Alaska Finance Company Insurance Policy Information
Alaska Finance Company Insurance. Finance companies are an increasingly popular option among private individuals and businesses seeking loans.
Finance companies are financial institutions that accept monetary deposits from banks and other money market sources and use those funds to make loans to individuals and businesses for a variety of installment sales such as automobiles, boats, or equipment.
They may be affiliated with a manufacturing firm, such as an automobile manufacturer, and finance installment sales solely for that firm's products. Finance companies earn income from interest charged on loans, profits from investments, and transaction fees.
They may also service escrow accounts, may be involved in real estate services and transactions, or broker and sell loans to other operations.
While consumer finance companies and sales finance companies represent an alternative avenue to obtain short-term loans to individuals and commercial ventures respectively, finance companies can also be associated with larger parent companies.
Because of the nature of their work, finance companies are well-versed in risk assessment and management - but the fact remains that finance companies, too, can find themselves facing circumstances beyond their control.
That is why it is crucial for these businesses to protect their interests with outstanding insurance coverage. What types of Alaska finance company insurance are needed? Read on to learn more.
Alaska finance company insurance protects your financing and loan business from lawsuits with rates as low as $37/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do AK Finance Companies Need Insurance?
Finance companies should carry comprehensive insurance primarily because they, like any other business, are vulnerable to a wide range of hazards.
The risks finance companies face include universal risks as well as threats unique to this branch of commerce, and while not every eventuality is insurable, many of the perils that can take down a business are.
A finance company's commercial premises could, for example, be impacted by an act of nature - like a wildfire, earthquake, or hurricane. Theft, vandalism, and accidents can strike almost any business.
Without the right Alaska finance company insurance, the resulting losses could easily be so extensive that the company would go bankrupt, but equipped with excellent coverage, these challenges can be overcome.
Liability risks represent the other major category of concern. An employee could sustain a work-related injury, a third party, such as a client or vendor, could be hurt on the premises, or a AK finance company could face a lawsuit alleging negligent work. The legal costs that can arise from liability risks can, again, be massive.
The term "unforeseen circumstance" exists with good reason - it is impossible to predict when a major peril will impact your business, and even with the most effective precautions, mishaps may not be preventable. Finance companies that have invested in top-notch insurance will never have to worry that they are unprepared.
What Type Of Insurance Do Alaska Finance Companies Need?
The precise types of coverage that will best protect a finance company against financial losses, as well as the cost of insurance, depends on numerous factors.
The location of the company, the size of the business, and the number of employees are merely some examples of the variables that influence a finance company's insurance needs.
For this reason, it is imperative to consult a skilled commercial insurance broker, who will create the best possible insurance plan. With that in mind, here is a look at the essential types of Alaska finance company insurance that are usually needed:
- Commercial Property - This type of Alaska finance company insurance is designed to help businesses manage events in which their commercial premises are damaged, such as theft, vandalism, and natural disasters. The building is covered, alongside many of its contents, such as furniture and computers, and that means your insurance will pay for repair and replacement costs. With additional business interruption coverage, it is additionally possible to recover some of the revenue lost to temporary business closures resulting from the peril.
- Commercial General Liability - Should a finance company face a third party property damage or bodily injury claim, commercial general liability insurance pays for a significant portion of the associated legal costs, whether they arise in the form of attorney fees or settlement payments. This form of coverage is an essential part of any company's legal defense plan.
- Errors And Omissions - Also called professional liability insurance, E&O coverage shields your company from the legal costs associated with allegations that it was professionally negligent in carrying out its work.
- Workers Compensation - Even in companies where the majority of employees carry out administrative tasks, workers can be injured on the job. Should this happen, workers comp covers their medical costs, but also reimburses their lost wages if they are rendered unable to return to work for a time.
While these examples of coverage that should carried will get your business closer to being fully insured, be aware that you may require additional forms of Alaska finance company insurance.
To discover more, discuss your unique circumstances with a skilled commercial insurance broker.
AK Finance Companies' Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure comes from slips and falls due to public access to the premises. Customer safety and security are very important. Floors, stairs, and elevators need to be in good condition, with steps and uneven floor surfaces prominently marked. The number of exits must be sufficient and well-marked, with backup lighting in the event of a power failure.
Steps should have handrails, be well-lighted, marked, and in good repair. Parking lots and sidewalks need to be in good repair with snow and ice removed, and generally level and free of exposure to slips and falls. There should be security in the parking lot equal to or better than the surrounding area.
Personal injury exposure arises from breaches of customers' privacy and confidentiality of their financial records and discrimination in lending practices.
Product liability exposure is very low as financial products sold to customers are intangible. There may be some minor exposure if the company sells items like tee shirts or advertising novelties or offers small gifts to customers as a reward for doing business with them.
Directors' and officers' exposure can be substantial due to competing priorities of numerous stakeholders such as stockholders, bondholders, depositors, loan holders, employees, and regulators. Directors and officers are more likely to be sued for results of their decisions in times of economic downturn and well-publicized excesses within the financial services industry.
Finance companies may offer escrow fund handling and other financial activities. Directors and officers can be sued if funds from any of these are mismanaged. Officers must be thoroughly knowledgeable about the finance business, able to operate competitively while maintaining profitability, and able to oversee ongoing operations effectively.
Directors should include representation from a wide variety of business interests with no conflicts of interest.
Errors and omissions exposures from accountants and auditors can cause significant loss. There must be checks and balances in place to quickly catch and fix errors that are made. The background and training of all professional-level employees must be thorough and continual to keep up-to-date with industry changes. Monitoring is necessary.
The loan handling, record keeping, and accounting of the inflow of payments from customers is an area to review. If the finance company services mortgages, they must verify that all mortgaged properties have hazard insurance. A mortgage errors and omissions policy provides blanket coverage for any inadvertent omission.
Workers compensation exposure exposures are generally light as finance companies are less visible and less attractive for holdups than other financial institutions. As most work is done on computers, employees are exposed to eyestrain, neck strain, and repetitive motion injuries including carpal tunnel syndrome. All workstations should be ergonomically designed to reduce the chance of such injury.
Property exposures are primarily from fire due to the electrical wiring for computers, printers, and other electronic office equipment, heating, and air conditioning systems. All wiring must meet current codes, be well maintained, and be adequate for the company's operations.
Circuitry on electronic equipment may be easily damaged from smoke, water, and heat, which will cause a total loss even with a small fire. Extra expense coverage should be considered as the finance company must continue operations after a loss.
Crime exposure is primarily from employee dishonesty, either from the theft of cash or from the improper transfer of funds held for customers. Finance companies need a Financial Institutions Bond to cover these exposures. Background checks should be conducted for anyone who will have access to the accounts. There must be regular monitoring and auditing of the books by outside auditors to prevent and identify problems.
All employees must take at least one continuous week of vacation a year. Controls and programming to prevent computer fraud should be reviewed. Extortion is a growing concern due to the high value of assets held by these companies.
Inland marine exposures are from accounts receivable for billings to customers, computers for tracking financial data, and valuable papers and records for customers' and regulatory information. Backup copies of all records, including computer records, should be made and stored off premises for ease of restoration in the event of a loss.
Business auto exposures may be limited to hired and non-owned for employees running errands. If vehicles are provided to officers or key employees, policies should be in place for personal and permitted use of the vehicles. Any driver must have a valid driver's license and acceptable MVR. Vehicles must be well maintained with records kept in a central location.
Alaska Finance Company Insurance - The Bottom Line
To learn more about the specific types of Alaska finance company insurance policies you'll, what limits to consider and the associated premiums, consult with a reputable broker 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 Financial Institutions Insurance
Discover the types of commercial insurance that banks, finance companies and other financial institutions need to protect their asset management, deposit, lending, investment and other operations.
- Check Cashing
- Credit Union
- Currency Exchanges
- Finance Companies
- Insurance Company
- Mortgage Broker
Financial institutions handle, receive, disburse, and invest money of others.
They are subject to regulations specific to their operation but they are also subject to legal and moral obligations for their customers.
Customers entrust their funds to these institutions because of their confidence in the management's ability.
Insurance is a necessary means to protect the financial institutions and their customers against various types of losses.
The financial services offered and the personal relationships created by the institution can only be protected through the use of a sound insurance program and appropriate bonding practices.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Extra Expense, Equipment Breakdown, Financial Institutions Bond, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Directors' and Officers' Liability, Employee Benefits, Fiduciary Liability, Professional, Umbrella, Hired and Non-Owned Auto, Workers Compensation & Surety Bonds.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Buildings, Earthquake, Flood, Leasehold Interest, Real Property Legal Liability, Computer Fraud, Extortion, Fine Arts, Signs, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices, Law Enforcement Professional, Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage And Stop Gap Liability.
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