Alaska Dock And Pier Contractors Insurance Policy Information
Alaska Dock And Pier Contractors Insurance. Dock and pier contractors build, maintain, or repair structures on or near a shore to allow watercraft to be accessed for boarding or disembarking passengers or for loading or unloading cargo.
Some also build seawalls, run utility lines that can be accessed by watercraft from the dock, or install boatlifts. Docks and piers are built on pilings that are sunk well-below sea level to provide a solid foundation for construction. At least one end of the dock is secured to the land.
While most docks allow access while the vessel is in the water ("wet docks"), dry docks are used for shipbuilding or to allow vessels to be brought ashore for maintenance and repairs.
Docks or piers may be built of wood, iron or steel, stone, masonry, concrete, or some combination of these materials. The contractor often uses subcontractors for specialty work, including concrete contractors, electricians, excavators, metal fabricators, painters, or wrecking specialists.
In addition, dock and pier contractors are frequently able to take on related marine construction jobs, such as the construction of boat lifts or jet ski lifts. By also managing the building permits and other paperwork, dock and pier contractors can be a delight for clients to work with.
There is no question that dock and pier contractors play a vital role in constructing and maintaining marine infrastructure, but the work they perform can, at times, be obstructed by unforeseen circumstances.
While these businesses are deeply committed to health and safety, risks can never completely be eliminated. That is why it is so important for contracting firms in this industry to arm themselves with an Alaska dock and pier contractors insurance plan - but what types of coverage should these companies carry? Read on to discover more.
Alaska dock and pier contractors insurance protects your construction business from lawsuits with rates as low as $87/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do AK Dock And Pier Contractors Need Insurance?
Dock and pier contractors should make insurance a top priority for three reasons. Certain types of insurance are legally required and lenders will require proof of insurance before they offer you a business loan, and carrying the right insurance is the best way to protect your financial health even in the event of a major peril.
Like any other business, dock and pier contractors can be impacted by acts of nature as diverse as serious floods and storms, earthquakes, and wildfires. Theft, vandalism, and accidents that cause damage to your commercial property represent three additional threats. All these perils have the potential to cause devastating financial losses, both in the form of repair and replacement costs and prolonged business interruptions, unless you are properly insured.
An employee could suffer a work-related injury, a client could accuse your company of performing negligent work, or you may accidentally damage property belonging to a third party as your company constructs a dock or pier.
Without Alaska dock and pier contractors insurance coverage, the lawsuits that may arise from any of these events can be genuinely ruinous.
By carefully evaluating their risk profile and partnering with an insurer who understands the marine sector, businesses in this industry will be able to protect themselves from financial losses even if they were to be impacted by a disastrous event.
What Type Of Insurance Do Alaska Dock And Pier Contractors Need?
There is, unfortunately, no such thing as a universal AK pier and dock contractors' insurance plan that will meet the needs of all companies in this branch of commerce.
Each business is unique, after all, and factors that range from the size of your operation to the value of your equipment, and from how many employees you have to the jurisdiction in which your business is based, all have an impact on your insurance needs.
For this reason, it is vital to discuss all your questions with a skilled commercial insurance broker who is familiar with your company. Having said that, the key types of Alaska dock and pier contractors insurance that are needed include:
- Commercial Property - Should your office premises or storage facilities be impacted by perils such as acts of nature, vandalism, and theft, this form of insurance will cover your physical building as well as many of the contents.
- Commercial General Liability - Were a third party to be injured on your premises or as a result of your company's activities, costly lawsuits may arise. The same holds true if your company were to cause damage to third party property. Commercial general liability insurance is essential in helping you cover the associated legal expenses.
- Professional Liability - This type of Alaska dock and pier contractors insurance instead pertains to the work you provide. Whether you are sued for breach of contract or accused of professional negligence, these policies, which are also known as errors and omissions insurance, cover a large portion of your legal costs.
- Workers' Compensation - Construction workers, in any sector, face a relatively high risk of occupational injury. Should one of your employees suffer a work-related injury, this type of insurance will pay their medical bills and also cover any income they may lose.
While these types of Alaska dock and pier contractors insurance are essential in protecting against financial loss, your company may also benefit from additional forms of coverage. To find out more, consult an experienced commercial insurance broker who specializes in the marine sector.
AK Dock And Pier Contractors' Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposures at the contractor's office are generally limited due to lack of public access. Outdoor storage may present vandalism and attractive nuisance hazards. Off-site exposures are extensive. Digging and other operations pose numerous hazards, especially if the contractor exercises inadequate control of the area. There must be barriers in place to protect against unauthorized access.
The public or employees of other contractors can be injured due to trips and falls over debris, equipment, or uneven terrain, be struck by falling objects, or drown. Dock or pier construction can result in damage to underground lines or pipes, disrupting operations of neighboring properties. Improper signage or barricading could result in a vehicle or watercraft collision and loss of life.
Welding of steel parts poses a fire or explosion hazard to neighboring structures. Construction sites create an attractive nuisance hazard, especially if work is close to residential areas. All equipment must be disabled when not in operation to prevent untrained individuals from using it.
Equipment and piles of rubble at job sites present attractive nuisance hazards. All equipment must be disabled when not in operation to prevent untrained individuals from using it.
Security guards should be provided as necessary. The use of subcontractors as well as any contractual liability exposures should be examined.
Personal injury exposures include assault and battery and invasion of privacy. Background checks should be conducted for any employee who will have regular contact with customers.
Completed operations liability exposure can be severe should a dock or pier collapse due to the number of people who could be injured or killed and the potential for damage to the property of others. The competence of the designer and engineer, the quality of materials, and the integrity of the completed structure are all critical.
The absence of an aggressive quality control program that documents full compliance with all construction, material, and design specifications may indicate a morale hazard and make it impossible to defend against serious claims. Any changes made by the engineers and carried through in the design must be noted prior to implementation. Hazards may increase in the absence of proper record keeping of work orders and change orders, as well as inspection and signed approval of finished work by the customer.
The size and type of jobs previously completed will give a good indication of the jobs that will be sought in the future.
Environmental impairment exposure is moderate from the placement and construction of pilings due to the potential for air, land, and water pollution. Spillage or leakage of pollutants can result in high cleanup costs and fines. Spills must be controlled. Operations can disturb aquatic life or result in claims or noise pollution by neighboring properties. The contractor must comply with all federal, state, and municipal requirements.
Professional liability exposures can be severe from the design of the project and the interpretation of specifications by the contractor's engineers. The exposure increases if the firm fails to conduct thorough background checks to verify employee's education and training, permit other workers to do tasks that only professionals should handle, or if error checking procedures are ignored or are inadequate.
Collapses are rare but can be catastrophic. Other factors must be taken into account, including seabed conditions for pilings, historic flood and tide levels, proximity to seismic activity, and especially wind shear. Designs for docks and piers should be submitted to wind tunnel testing.
Many contractors have engineers that will do incidental draft work, such as water drainage channels.
Ocean marine hull and protection and indemnity exposures are from watercraft being used to access the pilings and underside of docks and piers. The size of the vessel, the equipment used, and the distance the craft travels from shore impact the potential severity of loss. Hull coverage is needed as watercraft used for dock or pier work are ineligible for coverage under standard watercraft policies.
These may be damaged by fire, sea or weather conditions, sinking, stranding, or collision with stationary objects or other watercraft. Regular maintenance of the vessel and all equipment must be documented. Protection and indemnity exposures include bodily injury and property damage caused by the vessel. The captain and crew must be trained in navigating the construction area and must have the needed tools to prevent contact with other fixed objects such as piers, bridges, docks, and other vessels.
Injury to the crew and captain may be considered an ocean marine exposure instead of a workers compensation exposure because of the Jones Act. In addition, workers not members of the crew who are injured while building structures on a waterway may try to claim the higher benefits provided under the U.S. Longshore and Harborworkers Act.
Safety equipment, including personal flotation devices (PFDs), should be appropriate for the job.
Workers compensation exposures is severe due to the potential for back injuries, crushing, suffocation, or drowning at any phase of the operations. Sudden changes in wind or weather can make work less safe. Serious injuries may arise from work with hand tools, large, heavy machinery, or from the carelessness of fellow employees.
Common hazards include slips and falls, foreign objects in the eye, hearing impairment from noise, cuts or puncture wounds, bites from insects or vermin, temperature extremes, auto accidents during transportation to and from job sites, being hit by falling objects, striking objects or utilities, collapse of retaining or holding walls, mudslides or landslides, or exposure to pollutants.
The absence of good maintenance, proper use of basic safety equipment, such as properly installed guards, steel-toed shoes, and eye protection, and strict enforcement of safety practices may indicate a morale hazard. U.S. Longshore and Harbor Workers coverage may be required. As operations are often conducted in remote areas, it may be difficult to transport an injured worker to a medical facility to receive prompt treatment.
Property exposures at the contractor's own premises are generally limited to those of an office and storage of equipment and vehicles. Ignition sources include electrical wiring, heating, and air conditioning systems.
If fabrication and repair work on vehicles and equipment, which may include cutting or welding, is done inside the building, the potential for fire or explosion increases due to sparks and flames produced by these processes and the presence of flammables including fuels and lubricants. These must be properly labeled and stored away from combustibles. Welding involves the use of tanks of gases that must be stored and handled properly to avoid loss.
There should be basic controls such as chained storage in a cool area and the separation of welding from other operations away from combustibles, either in a separate room or with flash/welding curtains. Equipment and supplies stored in the yard are subject to loss by wind, vandalism, and theft.
Inland marine exposures include accounts receivable if the contractor bills customers for services, computers, contractors' equipment, goods in transit, installation floater, and valuable papers and records for customers', regulators', and suppliers' information. Backup copies of all data should be stored off premises.
Construction equipment is heavy and difficult to transport without adequate loading, tie-down and unloading procedures. Equipment may be damaged by exceeding its load capacity, striking underground objects or utilities, sinking, or bursting into fire from overload. Equipment may be subject to changes in the weather, water hazards, drop and fall from heights, being struck by vehicles or watercraft, or colliding with land structures.
Equipment left at jobsites can be targets for theft and vandalism unless proper controls are place. Equipment should be secured and rendered inoperable when not in use. Jobs may involve placement of large precast concrete supports manufactured off site and transported to the jobsite. These may be lifted up onto pylons or other types of foundation with a crane.
Instability of the load can damage both the crane and the building materials. The insured may rent or lease cranes from others, with or without operators. For work over water, the insured may hire barges, which are unstable and could collapse from overload or list and drop equipment into the water.
Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty. Background checks should be conducted prior to hiring any employee. There must be a separation of duties between persons handling deposits and disbursements and reconciling bank statements. All items should be physically inventoried on a regular basis.
Business exposures can be high due to the transport of oversize machinery and equipment. Special modifications or built-in equipment such as lifts, and hoists may be awkward and require special handling and tie-down procedures. Drivers should be properly trained to prevent overturn and to navigate through high traffic areas.
Roads near waterfronts may be narrow and the ground uneven, increasing the risk of collision and upset losses. Serious property damage or injury to passing pedestrians or motorists or to employees of other contractors can arise during loading and unloading of equipment and materials. Long drives with oversized equipment may lead to driver fatigue.
For long-term projects away from home base, personal use of company vehicles poses a concern. Similarly, employees may use their own vehicles on company business for long periods, especially to transport crews to the jobsite.
All drivers must have appropriate licenses and acceptable MVRs. Random drug and alcohol testing should be conducted. Vehicles must be maintained, and the records kept in a central location.
Alaska Dock And Pier Contractors Insurance - The Bottom Line
To learn more about the exact types of Alaska dock and pier contractors insurance policies you'll need, what limits to have and the premiums - speak with a reputable agent that is experienced in commercial insurance.
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 Marine, Boat And Watercraft Insurance
Learn about marine, boat and watercraft insurance - a specialized form insurance that provides coverage for hull losses, cargo losses as well as liability for passenger injuries, environmental damage, and third-party damage caused by watercraft accidents.
- Insurance Nautical Terms Glossary
- Boat Dealers
- Boat Repair & Dry Docks
- Dock & Pier Contractors
- Dredging Contractors
- Ocean Marine
- Ship Chandlers
- Boat & Watercraft Insurance
Marine insurance covers everything from loss of cargo to damage to the vessel, terminals, etc. Cargo ships are provided protection against potential losses, especially in transit, which is ideally suited to shipping companies and couriers who want to ensure that they are protected while transporting goods.
Businesses in the shipping industry and those who own private yachts/boats understand that it is nearly impossible to control natural occurrences despite the current safety regulations and laws. Factors like encounters with pirates, weather hazards, conflicts are all too common and can result in damages that cause ship owners to incur lots of damages.
A marine insurance policy can ensure that ship, boat, and yacht owners' interests are protected, offering financial coverage to ensure that they are protected against potential losses.
The other excellent feature of current marine insurance policies is that they can be customized to specific trades, which means that they can cater to varying coverage requirements. The policies can offer coverage based on the size of the ship and the routes being taken.
Types Of Marine Insurance
As mentioned earlier, marine insurance is a broad term that applies to a large group of coverages and is meant to offer protection against damages and losses. Generally, you'll run into three common marine insurance types that provide varying protections.
Hull Insurance - When your ship, boat, or yacht has hull insurance, it is protected from all physical damages along with machinery and equipment. The policy covers all water vessels but is limited to primary commercial ocean vessels. That's why this isn't the best policy for vessels like floating equipment, tugboats, barges and oil rights, or any other type of vessel which does not have commercial intent, so to speak.
Cargo Insurance - Again, this marine insurance coverage is for physical damage to the cargo a commercial vessel may be carrying. However, the coverage and the conditions may vary; for instance, there are policies that offer theft protection, and then there are others that cover other forms of losses apart from physical damage.
Marine Liability Insurance - Now this policy is often referred to as P&I or also protection and indemnity. The coverage offers protection from third-party liabilities that owners and businesses may be exposed to during operations. It also includes coverage for illnesses and injuries while also covering loss of life when the vessel is operational. If there are medical expenditures, damage to the vessels, collision incidents, then; as a result, the quarantine is also covered.
Finally, the premium for marine insurance is mainly based on a couple of factors like the type of vessel, age of the vessel, trading and tonnage, management and ownership, and valuation of the ship, amongst various other factors.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Building, Business Personal Property, Business Income and Extra Expense, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Accounts Receivable, Bailees Customers, Computers, Contractors' Equipment, Mobile Equipment, Valuable Papers and Records, Ocean Marine – Hull, Ocean Marine – Protection and Indemnity, General Liability, Employee Benefits Liability, Environmental Impairment, Umbrella, Hired and Non-Owned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Earthquake, Flood, Burglary, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Robbery, Goods in Transit, Signs, Ocean Marine - Hull, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices, Liquor Liability, Ocean Marine - Protection and Indemnity, Business Automobile Liability and Physical Damage, Longshore and Harborworkers Compensation Act and Stop Gap Liability.
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