Alaska Hostel Insurance Policy Information
Alaska Hostel Insurance. Hostels have, over time, evolved to become more than inexpensive lodgings where travelers can rest their heads for the night. Many adventurers have also grown to love the social nature of staying at this type of shared accommodation, as hostels make it easy to meet new friends.
Hotels provide lodging to the general public for a fee. Rooms may be rented on a short-term or long-term basis.
The hostel may offer a bar or lounge, beauty or barber shops, business center with computers for guests, child or pet care, full-service restaurant, gift shops, gyms, laundry, and dry-cleaning, limousine services, spas, swimming pools, or other recreational attractions.
Many hotels also offer meeting facilities for seminars and conferences. Most hotels offer rooms through both in-house and third-party websites. All room charges, including mandatory gratuity charges or "resort fees," must be disclosed to prevent allegations of deceptive advertising practices.
Websites should clearly state whether the facility and its guest rooms can accommodate those with disabilities.
The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) permits victims of human trafficking to sue businesses such as hotels for preventing trafficking that occurred on their premises. Staff should be trained to recognize signs of illegal sex trafficking.
Hostels typically offer either bunk beds or rooms shared with multiple strangers, as well as kitchens and lounges to prepare meals and relax.
Whether you are investigating what it would take to fulfill your dream of opening a hostel, or you already own and manage one, it is important to consider not only the considerable opportunity that lies within this branch of hospitality, but also the risks of operating a hostel.
What types of Alaska hostel insurance are needed? Discover more in this guide.
Alaska hostel insurance protects your lodging business from lawsuits with rates as low as $47/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do AK Hostels Need Insurance?
Hostels face some of the same risks common to all commercial ventures, regardless of their field, but in addition, those who own and manage a hostel must also consider industry-specific perils.
Any business with physical assets may, for example, suffer severe losses if an act of nature - such as an earthquake, flood, wildfire, or hailstorm - ravages their locality.
Hostels are no exception, and they may be visited by unfortunate events such as theft, vandalism, and accidents as well. Such perils lead to costly business interruptions in addition to massive repair or replacement expenses.
Hostels also have to prepare for scenarios in which a guest's personal belongings are stolen on the premises, or staff accidentally damages them.
As the hostel industry in large part relies on online reviews and web bookings, your website could fall victim to cyber crime, or inadvertently using copyrighted material on your web page could lead to lawsuits. Guests and employees alike may be injured on the premises.
These perils, and numerous others, could strike at any time - inevitably bringing overwhelming costs with them. A AK hostel that has properly insured itself will, however, not need to worry, as their insurer will cover a large portion of the expenses associated with major perils.
The fact that this could save your business from debt, or even bankruptcy, is the most important reason to carry the best Alaska hostel insurance possible.
What Type Of Insurance Do Alaska Hostels Need?
The exact nature of a hostel's insurance needs depend on its unique circumstances and risk profile. The AK location and size of your hostel, the amenities it offers, the number of employees, and the number of guests it typically accommodates all influence the types of coverage that will best protect your business.
Even crime rates in your locality should be considered. Because of this, seeking advice from a skilled commercial insurance broker who understands the hospitality business is essential. Meanwhile, here is a glimpse at the most important types of Alaska hostel insurance coverage:
- Commercial Property - Designed to protect your financial future if perils like natural disasters, theft, and vandalism were to impact your hostel, commercial property insurance is able to cover your physical building as well as many of its contents. Guests' personal property is, however, not included within this protection.
- Commercial General Liability - Third party property damage or bodily injury claims are a major threat to small business owners, as they lead to monumental expenses even if the claim is ultimately dismissed. This form of Alaska hostel insurance coverage helps pay for your legal costs, such as attorney fees and settlement payouts.
- Innkeepers Liability - Hostels are obliged to take reasonable steps keep their guests' personal property safe on their premises. In case of theft or accidental damage on the part of staff, innkeepers' insurance pays for the costs.
- Workers Compensation - Any hostel that employees requires workers' comp to cover the medical costs and lost wages of an employee who sustains a work-related injury.
While these types of Alaska hostel insurance form the core of a comprehensive insurance plan, hostels may wish to consider other options, such as equipment breakdown insurance, commercial auto insurance, and crime insurance, as well.
A seasoned commercial insurance broker will be able to answer all questions pertaining to your hostel's unique situation.
AK Hostel's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is high due to the number of guests. The operation should meet all life safety codes to assure guest safety. To prevent trips, slips, and falls, the hostel must be well maintained, with floor covering in good condition. The number of exits must be sufficient and well marked, with backup lighting in case of power failure.
Steps should have handrails, be well-lighted, marked, and in good repair. Balconies should be regularly inspected and maintained. Rooms should be treated to prevent pest infestations such as bedbugs. Sidewalks and driveways should be free from defects and cleared of ice and snow in inclement weather. Locks should be regularly changed to prevent unauthorized access.
Lead paint should be contained. Personal injury exposures include allegations of assault, discrimination, false arrest, invasion of privacy, wrongful detention, and wrongful eviction.
Products liability exposures can be high if the boarding house serves meals. Employees should be trained in the proper handling of consumables to prevent contamination, foreign objects in food, food poisoning, or the spread of transmissible diseases. Posting lists of ingredients can prevent allergic reactions from food and beverages.
Workers compensation exposure is moderate. Cleaning and maintenance operations can cause workers to experience lung, eye or skin irritations and reactions. Slips and falls, back injury, hernias, sprains and strains from lifting and working at awkward positions are common. Food preparation operations can result in cuts, scrapes, and burns.
Interaction with guests may involve situations that could produce injuries, such as assault. Employees should be trained in dealing with rowdy guests. Animals owned by guests can bite, scratch, or kick workers.
Property exposures can be high as most hostels have been converted from older homes or lodging facilities to their current occupancy. Conversions should be handled by professionals with appropriate permits and licenses obtained. Electrical wiring, plumbing, cooling, and heating systems must be updated to current code. The age, condition, size, repair, and roof of the hostel affect the potential for loss as damages must be repaired to match the rest of the structure.
If there is commercial cooking, the kitchen should also be upgraded to meet NFPA requirements. Cooking should be restricted to only the central eating area. Smoking and the use of candles in guests' rooms should be prohibited. Hard-wired smoke detectors should be installed in all guest rooms and common areas. A staff member should remain on duty 24-hours a day.
Regular inspections should be made of the rooms to verify that rules are followed. Business income may be high as there may not be backup facilities available to the owner.
Inland marine exposure is limited to accounts receivable if the hostel bills for services, computers, and valuable papers and records for guests' and mortgage information. Duplicates should be made of all data and kept off site for easy restoration after a loss. There may be contractors' equipment for maintenance, repairs, and lawn care.
Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty and theft of money and securities. References and background checks should be conducted on all employees. Monetary transactions must be controlled through the use of receipts and regular monitoring.
Money should be deposited every day with no money left overnight. Guest property coverage provides protection for guests' property from theft by employees, other guests, or trespassers. Access to guest rooms must be limited to those authorized to do so.
Business auto exposure may be limited to hired non-owned liability for employees running errands. If there are owned vehicles, such as those used to service units, any driver should have a valid driver's license and an acceptable MVR.
Vehicles must be maintained and records kept in a central location. If guests are transported, the exposure increases.
Alaska Hostel Insurance - The Bottom Line
To learn more about the suggested types of Alaska hostel insurance policies you'll need, and how much coverage you should carry and the premiums, speak 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 Lodging Places Insurance
Find out what types of business insurance that hotels, motels and other lodging places should have to protect their varied operations.
All lodging places provide sleeping accommodations for their patrons. Dining facilities are common because those who sleep will want to eat.
Many facilities also provide extra features such as offering recreational and exercise facilities or possibly meeting rooms and convention arrangements. Property coverage is needed because of high building and business personal property values at risk that are subject to a number of potential causes of loss, chief of which is fire.
Liability insurance is absolutely necessary because of the number of guests and the potential for losses ranging from slips and falls to food consumption to loss of life in the event of a disaster.
Other liability concerns are the additional guest services such as swimming pools, exercise rooms, recreational activities, and bars. Crime losses involving the theft of guest property, inventory and supplies must also be considered.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Building, Business Personal Property, Business Income and Extra Expense, Equipment Breakdown, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, Employee Dishonesty, Guests Property, Money and Securities, General Liability, Employee Benefits, Liquor Liability, Umbrella, Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage, Hired and Non-Owned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Earthquake, Flood, Spoilage, Bailees Customers, Commercial Articles Floater, Contractors Equipment, Fine Arts, Signs, Special Floater, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices, Garagekeepers And Stop Gap Liability.
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