Alaska Library Insurance Policy Information
Alaska Library Insurance. Libraries house a wealth of literature and other written materials, including magazines and scientific journals. In addition, they very often offer computer and internet access to members of the public, including courses that can be accessed most easily through libraries.
Libraries may further host public events ranging from language classes to reading clubs for young children.
Libraries are designed for the collection of various types of media, from written material and publications to records, electronic games, cassette tapes, compact discs (both audio and video), and other videotapes. The library may loan its materials to visitors, or be maintained for reference only, with visitors required to use its materials on premises.
Librarians are usually available to assist visitors with their research needs. Libraries may be private, institutional, or publicly funded. They often have extensive computer networks used by visitors for internet research. Many public libraries provide meeting space for reading groups or community organizations.
Some libraries have extensive collections of rare or valuable artwork, statuary, manuscripts, or related valuable literary or musical items.
By playing an important role in promoting literacy and knowledge, libraries provide services essential to the public good. Because libraries also face a multitude of risks that could threaten both their financial future and the body of knowledge they are the guardians of, however, it is crucial for library directors and officers to consider how to protect their assets.
Carrying the right types of insurance is a key part of this. To discover what types of Alaska library insurance policies needed, keep reading.
Alaska library insurance protects libraries from lawsuits with rates as low as $47/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do AK Libraries Need Insurance?
Libraries need insurance because they are vulnerable to a wide range of perils. Some of these perils will be shared by virtually every public or commercial organization, as well as by private residences.
Others are more specific to AK libraries themselves. Some perils result in minor costs that can easily be covered by a library's own budget, while others are of such magnitude that they could force a library to close permanently.
A variety of acts of nature - like earthquakes, wildfires, serious floods, and hurricanes - pose a risk to the library building itself, as well as the books and other assets therein.
Accidents such as fires and burst pipes have the potential to do similar damage to easily-compromised paper products, and criminal acts like theft and vandalism are always a threat, too.
Many libraries are bustling hubs of activity. With members of the public around all day, there is a high risk that someone will suffer some kind of injury, whether because a bookshelf that later turns out to not have been adequately secured falls on someone or because they slip in an icy parking lot.
In these cases, a library can be held legally and financially responsible for the resulting expenses, and the injured party may file a lawsuit.
While these are not the only hazards libraries can face, they do explain why it is important to carry Alaska library insurance.
What Type Of Insurance Do Alaska Libraries Need?
Libraries will need to carry several types of insurance to protect themselves from the financial consequences of a range of risks.
The exact policies a library may want to invest vary - your needs are influences by factors like the location of the library, the types of books it houses, its number of employees, and the age of the building, as well as the materials from which it was constructed.
For optimal coverage, it is advised to consult an insurance broker. Some of the essential types of Alaska library insurance needed, however, are:
- Commercial Property - Should a library be struck by an act of nature, an accident, an act of vandalism, or other unforeseen circumstances, this kind of insurance covers the financial cost of replacing or repairing damaged or lost physical assets. This includes the building as well as books, furniture, and computers.
- General Liability - Should a third party file a lawsuit after being injured or having their property damaged on the library's premises or as a result of its activities, this type of Alaska library insurance covers the resulting legal costs and settlement fees.
- Cyber - Generally speaking, libraries now store their patrons' personal data, such as their home addresses and details of the books they checked out, digitally. Should this sensitive personal information be stolen and perhaps even made public, cyber insurance would be crucial.
- Workers Compensation - This type of insurance protects both employers and employees. In the event an employee sustains a work-related injury, it covers their medical expenses and also any lost wages if the worker is unable to resume their job for a time.
While these types of insurance are important for AK libraries, remember that every library is unique. Some libraries may house valuable antique books that require antiques and collectibles insurance, for instance, while every organization that uses vehicles over the course of their professional activities also needs auto insurance.
Your insurance broker will be able to advise you on the kinds of Alaska library insurance that best meet your individual needs.
AK Libraries' Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is high due to public access to the facility. Public and life safety code compliance is very important. Bookshelves must be stabilized to prevent collapse. Good housekeeping is critical to preventing trips, slips, and falls. Stairways, railings, and floor coverings should be in good condition.
Adequate lighting, marked exits and egress are mandatory. Steps must have handrails, be well-lit, marked, and in good maintenance and repair. Parking areas should be maintained free of snow and ice.
Background checks should be conducted on all individuals, including volunteers, who work with children.
In larger cities, libraries may attract unwanted visitors during operating hours, particularly when there is inclement weather. Security at the facility, as well as in the building, corridors, and any owned parking area needs to be carefully checked and reviewed to prevent harassment or assault of other visitors.
Libraries pose an attractive nuisance hazard. There should be adequate security after hours to deter trespassers. Personal injury losses may occur due to alleged wrongful removal, invasion of privacy, or discrimination.
Workers compensation exposure is moderate. Back sprains, strains, and hernias can result from lifting. Exposure to dust and other allergens can lead to respiratory problems. Repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome can occur from working with computers.
Workstations should be ergonomically designed. Security personnel should be trained to deal with unruly patrons. If there is a bookmobile, there should be regular contact with the main office.
Property exposure is moderate. Ignition sources are limited to electrical wiring, heating, and air conditioning systems. Computer networks are extensive. Electrical wiring should be up to code and adequate for the library's use. Books and electronic media can be heavily damaged by fire, smoke, or water.
There should be fire prevention and detection devices. Sprinklers should be chemical-based instead of water-based to limit the potential for damage.
If lunchrooms, restaurants, or cafeterias are located on the premises, all cooking exposures must be adequately protected and controlled. Book restoration facilities should be included in contingency plans to clean up smoke, fire, and water damage after a loss.
In older buildings, valuation will be a concern, as there may be unique architectural features that are expensive to replace after a loss. If bookmobiles are used, there will be an off-premises exposure to loss due to collision and overturn.
Libraries may be targets for vandalism and theft. There should be adequate security after hours to deter trespassers.
Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty and money and securities. Background checks should be conducted for employees who handle money or have access to rare books. Employees who are in charge of ordering must not be the same ones who handle disbursements and billings. Inventories should be conducted at least annually.
Inland marine exposure includes computers, fine arts, and valuable papers and records for clients' and media information. Visitors may inadvertently or intentionally download viruses onto computers. Library inventory and visitor lending records are generally computerized. These records should be duplicated and kept offsite.
Fine arts can include statuary, paintings, artifacts, valuable historical documents, rare or historical books, and manuscripts which may be irreplaceable. Items should be appraised by qualified, independent experts.
Adequate controls must be present to prevent, detect and deter fire, vandalism, and theft. Items used or taken off the premises can be damaged in transit or stolen. If the library assumes responsibility for items of others, such as those used for an exhibition, bailees customers coverage should be considered.
Business auto exposure is normally limited to hired and non-owned unless a bookmobile or other mobile lending vehicle is used. Drivers must be trained in the proper handling of these larger vehicles and have appropriate licenses and acceptable MVR.
Vehicles must be maintained on a regular basis with all service documented. Backup warning systems should be considered because most bookmobiles operate in areas where children or adults with limited mobility are present.
Alaska Library Insurance - The Bottom Line
To find out more about the specific types of Alaska library insurance policies you'll need and how much coverage you should carry, 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 Non-Profit Insurance
Find useful articles on business insurance for non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations, charities and associations.
- Animal Shelter & Pet Rescue
- Classic & Collector Car Clubs
- Credit Union
- Fraternal Organization
- Goodwill Insustries
- Labor Union
- Parent Teacher Organization
- Public Administration
- Red Cross Chapters
- Salvation Army
- Social Work Services
- Veterans Groups
- Volunteers of America
- Youth Groups
For 501(c) Non-Profits - Directors And Officers Liability Insurance has become an increasingly important policy to have. D&O coverage protects insured directors or officers against claims involving allegations of wrongful acts occurring while performing their duties as such. The insurance is divided into two separate coverages:
Side A coverage reimburses the individual directors and officers for payments made for loss each has incurred because of wrongful acts.
Side B coverage reimburses the corporation for the payments it has made on behalf of the directors or officers themselves.
General Liability is a foundational policy for almost any business. Most companies do not have any control over the final cost of injuries to a person injured because of their operations, products, or services. The person injured may be a young child, a blue-collar worker, a surgeon, or a homeless person.
The cost of the injuries may be comparatively minor or run into the millions of dollars, depending on the person and the extent of his or her injuries. Do you have sufficient assets to pay such a loss?
Commercial general liability insurance is designed to help you protect your assets with three main coverages:
- Coverage A: Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability
- Coverage B: Personal and Advertising Injury Liability
- Coverage C: Medical Payments
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Building, Business Personal Property, Business Income and Extra Expense, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Directors and Officers Liability, Employee Benefits, Professional, Umbrella, Hired and Non-owned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Earthquake, Equipment Breakdown, Flood, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Fine Arts, Musical Instruments, Commercial Articles Floater, Computers, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices, Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage and Stop Gap Liability.
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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.