. Contractors liability insurance can offer coverage for bodily injury, property damage, advertising injury and medical payments.
Most artisan contractors should have commercial general liability at the very least, but many need broader coverages - like an umbrella to increase their limits of liability, inland marine policy to protect their tools, workers compensation if they have employees, and even commercial auto if they use vehicles for business purposes.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Employee Dishonesty, Contractors' Equipment and Tools, General Liability, Employee Benefits Liability, Umbrella Liability, Automobile Liability and Physical Damage, Hired and Non-owned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Building, Business Income with Extra Expense, Earthquake, Flood, Leasehold Interest, Real Property Legal Liability, Accounts Receivable, Builders Risk, Computers, Goods in Transit, Installation Floater, Valuable Papers and Records, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practicesand Stop Gap Liability.
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Also find Alaska insurance agents & brokers and learn about Alaska small business insurance requirements for general liability, business property, commercial auto & workers compensation including AK business insurance costs. Call us (907) 531-9001.