Alaska Nursery And Greenhouse Insurance Policy Information
Alaska Nursery And Greenhouse Insurance. Nurseries propagate plants from seeds, cuttings, or grafts, and grow them to a size usable by customers. Products grown include flowers, garden fruits and vegetables, groundcovers, herbs, shrubs, and trees. The business is highly seasonal, with most products sold during the spring and summer. Plants can be grown in the open in either fields or containers. They may also be grown in protected structures such as greenhouses designed to provide light and ventilation while protecting the plants from the elements.
Trees and larger shrubs can be sold bare-root or balled and burlapped. Products may be sold directly to consumers, or to retailers and wholesalers. Some sell by mail. The nursery may install purchased items on customers' premises or offer landscape design services. AK nurseries depend on natural substances such as compost and manure to be successful, plus a number of chemical applications such as fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides, and pesticides. Mowers, pickers, tillers, tractors, and other types of farming machinery are required to support production.
Alaska nursery and greenhouse insurance protects retail and wholesale nurseries from legal liability with rates as low as $67/mo. Get a fast quote and protect your business now.
Types Of Nursery And Greenhouse Insurance
Running this type of business can be a challenge and you need to have the right Alaska nursery and greenhouse insurance to cover your operation. There are a number of different commercial insurance policies that you can look at and you need to know what they are. You should also know what each policy will do for your business to better understand their importance. Following is some information on the main types of insurance for AK greenhouses and nurseries:
General Liability Insurance
The first type of insurance that you need to consider is general liability insurance. This insurance cover will protect your business from many liability issues. This type of insurance will generally be flexible and can be customized to meet the needs of your business.
This Alaska nursery and greenhouse insurance will generally cover any damage to property that you rent as well as customer slip and falls on your premises. It is recommended that you speak to an insurance provider about the exact cover that you can get with these policies.
It is important to note that different insurance providers will offer different cover with general liability. You will need to read through the cover before you agree to anything and fully understand what you are covered for. This will also help you determine the other types of insurance that you have to get.
Commercial Property Insurance
When you are running any business, you will have to get commercial property insurance. Property insurance will not only cover the building that your nursery or greenhouse is located in, it will also protect your products, plants and the machinery you have. All property which is connected to the business will be covered by this insurance policy.
Of course, when you are getting this Alaska nursery and greenhouse insurance, you will need to verify what is being covered. There are business specific items that you will want to have covered which might not be part of a standard property insurance policy. It is also important to note that there are certain events which cause damage to property that will not be covered by the standard insurance policy.
These events will generally include natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes. To get insurance coverage for these events, you will have to take out additional property insurance policies. Fire, theft, vandalism etc. will generally be covered by the standard insurance policy that you can get.
Business Income Insurance
There are a lot of AK businesses that forget about business income insurance. This is a serious mistake and you should avoid making this mistake at all costs. As the name suggests, business income insurance will provide cover for the income which is made by the company.
This insurance will replace a loss of income when your business is not able to operate correctly. If there has been damage to the building and your business has to close while repairs are done, this insurance will cover your income. Not having this Alaska nursery and greenhouse insurance will result in your business having to pay the expenses while closed without any income to cover this. There are many businesses which have closed for repairs and never reopened because they did not have the cash flow they needed to stay afloat.
Commercial Auto Insurance
Nurseries and greenhouses typically have business vehicles and you need to have AK commercial auto insurance for them. This is a requirement for them to legally be on the road and you should never neglect this. You never know when an accident could occur and you need to have the proper insurance to cover this.
The commercial vehicle insurance that you have should cover all of the vehicles that your business owns. If your vehicle is in an accident which was caused by the driver of your business vehicle, you will be liable for the expenses related to this. If you do not have the right insurance, your business will have to pay out of pocket for all these expenses. This could cripple your business as the costs can add up depending on the severity of the accident.
If you have an employee who is using their personal vehicle for business reasons, you should have a hired and non-owned policy (HNOA) to protect your business.
Crime insurance is a policy that most people do not think to take out separately and believe that it is part of other insurance policies. While some theft will be covered by property insurance, you should also look at crime insurance. This will protect your business more fully from theft and will include employee dishonesty.
Employee dishonesty is generally not covered in property or general liability insurance. Crime insurance will ensure that you are protected from embezzlement or any other problems caused by your employees. Computer-based fraud will also be covered by this insurance and you have to consider this.
Workers Compensation Insurance
If you are going to hire any other employees in your AK nursery or greenhouse, you need to have worker's comp. Most states require all employers to have this insurance, but you should get this regardless of the legal requirements. Worker's compensation insurance can save your company a lot of money if an employee is injured - even if you feel that your workers have low-risk jobs.
Regardless of the risk level of the job, an employee does have the chance of injury in any job. Even office workers can be injured and their employers will need to use their worker's compensation insurance to pay out for this. This insurance policy will cover the costs of any medical treatment employees need for injuries which have been sustained at work. It will also cover the costs of lost wages and any recovery therapy the employee will need to overcome the injury they sustained.
Alaska Greenhouse's And Nurseries' Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposures are moderate due to public access to the premises. Water on the walking surfaces due to watering of plants is common and must be attended to quickly to avoid slips and falls. 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. Parking lots and sidewalks need to be in good repair 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. If plants are installed at the premises of others, workers may damage customers' property or disrupt power sources. All utility lines must be identified prior to installation.
Products/completed operations liability exposures are moderate due to the possibility of contaminated plants from the use of chemical applications. Only FDA approved pest control chemicals should be used.
Environmental impairment liability exposures can be high due to the potential for air, land, or water pollution from the use of horticultural chemicals such as insecticides, fungicides, pesticides, and herbicides, fuels for machinery and motor vehicles, and solvents. Use and disposal of all chemicals must be documented and meet all FDA and EPA standards. If there are underground storage tanks, a UST policy will be required.
Workers compensation exposures are high as nurseries are very labor-intensive. Work may be required for long hours and in all kinds of weather conditions. Work may be done at heights, increasing the risk of falls. Training, supervision, and communication are important in maintaining a safe work environment, especially during harvest time when significant numbers of seasonal and/or day laborers may be hired. Working around machinery, tools and equipment can result in a variety of injuries ranging from minor to severe.
Slips, trips, falls, back injuries from lifting, broken bones, foreign objects in the eye, hearing impairment from noise, and muscle strains are common. Exposure to chemicals and organic dust can lead to respiratory issues. Injuries can result from falls from heights and from loading and unloading vehicles.
Property exposures depend on the size of the operation, type of plants grown, and the number and types of buildings. Ignition sources include electrical wiring, fuel, heaters, and smoking. Lightning may strike buildings unprotected by rods and Ground Fault Interrupters (GFIs). Mechanical equipment can overheat or become jammed. Decaying organic material may spontaneously combust. Planned burning operations may become out of control and spread.
Severe winds and tornados may destroy property in certain geographical areas. Many nurseries are located in rural areas where fire response time may be slow and a water supply undependable. Stock in a greenhouse or stored outside of buildings has a high loss potential from wind, rain, and other natural elements. Greenhouses need to be carefully evaluated because they may not be designed to withstand the forces of nature. Older greenhouses made of glass may be subject to frequent breakage losses. Newer greenhouses are simply frames with plastic coverings, which need frequent replacement as they tend to yellow or cloud in the weather and block out necessary sunlight.
Special programs and coverages are available to protect the structures and the growing plants or crops. If live or growing plants are sold, power outages of refrigeration equipment can result in high spoilage losses. Equipment should be maintained on a regular basis, with backup generators available. Greenhouses and plants in the open may be targeted by vandals. Business income exposure is high due to the seasonality of operations.
Crop insurance exposures are high because unprotected plants grown in the open are susceptible to damage by animals, bacteria, drought, flooding, frost, fungi, hail, insects, lightning, snow, viruses, weeds, wildfire, wind, and winterkill. While some of these can be mitigated by proper farming practices or chemical applications, others are considered fortuitous acts that can be covered by either crop/hail or multi-peril insurance.
Crime exposure comes from employee dishonesty and theft of money and securities. Pre-employment background checks should be done on all employees having access to cash. There should be a separation of duties between persons handling money and reconciling bank statements. Money should be regularly collected from cash drawers and moved away from the collection area, preferably to a safe. Bank drops should be made throughout the day to prevent a buildup of cash on the premises.
Inland marine exposures include accounts receivable if customers are billed, computers, goods in transit, mobile equipment, and valuable papers and records for seed source information and product information that may be needed in case of a recall. Equipment stored in buildings can be damaged by fire, explosion, or collapse. Items stored in the open can be damaged by hail or winds. Plants transported to customers can be damaged by overturn or collision.
Business auto exposures are moderate. Plant transport vehicles can be heavy and awkward, especially on narrow rural roads. Drivers should have a valid license and acceptable MVR. Vehicles must be regularly maintained with full documentation kept.
Protecting AK Nuseries And Greenhouses
You should also consider a business policy or BOP (business owner's insurance policy) for your retail or wholesale nursery or greenhouse. This policy bundles general liability and certain commercial property coverages.
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 Agribusiness Insurance
Learn about small business agribusiness insurance - a type of commercial insurance protects farmers against loss of, or damage to crops or livestock.
Farming is, and has always been a tough business. There are many uncontrollable factors for farmers to deal with - like the weather, vermin, or other natural catastrophes. Any of these can destroy cash crops, such as corn, cotton, soybeans, and wheat, and put the farmer in a very bad financial situation.
Insurance for agribusiness falls into three general categories:
The first is property insurance on the buildings and the usually substantial amount of business personal property made up of machinery, livestock, equipment and other stock.
The second is liability for both premises and products.
The last is protection for worker injuries. Commercial auto insurance should be written if the operation owns vehicles and especially if it transports its own products.
There are a wide variety of agribusiness insurance options that are available to farmers. These policies allow them to to receive compensation in the event of a poor growing season, dropping prices, cattle disease or catastrophic natural event.
Loss of crops or livestock can financially ruin an agribusiness operation. The crop insurance agrees to indemnify the farmer, rancher or grower against losses which occur during the crop year. Losses have to be caused by things which are unavoidable or beyond the farmer's control - like a drought, freeze and/or disease.
Some policies offer coverage due to adverse weather events such as the inability to plant due to excess moisture or losses due to the quality of the crop.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Buildings, Business Personal Property, Crop Insurance, Employee Dishonesty, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Goods in Transit, Mobile Equipment, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Environmental Impairment, Umbrella, Business Automobile Liability and Physical Damage, Hired and Non-owned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Business Income and Extra Expense, Earthquake, Equipment Breakdown, Farm Owners, Flood, Computer Fraud, Employee Dishonesty, Forgery, Money and Securities, Cyber Liability, Employee Benefits, Employment-related Practices Liability, Product Recall, Underground Storage Tank, Stop Gap Liability and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) (Drones).
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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.