Alaska Marina Insurance Policy Information
Alaska Marina Insurance. As a marina owner, you're tasked with a lot of responsibilities. Not only do you have to ensure that the vessels you keep watch over are well-protected, but you also have to ensure that your property is cared for, and of course, that any staff you employ is taken care of.
In other words, marina owners are exposed to a lot of risks.
Marinas, boat yards or boat moorage facilities offer a wide variety of services to both private and commercial boat or yacht owners and their guests. Marinas offer launching slips or dock space rental, some to members only and some to the public. Some offer storage facilities, both wet (in the water) and dry (out of the water).
Vessels stored in dry dock may be kept indoors or outdoors in a yard. Other services may include retail sales of accessories, fuel or supplies, pumping out of the vessel's waste tank (refuse from galley and head), boat rentals, service and repair facilities, dry docks for painting, cleaning, refitting, or winterizing, and restaurants or bars.
There may be a launching slip for customers' use. The marina may have lifts to take boats out of the water. They may offer instruction, boat races and contests, demonstrations and promotions. If the marina does not offer all the services mentioned, these may be contracted elsewhere to meet the needs of their customers.
As the owner and operator of a marina, you are liable for anything that goes wrong. In order to protect yourself from the risk of serious financial losses, you need to invest in the right type of Alaska marina insurance coverage.
What kind of insurance do you need? How much should you carry? Read on to find out how to properly protect your AL marina from any mishaps that may be thrown your way.
Alaska marina insurance protects your boat yard and moorage facility from lawsuits with rates as low as $67/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do Marinas Need Insurance?
Despite trying your best to make sure that everything runs smoothly with your AK marina, there is always a chance that something could go wrong.
Your entire property could go up in flames, a storm could wipe out your bulkheads and piers, a customer could file a lawsuit against you, claiming that you were responsible for damaging their boat, or an employee could suffer a work-related injury. These are just a few examples of the things that could go wrong.
If something unexpected occurs, you could be looking at some serious financial losses. The cost of medical bills, repairs, property damage, and more could end up costing you a fortune. That's why having the right type of insurance coverage is so important.
As long as you're covered, instead of paying for any mishaps that do occur yourself, your insurance carrier will cover the cost for you. Not only will having the right kind of Alaska marina insurance coverage protect you from serious financial losses, but marina owners are also legally required to carry insurance coverage.
If you aren't covered, you could be looking at serious fines and could potentially even end up having your AK marina shut down.
What Type Of Insurance Do Marina Need?
There are several types of Alaska marina insurance coverage that marina owners will need. The specific type of coverage you'll require depends on a variety of factors; where your marina is located, the size of the marina, and the risk for storm damage in your area, for example.
Because AK insurance requirements may vary, it's best to speak with a reputable insurance agent who has experience insuring marina owners.
To give you an idea of some of the different types of insurance marina owners will need, here's a look at a few examples of the coverages you might need to carry:
- Commercial Property - This type of insurance coverage protects your commercial property, as well as the contents within it from acts of nature, vandalism, and theft. For example, if high winds pulled the roof off of your marina, an explosion occurred, or someone vandalized your building, this type of coverage would help to cover the cost of repairing or replacing any damages.
- Inland Marine - This type of insurance can be considered a "floater" policy, as it protects your property when it isn't on-site. For instance, it will cover your travel lifts, compressors, for lifts, and other gear and tools that you may use in different locations when they aren't on-site of your marina.
- General Liability - Like any other business owner in any other industry, you'll also need to invest in general liability coverage. This type of insurance protects you from third-party personal injury and property damage claims. For example, if a client were to fall off the bulkhead while docking their boat and claim that the accident occurred because you didn't properly maintain the bulkhead, this coverage would protect you. It helps to cover any legal expenses, as well as compensation that you may be required to pay.
- Workers Compensation - If you employ a staff, it's your responsibility to provide them with a safe work environment. If one of your employees were to become injured on the job, workers' comp would help to pay for any medical care that they require, as well cover any wages that they may lose if they were unable to work while recovering.
The above-mentioned policies are just a few examples of the type of Alaska marina insurance coverage you should consider for your boat yard.
AK Marina' Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is high due to waterfront facilities and the public access to the premises. Tripping and slip and fall hazards are common. Waiting areas should be provided for customers whose vessels are being repaired. Customers should not be permitted access to the service area.
The moving, rearranging and hooking up of owned and non-owned watercraft pose a collision hazard to persons or to property of others. 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.
If the premises are open after dark, adequate lighting and appropriate security for the area must be present. Watercraft stored outside may pose an attractive nuisance to children and teens, especially during the off season. Chains and fences should be in place to prevent entrance to the premises after hours.
The more land-based the operation, the greater the exposure because once the customer boards a vessel, the premises liability stops and the inland or ocean marine exposure begins. Docks present numerous hazards. Wet or slippery surfaces, inadequate markings, poor maintenance, obstacles left on the dock by the insured or others may result in injuries to customers or guests.
If alcohol is sold on premises, there is a significant liquor liability exposure since alcohol combined with watercraft can be a deadly combination. Repair operations are the major products/completed operations exposures.
There should be a check-off procedure in place prior to release of the watercraft to the customer to prevent its return with any vital functions not working properly.
Environmental impairment exposure can be significant due to the storage of gasoline and other flammable liquids in tanks and the disposal of used oils, solvents and other hazardous wastes from repair and pump-out operations. All above-ground and underground tanks are subject to state or federal regulations and should be routinely tested for leakage.
Adequate procedures should be in place and must be followed to prevent any leakage or contamination. Fuel pumps that are available to the public pose an exposure due to the possibility of spillage into waterways. Contracts should be in place to dispose of all environmentally dangerous chemicals.
Workers compensation exposures are most significant in the repair operation and any transport. Back injuries, hernias, strains and sprains can result from lifting. Repair may involve painting, welding, or work with fiberglass hulls. Safety equipment should be provided. Casual and seasonal labor can impact the ability to control hazards. Turnover may be high.
If large boats are repaired there may be work at heights. Refueling should be done only in well-ventilated areas to minimize inhaling of fumes. Information regarding chemicals should be available to employees along with early warning signs of problems.
The transporting of boats from storage to the water may involve cranes, lifts, winches or other heavy equipment, including rails. There may be Longshore & Harborworkers Compensation Act or Maritime exposure if work is done on or near the water.
Property exposure may be limited to a retail store operation or include hazards of boat repair, spray painting and even a full-service restaurant. If painting, welding, fiberglass repair or cooking exposures are done on premises; the exposure to fire will be increased. Cooking surfaces must be properly protected. Flammables must be properly labeled, stored and separated.
Spray painting should be conducted in spray booths with good ventilation, UL-approved wiring and fixtures and adequate controls. If welding is a part of the repair and body work operation, it needs to be evaluated for proper handling of the tanks and gases and adequate separation from other operations with either a separate room or flash/welding curtains.
Good housekeeping is critical. Oily rags must be kept in covered metal containers. Work areas must be cleaned regularly and trash removed from the building. Marinas are often at a distance from fire stations, and access may be difficult due to natural obstructions or poor road quality.
Although located near water, lack of equipment, procedures or training may result in a severe fire loss. Wind, wind-driven water and hurricane damage pose catastrophe potential as the marina is close to the water.
Theft is a concern as watercraft can be target items. Appropriate security controls must be taken including physical barriers such as chains, fences, or gates, lighting to deter access to the premises after hours, and an alarm system that reports directly to a central station or the police department.
Crime exposures are from employee dishonesty and theft of money and securities. Employee dishonesty is controlled through background checks, inventory monitoring, control of the cash register, and division of duties. Physical audits should be conducted at least annually. Storage and handling of keys presents an often overlooked exposure to theft.
Inland marine exposures come from accounts receivable if the operation offers credit; bailees customers for watercraft in for service, repair or storage; computers used to monitor inventory; goods in transit if the operation delivers watercraft to customers; and valuable papers and records for manufacturers' and customers' records.
Contractors' equipment may include marine railways, hoists and other marine equipment used to move boats in and out of the water, equipment used for lifting and transporting vessels and to maintain the premises.
Particular concern should be shown for any item that is used near or in the water. Watercraft stored in the open are particularly susceptible to damage by vandalism and theft. Lots should be well lighted with chains, fences or gates to prevent access and transport.
An alarm system that reports directly to a central station or the police department should be used. Security guards may be appropriate in some areas. The operator may own one or more boats. There may also be a rental boat exposure.
Ocean marine exposure includes the dock and any owned vessels. Piers and docks may be susceptible to weather perils as well as damage from vessels. Hoisting exposures seaside may be similar to those under inland marine, but the catastrophe potential is often significantly increased due to the higher value of ocean-going watercraft and the unpredictability of the ocean.
The insured may own one or more boats or other watercraft that are for personal use and/or rental. Ocean marine includes the liability exposures (as protection and indemnity coverage) so any rental operation can add a significant exposure.
Commercial auto exposure may be limited to hired and non-owned for employees running errands to pick up parts for repair operations. All employee drivers should have appropriate licenses with their MVRs regularly checked. All vehicles must be regularly maintained with records retained.
There should be written procedures for personal and permissive use of vehicles furnished to employees. If the dealership offers pickup and delivery of watercraft to its customers, the exposure increases. Transportation hazards include failure to secure the load properly and equipment failure, especially tie-downs and hitches.
Drivers must be trained to transport oversized loads that can shift on the road. Random drug and alcohol testing should be conducted.
Alaska Marina Insurance - The Bottom Line
To find out more about the exact types of Alaska marina insurance policies you'll need, how much coverage your boat yard needs - speak with an experienced insurance broker who understands the unique risks of marinas.
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 Marine, Boat And Watercraft Insurance
Learn about marine, boat and watercraft insurance - a specialized form insurance that provides coverage for hull losses, cargo losses as well as liability for passenger injuries, environmental damage, and third-party damage caused by watercraft accidents.
- Insurance Nautical Terms Glossary
- Boat Dealers
- Boat Repair & Dry Docks
- Dock & Pier Contractors
- Dredging Contractors
- Ocean Marine
- Ship Chandlers
- Boat & Watercraft Insurance
Marine insurance covers everything from loss of cargo to damage to the vessel, terminals, etc. Cargo ships are provided protection against potential losses, especially in transit, which is ideally suited to shipping companies and couriers who want to ensure that they are protected while transporting goods.
Businesses in the shipping industry and those who own private yachts/boats understand that it is nearly impossible to control natural occurrences despite the current safety regulations and laws. Factors like encounters with pirates, weather hazards, conflicts are all too common and can result in damages that cause ship owners to incur lots of damages.
A marine insurance policy can ensure that ship, boat, and yacht owners' interests are protected, offering financial coverage to ensure that they are protected against potential losses.
The other excellent feature of current marine insurance policies is that they can be customized to specific trades, which means that they can cater to varying coverage requirements. The policies can offer coverage based on the size of the ship and the routes being taken.
Types Of Marine Insurance
As mentioned earlier, marine insurance is a broad term that applies to a large group of coverages and is meant to offer protection against damages and losses. Generally, you'll run into three common marine insurance types that provide varying protections.
Hull Insurance - When your ship, boat, or yacht has hull insurance, it is protected from all physical damages along with machinery and equipment. The policy covers all water vessels but is limited to primary commercial ocean vessels. That's why this isn't the best policy for vessels like floating equipment, tugboats, barges and oil rights, or any other type of vessel which does not have commercial intent, so to speak.
Cargo Insurance - Again, this marine insurance coverage is for physical damage to the cargo a commercial vessel may be carrying. However, the coverage and the conditions may vary; for instance, there are policies that offer theft protection, and then there are others that cover other forms of losses apart from physical damage.
Marine Liability Insurance - Now this policy is often referred to as P&I or also protection and indemnity. The coverage offers protection from third-party liabilities that owners and businesses may be exposed to during operations. It also includes coverage for illnesses and injuries while also covering loss of life when the vessel is operational. If there are medical expenditures, damage to the vessels, collision incidents, then; as a result, the quarantine is also covered.
Finally, the premium for marine insurance is mainly based on a couple of factors like the type of vessel, age of the vessel, trading and tonnage, management and ownership, and valuation of the ship, amongst various other factors.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Building, Business Personal Property, Business Income and Extra Expense, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Accounts Receivable, Bailees Customers, Computers, Contractors' Equipment, Mobile Equipment, Valuable Papers and Records, Ocean Marine – Hull, Ocean Marine – Protection and Indemnity, General Liability, Employee Benefits Liability, Environmental Impairment, Umbrella, Hired and Non-Owned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Earthquake, Flood, Burglary, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Robbery, Goods in Transit, Signs, Ocean Marine - Hull, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices, Liquor Liability, Ocean Marine - Protection and Indemnity, Business Automobile Liability and Physical Damage, Longshore and Harborworkers Compensation Act 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.