Alaska Commercial Fishermen Insurance

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Alaska Commercial Fishermen Insurance Policy Information

AK Commercial Fishermen Insurance

Alaska Commercial Fishermen Insurance. Tuna, salmon, crab, lobster, clam, scallops; the sea provides a bounty of food, and as a commercial fishermen, you play a vital role in supplying food to people around the globe.

Whether you operate a small outfit with just a few vessels and supply fresh seafood to local markets, or you are the proprietor of a national or international operation with a large fleet of vessels and you supply seafood to markets around the globe, you need to make sure that your business is properly protected.

How do you do that? By investing in the right type of Alaska commercial fishermen insurance.

Commercial fishermen catch and trap fish and shellfish, including carp, cod, flounder, herring, salmon, sardines, tuna, clams, crab, lobsters, scallops, shrimp, and squid. The business may be owned by a family or a large corporation.

Equipment used include cranes, dredges, nets, poles, traps, and trolling lines. Fish and shellfish are highly perishable and must be kept from deteriorating between the time of capture and pickup by a processor, restaurant, retail store, or wholesaler.

Aboard the fishing vessel, the fish may be gutted and washed, then chilled or iced in refrigerated containers or salted until delivered to shore. Shellfish may be kept alive in tanks while on the vessel.

Once the vessel lands, the catch may be picked up by or delivered directly to customers or stored temporarily in a warehouse. Seafood is subject to FDA requirements, which are provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA provides sanitation inspections of vessels and storage facilities along with product quality, grading and certification services.

As the owner and operator of a commercial fishermen, you are liable for anything that goes wrong. In order to protect yourself from the risk of serious financial losses, you need to invest in the right type of Alaska commercial fishermen insurance coverage.

What kind of insurance do you need? How much should you carry? Read on to find out how to properly protect your AL commercial fishermen from any mishaps that may be thrown your way.

Why do AK commercial fishermen need to be insured? What type of insurance should they carry? Below, we'll explore the answers to these key questions and more.

Alaska commercial fishermen insurance protects your fishing operation from lawsuits with rates as low as $67/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.

Why Do Commercial Fishermen Need Insurance?

As a commercial fisherman, the very nature of your business is risky. The sea can be volatile and is difficult to predict. An unexpected storm could blow in, capsize one of your vessels, resulting in serious injuries, loss of any product that was caught, and damage to the ship.

This isn't the only type of issue that commercial fishermen could experience. A client could file a lawsuit against you, claiming that the products you supplied were responsible for illnesses. The dock where you keep your vessels could be damaged in a storm. These are just some of the issues that commercial fishermen face.

As the owner and operator of your AK commercial fishing outfit, you are liable for any of the costs that are associated with mishaps that may occur. As you can imagine, these costs can be exorbitant and if you have to pay for them out of your own pocket, you could be looking at serious financial losses.

If, however, something unexpected does occur and you do have the right kind of Alaska commercial fishermen insurance coverage, instead of paying for the associated expenses yourself, your carrier would cover them for you.

In other words, insurance can protect you from financial hardships, and can even help you avoid losing your business.

Of course, in addition to the financial security insurance provides, commercial fishermen are legally required to carry certain types of coverage. If you fail to have mandated coverages, you could be hit with major penalties and may even end up having your operation shut down.

What Type Of Insurance Do Commercial Fishing Operations Need?

There are several types of insurance that commercial fishermen will need to carry. The specific types of Alaska commercial fishermen insurance coverage that fishing businesses will need are dependent on several factors that relate to the individual operations; the size of the business, where it is located, what type of clients the business supplies products to, etc.

With that said, however, here's a look at some of the most basic types of coverage that most AK commercial fishermen will require:

  • Commercial General Liability - This kind of insurance protects you from third-party property damage and personal injury liability claims. For instance, if a vendor or a client were to slip, fall, and suffer an injury on your business' premise and they filed a lawsuit against you, citing that it was your negligence that resulted in the accident and injury, commercial general liability insurance would help to cover your legal expenses, as well as any settlements that you may be required to pay.
  • Commercial Property - You'll also want to carry a commercial property insurance policy, which protects the physical structure of the buildings that are used for your business, as well as the contents within them, from acts of nature, theft, and vandalism. If someone were to steal one of your vessels, this coverage would assist with replacing it, as well as pay for any repairs that your property may require.
  • Workers' Compensation - You are responsible for providing your employees with a safe work environment. In the event that one of your employees suffers a work-related injury or illness, you would be responsible for covering the cost of their medical care, as well as reimbursing them for any wages that they may lose if they are unable to work. Workers' compensation would help to pay for the expenses that are associated with any employee-related injuries or illnesses.

The above-mentioned policies are just a few examples of the type of Alaska commercial fishermen insurance coverage you should consider for your fishing operation.

AK Commercial Fishing's Risks & Exposures

Ocean marine exposures are from the vessel, its cargo, third party liability, and injury or death to the crew while working away from shore. The size of the vessel, the equipment used, the type of fish or seafood being sought, whether fishing is in fresh or salt water, the distance from shore, and the length of time out to sea are all important considerations.

Communication with land, Coast Guard, and other nearby fisherman is vital. Regular maintenance of the vessel and all equipment must be documented. Cargo areas must be appropriate for the type of seafood or fish that is caught and the length of time the catch is held.

Bodily injury and property damage caused by the vessel is an important exposure. The crew and master must be trained in navigating the fishing area and must have the needed tools to prevent contact with other fixed objects such as piers, bridges and docks and other vessels.

Injury to the crew and captain is considered an ocean marine exposure because of maritime law and the Jones Act. The exposures are severe due to the hazardous working conditions aboard the vessel. Long hours, strenuous work, dangerous equipment (such as cranes or winches), and severe weather conditions combine to make commercial fishing one of the most dangerous occupations in the world.

Fishermen can fall overboard or drown when the vessel capsizes, is flooded, or becomes unstable due to high waves and/or heavy winds. Safety equipment, including use of personal flotation devices (PFDs) equipped with a Global Positioning System (GPS) while on deck, emergency stops on winches, and hatch and door monitoring systems to prevent progressive flooding, should be required.

Drills on safe evacuation procedures should be regularly conducted. As operations are conducted in remote areas, it is difficult to transport an injured worker to a medical facility to receive prompt treatment.

Premises liability exposure is light. There may be an office as well as some selling of fish and seafood on the pier, but this is very limited. If the fisherman processes or sells fish, refer to the Fish Packers or the Meat Markets classifications. Commercial fishing corporations can be targeted by conservation or animal rights groups. Additional security may be required if there are demonstrations.

Products liability exposure does not exist unless the fisherman processes the fish. If the fisherman processes or sells fish, refer to the Fish Packers or the Meat Markets classifications.

Environmental impairment exposure is high due to the potential for water pollution from waste products from fish and seafood, which can include heads, skin, viscera and carcasses along with briny storage fluid. Disposal must be documented and meet all FDA and EPA standards. Fishing operations may damage coral reefs.

Workers compensation exposure is limited on shore to that of an office plus light maintenance type operations related to the equipment used on the vessel. The fishing operations are not covered by workers compensation but by federal maritime law and the Jones Act. Additional coverage in Alaska is available through the state's Fishermen's Fund.

Property exposure is limited to items kept on shore, including an office and storage of items needed to support the vessel. If the fisherman processes or sells fish, refer to the Fish Packers or the Meat Markets classifications.

Crime exposures are from employee dishonesty and money and securities. Background checks, including criminal history, should be obtained on each employee prior to hiring. Ordering and billing must be handled by two different employees.

Employee theft of fresh seafood is a particular problem because of the high value of certain types of seafood and the lack of clear identification or markings on the items.

Inland marine exposure includes accounts receivable for customers with credit arrangements, computers for tracking inventories, and valuable papers and records for customers' and suppliers' information and documentation of regulatory requirements.

Business auto exposure may be limited to hired or non-owned from employees using their vehicles to run errands. If the fisherman processes or sells fish, there may be delivery to customers in refrigerated trucks and the transporting of frozen goods.

Drivers must have appropriate licenses and acceptable MVRs. Vehicles must be regularly maintained with records kept in a central location.

Alaska Commercial Fishermen Insurance - The Bottom Line

To find out what other kinds of Alaska commercial fishermen insurance coverage you should carry and to develop a policy that is customized to meet your unique needs, speak with a reputable agent who specializes in AK commercial fishing insurance.

Alaska Economic Data, Regulations And Limits On Commercial Insurance

Made In Alaska

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 Agribusiness Insurance

Learn about small business agribusiness insurance - a type of commercial insurance protects farmers against loss of, or damage to crops or livestock.


Agribusiness Insurance

Farming is, and has always been a tough business. There are many uncontrollable factors for farmers to deal with - like the weather, vermin, or other natural catastrophes. Any of these can destroy cash crops, such as corn, cotton, soybeans, and wheat, and put the farmer in a very bad financial situation.

Insurance for agribusiness falls into three general categories:

The first is property insurance on the buildings and the usually substantial amount of business personal property made up of machinery, livestock, equipment and other stock.

The second is liability for both premises and products.

The last is protection for worker injuries. Commercial auto insurance should be written if the operation owns vehicles and especially if it transports its own products.

There are a wide variety of agribusiness insurance options that are available to farmers. These policies allow them to to receive compensation in the event of a poor growing season, dropping prices, cattle disease or catastrophic natural event.

Loss of crops or livestock can financially ruin an agribusiness operation. The crop insurance agrees to indemnify the farmer, rancher or grower against losses which occur during the crop year. Losses have to be caused by things which are unavoidable or beyond the farmer's control - like a drought, freeze and/or disease.

Some policies offer coverage due to adverse weather events such as the inability to plant due to excess moisture or losses due to the quality of the crop.

Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Buildings, Business Personal Property, Crop Insurance, Employee Dishonesty, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Goods in Transit, Mobile Equipment, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Environmental Impairment, Umbrella, Business Automobile Liability and Physical Damage, Hired and Non-owned Auto & Workers Compensation.

Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Business Income and Extra Expense, Earthquake, Equipment Breakdown, Farm Owners, Flood, Computer Fraud, Employee Dishonesty, Forgery, Money and Securities, Cyber Liability, Employee Benefits, Employment-related Practices Liability, Product Recall, Underground Storage Tank, Stop Gap Liability and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) (Drones).


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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.

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