Alaska Medical, Surgical And Hospital Supply Store Insurance Policy Information
Alaska Medical, Surgical And Hospital Supply Store Insurance. As the owner and operator of a medical equipment and supply store, you provide doctor's offices, hospitals, and various other medical facilities with the tools their patients need.
You may also sell items to the general public, such as oxygen tanks, walkers, wheelchairs, needles and syringes. Needless to say, your task is crucial, as the products you distribute could be potentially life-saving.
However, because these equipment and supplies that you provide directly impact lives, if anything goes wrong, there is a chance that you could end up being hit with serious legal and financial issues.
Medical, surgical and supply stores offer a variety of dental, medical, and surgical instruments and supplies. Some also offer equipment rentals, such as breathing apparatus, crutches, portable oxygen tanks, or wheelchairs.
They may also offer sterilization of equipment services to dentists, physicians, or surgeons.
In order to protect yourself, your clients, and your employees from any problems that may arise, making sure that you have the right type of Alaska medical, surgical and hospital supply store insurance coverage is crucial.
What type of insurance do AK medical supply stores need? Read on to find out more about this vital component of your business.
Alaska medical, surgical and hospital supply store insurance protects your business from lawsuits with rates as low as $67/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do Medical, Surgical And Hospital Supply Stores Need Insurance?
Medical equipment and supply stores face many of the same risks as business owners in any industry face. For example, third parties, such as vendors or customers, could trip, fall, and suffer an injury on at your store, or a work-related accident could injure an employee.
You also face risks that are unique to your specific industry. For instance, equipment that you provide could malfunction and potentially harm a customer or not deliver the therapy that it is intended to, or a mix-up could occur and you could supply the wrong product.
While you do your best to make sure that everything runs smoothly, sometimes problems can't be avoided. For this reason, it's important to expect the unexpected by being properly insured.
With the right Alaska medical, surgical and hospital supply store insurance policies in place, if an issue does arise, instead of having to pay for the associated expenses out of your own pocket, your carrier will cover them for you.
In addition to the financial protection that insurance provides, being properly covered ensures that you are compliant with AK law. In order to distribute medical equipment and supplies, certain types of coverage are compulsory. If you fail to carry the necessary commercial insurance, you could end up having to deal with legal issues.
What Type Of Insurance Do Medical, Surgical And Hospital Supply Stores Need?
The specific type of Alaska medical, surgical and hospital supply store insurance coverage you'll need depends on several factors; for example, the size of your operation, the type of products you supply, and the size and location of your company.
With that said, however, there are certain types of Alaska medical, surgical and hospital supply store insurance coverage that all AK medical equipment and supply stores should carry, regardless of the specifics of their operation. Examples of required coverage include:
- Product Liability: This type of policy covers any financial responsibilities that may be occur as a result of defective or malfunctioning products. For instance, if a wheelchair that you distributed to a customer falls apart while they are using it and they develop an injury as a result of the defect, product liability insurance would cover any financial repercussions, such as the client's medical care and your legal defense fees, should the individual file a lawsuit against you.
- Professional Liability: You'll also need a professional liability policy. For instance, if you recommend a product to a customer, that product ends up harming them, and they require medical care and take legal action, professional liability insurance would cover the related expenses.
- General Liability: You'll also need to have general liability coverage. This policy protects you from third-party injury or property damage claims. If a vendor trips on your property while making a delivery, breaks a leg, and sues your store, general liability insurance will cover the related legal fees, as well as any compensation that you may be required to pay.
- Commercial Property: This policy protects the physical structure of your store, as well as the contents within it, from acts of nature, vandalism, and theft. If your building were to catch on fire or if a criminal were to break into your facility and steal equipment, this insurance would help to pay for any repairs that may need to be made or products that may need to be replaced.
These are just a few examples of the Alaska medical, surgical and hospital supply store insurance policies you should carry for your medical supplies business.
AK Medical, Surgical And Hospital Supply Store's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is moderate due to the limited number of visitors to the store. To prevent slips and falls, there should be good lighting and adequate aisle space. All goods should be kept on easily reached shelves so customers do not pull items down on themselves.
Flooring should be in good condition with no frayed or worn spots on carpet and no cracks or holes in flooring. Steps and uneven floor surfaces should be prominently marked.
Sufficient exits must be provided and be well marked with backup lighting systems in case of power failure. Waiting areas should be provided as some customers may be sick or have impaired mobility.
The rental of medical equipment can result in additional injuries to customers who already have health problems. Equipment must be inspected and maintained after each use.
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 business is open after dark, there should be adequate lighting and appropriate security for the area. There should be a disaster plan in place for unexpected emergencies.
Personal injury exposure can arise from allegations of discrimination, invasion of customers' privacy should confidential medical information be released to unauthorized sources, and from apprehending and detaining suspected shoplifters, which may result in claims of assault and battery, false arrest or detention, unauthorized or intrusive searches, or wrongful ejection from the premises.
Employees must be trained to deal with such delicate situations properly.
Products liability exposure is normally low if no rental or sterilization operations are involved. If either is done, exposure increases significantly as customers may be injured by improperly sterilized or maintained equipment.
Foreign-made items should come from a domestic-based wholesaler. Any direct importer should be considered as a product manufacturer.
Workers compensation exposures are moderate due to employees standing for long hours, the use of computers, and restocking which requires lifting and placing items on shelves. Continual standing can result in musculoskeletal disorders of the back, legs, or feet. Trips, slips, and falls are common.
When work is done on computers, employees are exposed to eyestrain, neck strain, and repetitive motion injuries including carpal tunnel syndrome. Lifting can cause back injury, hernia, sprains, and strains. Employees should be provided with safety equipment, trained on proper handling techniques, and have conveying devices available to assist with heavy lifting.
Shelves should be easily accessible for storage. Stepladders should be available. Housekeeping in storage areas is vital to prevent trips and falls. Cleaning workers can develop respiratory ailments or contact dermatitis from working with chemicals.
In any retail business, hold-ups are possible. Employees should be trained to respond in a prescribed manner. With repair and rental reconditioning there may be exposure to machinery and welding which can result in cuts and bruises.
Delivery of oxygen tanks and other equipment can result in injuries from overturn and collision. Sterilization operations can result in employees being exposed to contaminants.
Property exposures are low if ignition sources are limited to electrical wiring, heating and cooling equipment. Oxygen tanks can explode and should be kept away from heat sources.
Should a fire occur, substantial fire and water damage may result due to the sterile condition required of the supplies, which may have to be discarded due to contamination. In addition, the large number of plastic items will add to the fire load.
As medical equipment may be high in value, appropriate security measures must be taken, including physical barriers to prevent entrance after hours and an alarm system that reports directly to a central station or the police department.
Business interruption exposure is low as backup facilities are generally available.
Crime exposures are from employee dishonesty and theft of money and securities either from holdup or safe burglary. Background checks should be conducted on all employees handling money.
There must be a separation of duties between persons handling deposits and disbursements and reconciling bank statements.
Receipting, inventory monitoring, and regular auditing are important. Money should be regularly collected from cash drawers and moved away from the collection area, preferably to a safe on premises. Bank drops should be made regularly to prevent a buildup of cash on the premises.
Inland marine exposures are from accounts receivable if the store offers credit, computers to transact sales and monitor inventory, and valuable papers and records for customers' and vendors' information.
Backup copies of all records, including computer files, should be made and stored off premises. If items are delivered to customers or between stores, goods in transit coverage will be needed.
Business auto exposure may be limited to hired non-owned liability due to employees running errands. If delivery services are provided, all employees driving vehicles must have valid licenses and acceptable MVRs.
Vehicles must be regularly maintained with records kept. The transportation of oxygen tanks requires special loading and unloading. Tanks must be properly secured during transport to avoid an explosion.
Medical, Surgical And Hospital Supply Store Insurance - The Bottom Line
To find out what type of Alaska medical, surgical and hospital supply store insurance coverage you'll need for your operation, speak with an experienced broker who specializes in business 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 Medical Insurance
Discover small business insurance for medical and dental professionals. Medical malpractice insurance is a type of professional liability that protects health care professionals from liability causing in bodily injury, medical expenses and property damage.
- Ambulatory Surgical Center
- Art Therapy
- Assisted Living Facilities
- Blood Banks
- Dental Lab
- Dental Office
- Diagnostic Imaging Centers
- Health Maintenance Organizations
- Healthcare Facilities
- Home Medical Equipment Dealers
- Marriage & Family Therapy
- Medical Clinics
- Medical Laboratories
- Medical Marijuana Dispensary
- Medical Practice
- Medical, Surgical & Hospital Supply Store
- Mental Health Counseling
- Nurse Registry
- Occupational Therapy
- Osteopathic Physicians
- Physicians Office
- Plastic Surgeons
- Skilled Nursing Facilities
- Speech Therapy
- Substance Abuse Counseling
- Telemedicine Business Insurance
Health care providers are the most trusted individuals in our society. Ironically, they are the same ones who can do the greatest harm. They actually have the right to invade our bodies with knives and to poison us with chemicals - all in the name of health care and with the goal of relieving our symptoms and hopefully bringing about a cure.
While the actions of these professionals normally benefit us, insurance coverage must be available for the times when mistakes happen and things go wrong. These professionals and their facilities have extensive property exposures that are becoming more and more intricate and whose values are increasing exponentially.
The 'one size fits all' approach that once could have applied to insurance for health care providers and their facilities no longer applies.
Professional liability offers protection against claims of malpractice for all sums that the medical professional becomes legally obligated to pay as damages because of rendering or failing to render professional services.
Professional and medical malpractice exposures are the most expensive and difficult of all exposures for health care providers. The commercial general liability policy excludes these exposures so separate coverage is needed. Most professional liability policies are written on a claims-made basis and, as a result, tail coverage and retroactive dates are important coverage issues to be aware of when evaluating the insured’s coverage needs and comparing coverages.
The coverage provided is often called medical malpractice. For decades, many involved in the health care field and insurance companies that provide insurance coverage to providers have stated that malpractice lawsuits have created an ongoing crisis of restricting insurance availability, due to loss of insurance companies that write the coverage and significant rate increases.
As a result, state legislatures have taken the following actions to address the situation:
Imposed a dollar limitation of liability for malpractice suits.
Modified statutes of limitation to limit the number of years that a suit may be brought against a physician following a negligent act.
Modified when the statute of limitations takes effect. An example is beginning from a negligent act's occurrence rather than from its discovery.
Passed laws to modify tort law procedures and doctrines that relate to malpractice.
Because of differences in law by state it is important to know the states in which the covered health care providers are licensed and regularly practice. Some health care providers may practice in multiple states because of their particular specialty, their reputation or the demand for their services. Some hospitals may have ownership in facilities or provide services to patients that are outside of their main location state.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Business Income and Extra Expense, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Physicians and Surgeons Floater, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits, Professional, Umbrella, Hired and Non-owned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Building, Earthquake, Equipment Breakdown, Flood, Leasehold Interest, Real Property Legal Liability, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices, Business Automobile Liability and Physical Damage and Stop Gap Liability.
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Also find AK local small businesses by General Liability Class Code 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.