Alaska Importer And Exporter Insurance Policy Information
Alaska Importer And Exporter Insurance. Do you own a business that imports and/or exports products within the United States or to and from other countries?
Exporters arrange the sale of goods produced within the United States to other countries. Importers make arrangements to sell foreign-made goods to United States consumers. They may work solely with one manufacturer or with several.
They do not take physical possession of the goods, which can include any item made for individual or commercial consumers, from small novelty items to motor vehicles.
If so, no matter what industry you're in and what type of goods you handle, just like any other business, you need to make sure that you're properly protected. What's the best way to do that? By ensuring that you have the proper Alaska importer and exporter insurance coverage.
Why do AK importers and exporters need commercial insurance? What type of business insurance coverage do you need? Read on to find out the answers to these questions and more.
Alaska importer and exporter insurance protects your trading company from lawsuits with rates as low as $57/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do Importers And Exporters Need Insurance?
Clothing, electronics, literature, vehicles, sporting equipment, food; business owner's import and export all types of products, both domestically and internationally. When it comes to handling products, no matter how many precautions you take, there's always a chance that something could go wrong.
For instance, an entire shipment could become lost in transit or part of a shipment could become damaged, your goods could potentially damage somebody else's property, or an employee or third-party could become injured while moving the products you are importing or exporting.
As the owner and operator of your business, you are liable for anything that goes wrong. The cost of replacing products that are damaged in transit, repairing damaged property, or covering someone's medical expenses can be exorbitant.
That's why it's so important to invest in the right type of Alaska importer and exporter insurance coverage.
If you aren't insured and any of the above-mentioned hypothetical situations were to occur, you would have to cover the related expenses out of your own pocket. The cost of replacing an entire shipment or repairing someone's property could cost 10s of thousands of dollars, if not more. If you had to pay those types of expenses on your own, there's a chance that your business could experience serious financial hardship.
If, however, you were to experience any of the above-mentioned hypothetical situations and you were properly insured, your carrier - not you - would pay for the related expenses. In other words, having the right type of insurance coverage can help you avoid serious monetary losses.
In addition to the financial protection that Alaska importer and exporter insurance provides, having the appropriate coverage also ensures that your business is in compliance with the law. In most locations, insurance is a legal requirement for importers and exporters. As such, if you aren't properly insured, you could end up facing serious fines or even lose your business.
What Type Of Insurance Do Importers And Exporters Need?
There are several types of insurance coverage business owners who import and/or export products should carry. The specific types of coverage you will need to carry depend on a number of factors, including where your operations are located, where you import products from and export products to, and the size of your business; among other things.
With that said, however, the following are examples of Alaska importer and exporter insurance policies that all importers and exporters should carry:
- Cargo Insurance: There are two types of cargo insurance: land and marine. The type you'll need depends on how your products are imported or exported. If you're products are shipped via land transportations, such as trucks or other utility vehicles, you'll need to carry land cargo coverage and if your products are shipped via sea or air, you'll need marine cargo coverage. Both types of cargo insurance protect goods from any damage, theft, or other losses that may occur while they are in transit.
- Commercial General Liability: This coverage protects you from third-party injury and property damage claims. For instance, if a vendor were to trip and fall while making a delivery to your warehouse, this insurance would cover the cost of any necessary medical care and legal expenses that you may incur.
- Commercial Property: This policy will protect the properties that are used for business-related purposes - a retail store or a warehouse, for example - from losses that are associated with acts of nature, theft, or vandalism.
- Workers' Compensation: If any of your employees suffer work-related injuries or illnesses, this policy will cover their medical expenses and provide them with compensation for missed wages if they are unable to work.
These are just a few examples of the type of coverage that AK importers and exporters should carry, you might need more based on your specific operations.
AK Importer's & Exporter's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is limited to that of an office with very limited public access. There may be considerable international exposure if the owner and/or employees are in other countries for a significant length of time meeting with clients. An international liability policy may be required to adequately protect the firm for actions outside the United States.
Products liability exposure is very high for both exporters and importers of foreign goods. If products are from foreign manufacturers, liability may be increased to that of a manufacturer, particularly if the manufacturer does not have a U.S. policy.
An exporter or importer may need an international products liability policy to provide adequate coverage. The importer or exporter should request copies of policies from each manufacturer with whom they do business to determine the extent of coverage provided.
Hazards depend on the type of products sold, the warranties, advertising, commitments, and promises made by the importer or exporter.
Workers compensation exposure is generally limited to office and travel hazards. When 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.
Cleaning workers can develop respiratory ailments or contact dermatitis from working with chemicals. Salespersons can be injured on the road, while flying, or while making calls overseas. Foreign voluntary workers compensation may be needed if out-of-country travel is more than incidental.
Property exposures are minimal if the importer/exporter acts only as a commission merchant and takes no physical possession of the product. Generally, there is an office and some salespersons' samples. Ignition sources would be limited to electrical wiring, heating and air conditioning systems.
Inland marine exposure is from accounts receivable if the importer or exporter offers credit to customers, computers for tracking sales, salespersons' samples for goods used in product demonstrations, and valuable papers and records for manufacturers' and customers' information.
Although the importer or exporter may arrange for shipment, they will not take possession of the goods, so they have no goods in transit exposure.
Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty. Background checks, including criminal history, should be performed on all employees handling money. There must be a separation of duties between persons handling deposits and disbursements and reconciling bank statements. Regular audits, both internal and external, are important to prevent employee theft of accounts.
Since international banking can be involved, the audit of the books should be more extensive due to the opportunity for unusual transactions or diversions, including offshore banking.
Commercial auto exposure is moderate for the salespersons' fleet. There should be a written policy on personal and permissive use of any vehicles provided to employees. MVRs must be ordered on a regular basis. Vehicles must be well maintained with records kept at a central location.
Importer And Exporter Insurance - The Bottom Line
To find out exactly what type of Alaska importer and exporter insurance coverage you need, speak with an experienced agent that specializes 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 Manufacturing & Wholesaler Insurance
Read informative articles on small business manufacturing and wholesale insurance. Manufacturing and wholesale companies face many risks due to the nature of their business operations.
- Canned Fruit & Vegetable Manufacturers
- CBD Oil And Hemp
- Food Distributors
- Importer & Exporter
- Machine Shop
- Product Liability
- Wholesale Florist
- Wholesaler Distributor
For manufacturers and wholesalers, having the proper coverage is very important. You will need Products/Completed Operations Liability Coverage to protect you against injuries or property damage cause my the products you make or sell.
Manufacturing is an extremely broad category that includes countless potential hazards and exposures in virtually all coverage areas. Because of this, every individual manufacturer is unique and a specific risk survey of every operation is advisable.
The basic insurance needs for every class of business or operation includes property coverage for buildings, machinery and equipment, as well as for raw stock and finished products. Liability insurance for premises exposures is important but products liability insurance presents greater concerns so these exposures and coverage needs must be evaluated carefully.
In addition, protection for injuries to workers, environmental coverages and automobile insurance are priority items.
Wholesale and distribution operations have many of the same physical damage and property coverage concerns as warehouse operations. In both, the value of both real property and stocks of merchandise is very high. Loss control and other techniques appropriate to the types of merchandise involved are needed. For these reasons, adequate and appropriate property insurance coverages are important.
The commercial auto exposure can also be significant, based on the extent of merchandise delivery. In addition, transportation or motor truck cargo insurance on the merchandise must also be arranged.
Employee theft is always an issue and can be a significant exposure, depending on the type of property involved. Finally, the types of merchandise and material handled makes workers compensation insurance another very important coverage.
What does the insured does that could result in a covered loss? The insuring agreement only requires that the insured be legally obligated to pay damages for injury to others or damage to their property included within the products-completed operations hazard covered by the insurance.
Because of this, every product manufactured and completed operation exposure for each named insured must be determined, described and evaluated to be certain that each represents acceptable exposures, or are acceptable classes of business to the insurance company providing coverage.
Once the extent of all business activities and operations is determined, the process of identifying hazards begins. The first step in the process is completely listing and describing all current products being manufactured and projects being worked on.
The next step is obtaining the same information for discontinued products and completed projects for the past five to 10 years, depending on the products or projects involved. This should include an explanation of why the products were discontinued. If some completed projects were of a different type than those currently being worked on, an explanation is in order, including whether the insured may resume them in the future.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Building, Business Personal Property, Business Income with Extra Expense, Equipment Breakdown, Employee Dishonesty, Accounts Receivable, Bailees Customers, Computers, Goods in Transit, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits Liability, Environmental Impairment Liability, Umbrella Liability, Hired and Non-owned Auto Liability & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Earthquake, Flood, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices Liability, Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage and Stop Gap Liability.
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