Alaska Liquor Wholesalers Insurance Policy Information
Alaska Liquor Wholesalers Insurance. For AK liquor wholesalers, distributors and importers, there are a lot of things to consider when it comes to protecting your business. One of the things that you need to be concerned with is insurance. Having the right insurance means that if something happens, it isn't going to completely derail your business and take it down.
Liquor wholesalers receive packaged beer, wine and/or distilled spirits from foreign or domestic distilleries for distribution to package liquor stores, grocery stores, restaurants and other retail establishments. The distribution center may be open 24 hours a day. Generally, the product is delivered to the customer on the distributor's vehicles.
Having the right Alaska liquor wholesalers insurance will ensure that your business continues long after an emergency or unexpected event, but many insurance companies do not offer specific insurance for liquor wholesales or distributors. That's where customized plans comes in that cater specifically to liquor wholesale companies. Let's take a look at some of the things that may be included with this customized plan.
Alaska liquor wholesalers insurance protects your beverage distribution business from lawsuits with rates as low as $77/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Insurance Is Vital For Wholesale Liquor Businesses
Without insurance, you will have to pay any expenses that you are liable for out of your own pocket, including legal fees, property damages, and personal injuries; but, with the right Alaska liquor wholesalers insurance coverage, you can avoid the financial repercussions that are associated with the risks that your AK liquor distribution business faces.
What Type Of Insurance Should Liquor Wholesalers Have?
Regardless of the specifics of your beverage distribution business, there are certain types of insurance that all AK liquor wholesalers should have, including:
General Liability Insurance - As for making sure that you are covered on your premises and covered when it comes to general things that every employer has to worry about such as employer practices liability, you may want to go with general liability insurance. General liability insurance is sort of blanket coverage that protects you from a number of common liability scenarios.
For example, some people think that property insurance slipcovers on employer when someone slips and falls, but is actually general liability. Property insurance is intended to protect the business owner in the case of a natural disaster or something else happening to the property. General liability insurance is definitely necessary for any type of business, and a good insurance agent will be able to add and subtract elements in order to customize it to fit a liquor wholesale business perfectly.
Importers & Distributors Insurance - Some insurance companies are able to offer what is called importers and distributors insurance. This will go by different names depending on the insurance company and the specific program. Importers and distributors insurance specifically protects companies that distribute products like wholesale liquor, other beverages and more.
In addition, it protects your AK company when you are importing products from other parts of the world including making sure that they arrive on time and undamaged as well as protection against various other mishaps that can occur while the cargo is on route or after it arrives in your country.
Business Auto - If you are a distributor, then you are likely going to need commercial automobile insurance for your fleet. Commercial automobile insurance extends far beyond normal liability insurance that most are familiar with and protects your vehicle and make sure that you are covered in the case of a collision with someone else who then decides later on that that are going to sue.
It protects against various types of damage no matter who was at fault including underinsured or uninsured motorists. Generally, this type of Alaska liquor wholesalers insurance is referred to as full coverage insurance or comprehensive insurance, and you will need it for every vehicle you operate as part of doing business.
Workers Compensation - Companies with employees will need to have Worker's Comp as well. If you're liquor wholesale business is really small, then you may be able to run it with a couple of people. However, once you start hiring salary or hourly workers, then you're going to be required to carry Worker's Compensation.
Worker's Compensation protects employees if they get injured on the job. However, it also protects employers because employees are barred from taking any legal action because they are already receiving compensation from the insurance payout. In some cases, this covers more than just medical bills such as lost wages.
Other Types Of Commercial Insurance
Above are just a few examples of the Alaska liquor wholesalers insurance coverage that should be purchased. Your insurance agent may be able to do a great deal of customization to help you run your business successfully.
For example, your agent may be able to expand or limit the protection offered so that it only applies to your particular distribution route. In addition, lines of insurance may be available in the case of equipment breakdown, selling price loss valuation, wine and spirit inventory loss, business property damage, product withdrawal expense, liquor liability, cyber risk and more.
In addition, your insurance company may have resources available to them that could be useful such as location surveys to evaluate fire and security systems in your building, inspections of building and equipment, accident investigations, protection against identity theft, emergency planning and evacuation and a whole lot more.
AK Beer Distribution Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is generally limited due to lack of public access to the storage facilities. If customers pick up goods, loading docks must be clearly marked and user-friendly. Customers should be confined to specific areas that are kept clean, dry and free of obstacles. Contracts with transportation and storage providers may expose the operation to additional liability. Railroad sidetrack agreements pose additional concerns.
If there is a railroad sidetrack or dock, an employee must verify that no one is in the path of an incoming or outgoing train. Railroad tracks and conveyors can be attractive nuisances. The premises should be enclosed by fencing with "No Trespassing" signs posted.
Products liability exposure is low if products are all from domestic manufacturers. All products should be dated and stored as required by the manufacturer to allow easy access in case of recall. There should be controls in place to prevent contamination from chemicals used inside the facility, such as insecticides and pesticides. Stock should be regularly rotated so older, but not out of date, stock is sold first, and out of date stock is removed and discarded.
Environmental impairment exposure can be high due to ammonia and other refrigerants and fuel tanks used to service vehicles. All underground tanks and pipes should be routinely tested for leakage. Spill procedures must be in place to prevent the accidental discharge of contaminants. Contracts should be in place to dispose of all environmentally dangerous chemicals. Record keeping is critical.
Liquor liability exposure is low if tours are not permitted and samples are not given out. All serving of alcohol must comply with state and federal regulations. Employees must be trained to recognize signs of intoxication.
Workers compensation exposure is very high. Back and lifting injuries, hernias, sprains, and strains can result from lifting so workers should be trained in proper lifting techniques and have conveyances available. Forklift and cherry picker operators must be properly trained. Shelving must be stable to prevent stored goods from falling onto workers.
Leaking ammonia is a serious health hazard that can lead to lung damage or even death. Protective breathing equipment must be available to all workers in the event of any ammonia leak. Floor coverings or coatings may be slick and accumulate condensation, posing slip and fall hazards. Housekeeping is critical.
To avoid frostbite and hypothermia resulting from exposure to sub-zero temperatures, the length of time spent in refrigerated areas must be limited, and protective clothing required.
Property exposure comes from multiple ignition sources, open construction, and the high combustibility and damageability of liquor and packing materials. Ignition sources are from electrical wiring, equipment, and refrigeration units. The age, condition and maintenance of coolers and refrigeration equipment are important to review.
Ammonia leaks could cause an explosion. There should be detection systems, emergency shut-off valves, and exhaust systems to allow venting in the case of a leak. Ammonia pipes should run outside the building to prevent accidental collision with forklifts inside the building, and have impact barriers around them to prevent contact with vehicles.
Alarms should be in place to warn of power outage or shutdown. Backup generators should be available in case of equipment failure. Good housekeeping and fire controls are critical. Smoking should be prohibited. Even a small loss can cause all stock to be condemned by the FDA due to possible heat, smoke or water contamination. If there is a sprinkler system, heads must be located high enough to avoid accidental contact with forklifts. Recharging of forklifts and maintenance of vehicles should be done in a separate, ventilated area away from combustibles.
Liquor may be a target for thieves. Appropriate security controls must be taken including physical barriers to prevent entrance to the premises after hours and an alarm system that reports directly to a central station or the police department.
Business income and extra expense exposures are high. Recovering from a loss could require a lengthy time to rebuild the facility and purchase replacement refrigeration equipment.
Equipment breakdown exposures are significant as temperatures must remain constant for refrigeration equipment. All equipment must be inspected and maintained on a regular basis. Back-up generators should be available. Additional coverage for spoilage and ammonia contamination should be considered because even a small power interruption could result in a large loss.
Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty as liquor has a high street value. This operation involves a number of transactions and accounts that can be manipulated if duties are not separated. Background checks, including criminal history, should be performed on all employees handling money. Regular audits, both internal and external, are important in order to prevent employee theft of accounts. Physical inventories should be conducted at least annually.
Inland marine exposure is from accounts receivable if the distributor offers credit to customers, computers for tracking inventory, contractors' equipment, goods in transit, and valuable papers and records for manufacturers' and customers' records. Duplicates must be kept of all data to permit easy replication in the event of a loss. Contractors' equipment includes forklifts, cherry pickers, and hand trucks used for moving stored items.
While goods may come to the warehouse via common carriers or trains, goods are generally delivered to retailers on trucks owned by the distributor. Goods in transit are subject to breakage losses from collision or overturn. Due to the potential for theft, vehicles should be unmarked, have alarms, and be attended at all times.
Commercial auto exposure comes from the salespersons' fleet and delivery vehicles. There should be written policies on personal and permissive use of any vehicles provided to employees. All drivers must be well trained and have valid licenses for the type of vehicle being driven. MVRs must be run on a regular basis. Random drug and alcohol testing should be conducted. Vehicles must be well maintained, including refrigeration systems, with records kept in central locations.
Liquor Wholesalers Insurance
To ensure your beverage distribution business is properly protected, speak with an knowledgeable agent that specializes in Alaska liquor wholesalers 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 Food Service Insurance
Learn about restaurants, bars, liquor stores commercial insurance coverages. See how small business food service insurance help protect against accidents, oversights and lawsuits resulting from business operations.
- Bagel Shop
- Beer Distributor
- Coffee Shop
- Concession Stand
- Farmers Market
- Grocery Store
- Liquor Liability
- Liquor Store
- Liquor Wholesaler
Bars, taverns, restaurants, cafeterias, and other eating and drinking places have significant insurance needs in three separate areas.
The first is property protection for physical damage to equipment, furnishings, building and supplies due to fire and other perils.
The second is premises liability coverage to protect customers due to slips, trips and falls on the premises, as well as for consumption of food products.
The final need is protection for employees due to frequent cuts, burns and other common employee injuries. Establishments that sell or serve liquor or other alcoholic beverages also need liquor liability coverage.
Slips and falls, along with customer illness due to being served tainted food or drink, are the primary liability exposures. The commercial general liability (CGL) is used to provide coverage for these exposures.
It is important to note that liquor liability coverage is excluded under the CGL form if a risk is in the business of serving alcoholic beverages. Many establishments in this category should therefore consider purchasing a separate liquor liability coverage form.
Restaurant kitchen equipment, inventory and dining room fixtures are common exposures for most eating and drinking places. Many of these establishments do not own the buildings they occupy but have long-term leases and have invested money in various improvements and betterments, including cooking equipment, dining room decorations and permanent fixtures.
There are major differences in the food service business and the very different exposures they present. There are many specific types of restaurants to cater to individual needs and tastes. There a several main commercial insurance classifications for food service.
Concessionaires: The most basic "eat on the run" type of restaurant is not classified as a restaurant at all but is referred to as a concessionaire. Class Code 11168: Concessionaires applies and the accompanying note states that all food and beverages must be sold through hawking or peddling. There can be no location to which customers walk up and purchase the food. This classification includes food sold at sporting events, exhibitions, and parks.
Caterers: Are very similar to restaurants with significant differences. The caterer prepares the meals at its own kitchen or commissary and then transports it to the locations where it will be served. Some final preparation may take place at the final location but the majority generally takes place at the caterer's location. The caterer's employees serve the meals and beverages and oversee the consumption of the food.
Restaurants: The way restaurants are categorized and classified uses the percentage of alcoholic beverage sales as the first criteria, followed by other features or operations.
Common to all of these categories is that entertainment-oriented venues such as nightclubs, cabarets, dance halls, discotheques, and comedy clubs must be separately classified and rated. This means that the sales that those entertainment activities generate must be broken out and rated separately from the sale or food and drink.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Business Income and Extra Expense, Spoilage, Equipment Breakdown, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits, Umbrella, Hired and Nonowned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Building, Earthquake, Flood, Leasehold Interest, Real Property Legal Liability, Accounts Receivables, Bailees Customers, Fine Arts, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices, Environmental Impairment, Liquor Liability, Business Automobile Liability and Physical Damage, Garagekeepers and Stop Gap Liability.
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Also 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.