Alaska Oil And Gas Well Drilling Contractors Insurance Policy Information
Alaska Oil And Gas Well Drilling Contractors Insurance. Oil and gas wells are impressive structures constructed with the help of boring operations deeply into the Earth, at carefully-chosen locations, to extract petroleum and natural gas.
Well drilling contractors dig, drill, or repair wells to provide gas or oil. Prior to drilling, a geological study is done to verify the presence of fuels and potential impact to surrounding areas.
Once a site has been granted the necessary permits, the land must be cleared and leveled, access roads must be built, lined pits must be dug to dispose of rock cuttings and mud resulting from drilling, and adequate electrical and water supplies must be located to support the drilling operations.
The drilling contractors will excavate a rectangular area in the ground where the drilling rig is set up. Then they set up the derrick (tower used to give leverage), open a shaft for the pumping equipment and piping, and secure the opening.
The basic process involves a large-diameter bit attached to a drilling pipe. Heavy metal tubes called collars are attached around the drilling pipe to add weight and force the bit deeper. Moist clay-based drilling mud is pumped through the pipe to cool the bit and carry the rock cuttings and samples to the surface for testing.
At pre-set depths, the segments of the piping are removed, and the contractor installs and seals the casing. Casing piping is thick, precast concrete set in sections to prevent collapse in the drilling line. This process is repeated until the samples from the drilling mud show that the oil reservoir has been reached.
If the contractor is involved with offshore drilling rigs, the significant and unique exposures that exist can be handled by specialty carriers. The contractor may remove tubing and other parts from abandoned wells and seal off those that are no longer productive.
The use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to access oil and gas is very controversial due to the use of high-pressure water or other liquid to force cracks into underground rock beds, which may release methane or other pollutants or increase seismic activity. Fracking has been prohibited in several states.
With much of modern society relying on oil and gas, the companies that drill these oil and gas wells - oil and gas well drilling contractors - undoubtedly play a vital role in the global supply chain and economy.
The activities of AK oil and gas well drilling contractors are both highly specialized and skilled, and it will surprise nobody that this branch of commerce carries a significant amount of risk with it as well.
While proactive measures designed to improve health and safety certainly help mitigate risks, well diggers always need to be prepared for unexpected circumstances. What kinds of Alaska oil and gas well drilling contractors might be needed to protect their business interests? Discover more in this brief guide.
Alaska oil and gas well drilling contractors insurance protects well diggers from lawsuits with rates as low as $97/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do AK Oil And Gas Well Drilling Contractors Need Insurance?
Regardless of its branch of commerce, all commercial ventures are constantly exposed to a wide variety of risks. Some are minor, while others are associated with such exorbitant costs that they could easily deal a fatal blow to the future of the business.
Not only do oil and gas well drilling contractors face some of the same hazards common to nearly all businesses, they also have to consider a substantial number of risks unique to this industry.
Employees in this line of work may, for instance, fall victim to a large number of occupational injuries and illnesses, ranging from falls to injuries associated with operating heavy machinery, and then hold the company liable. Oil and gas well drilling companies can be faced with lawsuits resulting from concerns about damage to the environment.
In addition, the office premises of these companies remain vulnerable to universal risks such as acts of nature (wildfires, earthquakes, and so on), theft, and vandalism, and essential equipment, such as drilling rigs, may malfunction and require urgent repair or replacement.
These perils - and countless others AK well diggers could be faced with - are all associated with massive expenses that could, without Alaska oil and gas well drilling contractors insurance coverage, prove to be overwhelming. In addition to meeting legal requirements, this is the most pressing reason to carefully evaluate insurance needs.
What Type Of Insurance Do Alaska Oil And Gas Well Drilling Contractors Need?
Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer to this question - each company engaged in oil and gas well drilling will have unique requirements that depend, among other factors, on the jurisdiction in which they are based, the size and scope of their operation, the value of their equipment, and their number of employees.
That is why it is always crucial for companies to consult a reputable commercial insurance broker. Among the core kinds of Alaska oil and gas well drilling contractors insurance needed are, meanwhile:
- Commercial Property - In the event that commercial premises fall victim to perils like acts of nature, vandalism, and theft, the resulting damage to the building and smaller assets within will be covered, making repair and replacement costs easier to manage.
- Commercial General Liability - To protect against the legal costs, such as attorney fees and medical bills, associated with third party bodily injury and property damage claims resulting from general circumstances (of such a nature that they could have happened anywhere), commercial general liability insurance is vital.
- Environmental Liability - This type of Alaska oil and gas well drilling contractors insurance will help well diggers manage the legal and settlement costs arising from lawsuits alleges that the company caused environmental damage.
- Equipment Breakdown - This kind of coverage is designed to help companies cover the, often massive, costs arising from the sudden breakdown of important and large equipment.
- Workers Compensation - Employees within the oil and gas drilling industry face significant risks. If an employee sustains a work-related injury or illness, this form of insurance covers their medical costs along with any income they lose due to related absences from work. Should the worst come to pass, workers comp further covers death benefits.
Because well drilling companies are likely to have further insurance needs, whether in the form of excess liability or commercial auto coverage, it is vital for these companies to carefully consider their Alaska oil and gas well drilling contractors options with the help of a commercial insurance broker who understands their industry.
AK Oil And Gas Well Drilling Contractors' Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposures at the contractor's office are generally limited due to lack of public access. Outdoor storage may present vandalism and attractive nuisance hazards.
At the job site, drilling and construction of derricks pose numerous hazards. The area of operation should be restricted by barriers and proper signage to protect the public against trips and falls over debris, equipment, or uneven ground. Construction sites create an attractive nuisance hazard, especially if work is close to residential areas.
Drilling can result in cutting utility cables, damaging property of the utility company and disrupting service to neighboring residences or businesses. Absence of detailed procedures to determine utility locations and to research prior uses of the land before drilling may indicate a morale hazard.
Drilling may strike and ignite gas pockets that can explode unless controls are in place. Upfront geological research and knowledge of the site history is imperative.
Personal injury exposures include assault and battery and invasion of privacy. Background checks should be conducted for any employee who will have regular contact with customers. The use of subcontractors as well as any contractual liability exposures should be examined.
Completed operations exposures may arise from faulty workmanship or improper installation if the well does not supply oil as expected. Improperly installed wells may result in contamination, leaks, property or water damage. Submersible pumps are expensive to replace.
Environmental impairment liability exposures are very high. Drilling may impair groundwater, the dust generated may affect persons and livestock, and disposal of rock cuttings may contaminate water and soil. Hydraulic fracking may pollute air, cause corrosion to metal objects, or be a contributing factor for earthquakes or climate change.
Spillage or leakage of oil or pollutants can result in high cleanup costs and fines. Special permits and approvals must be obtained prior to drilling. The oil digger must adhere to all federal, state and municipal regulations.
Proper written procedures and documentation of both the transportation and disposal process is important. Lack of contingency and containment plans may indicate a morale hazard.
Workers compensation exposures are severe. Back injuries, hernias, sprains and strains can occur from lifting, material handling, or working from awkward positions. Overturn of equipment can result in severe injury or death from crushing or suffocation.
Cumulative exposure to the high-decibel operations may result in permanent hearing impairment. Work with hand tools can result in injury such as cuts, scrapes, or puncture wounds.
Underground hazards may arise from striking objects or utilities, the collapse of retaining or holding walls, mudslides and landslides, underground water, and sinkholes. Any contact with utilities, specifically electrical cables or gas lines, can cause injury from explosion, electrocution, or inhalation of caustic substances.
Additional sources of injury include foreign objects in the eye, repetitive motion injuries, temperature extremes, and auto accidents during transportation to and from job sites. Special hazards may include work at heights, over water, or in remote locations with limited access to medical facilities.
Fire or explosion can occur at the oil or gas well site affecting inland marine, premises liability, and workers compensation. The absence of good maintenance, proper use of basic safety equipment, such as steel-toed shoes, hearing and eye protection, and strict enforcement of safety practices may indicate a morale hazard.
State and Federal jurisdictional issues may arise in the case of offshore rigs and outer continental locations. It is important to know whether the Longshore and Harbor Workers Act or the Outer Continental Shelf Act applies.
Property exposures at the contractor's own location are usually limited to an office operation and a yard for storage of materials, equipment, and vehicles. There may be extensive computer or laboratory equipment requiring up-to-date electrical wiring.
The equipment and material in the yard is not normally susceptible to damage by fire or weather, but may be subject to vandalism. Scientific devices are subject to breakage and mechanical breakdown.
Welding presents a heavy fire exposure and should be conducted away from flammables. Any flammable chemicals or oxygen tanks must be properly labeled, separated, and stored in approved containers, cabinets, and rooms away from combustibles.
Equipment breakdown exposures are very high. Well digging is dependent on power that is often supplied by generators set up for the project. Breakdown losses may affect the generators as well as electrical control panels and other apparatus.
Breakdown and loss of use to the production machinery could result in severe loss, both direct and under time element.
Inland marine exposures include accounts receivable if the driller offers credit to customers, computers for diagnostic testing and tracking inventory, contractors' equipment taken to job sites, and valuable papers and records for customers' and suppliers' information.
Much of the computerized testing and measuring equipment used is costly and may be susceptible to damage or loss from theft by third parties or employees. Backup copies of all data should be stored off premises.
Drilling equipment can be large and difficult to transport without adequate loading, tie-down, and unloading procedures.
Ground at the drilling site may be uneven. Equipment may strike underground objects, strike utility cables, fall into holes or pits, slip or fall into mud, water, or sinkholes, be damaged in rock, land or mud slides, or burst into fire from overload. Derricks and related equipment may be subject to collapse or damage by high winds or flood surge.
Equipment left at job sites may be targets for theft and vandalism.
Ocean marine exposure will exist if there are offshore oil rigs. Work begins by setting up and operating the drilling rig from a ship or barge, then ends with the erection of the production platform which is used for the actual extraction once oil has been found. Specialty coverages will be needed.
Crime exposures are from employee dishonesty, including theft of customers' goods by the contractor's employee. Background checks, including criminal history, should be obtained on each employee prior to hiring. Ordering, billing, and disbursement should be handled as separate duties with reconciliations occurring regularly.
Commercial auto exposures can be high due to transportation of materials, bulky machinery, and equipment which may require special tie-down procedures. Much of the driving is done on temporary access roads, increasing the risk of collision and overturn.
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 with records kept in a central location.
If debris includes hazardous waste, spillage can result in damage to the environment. Drivers should be aware of and be able to perform cleanup procedures in the event of a collision or vehicle overturn.
Alaska Oil And Gas Well Drilling Contractors Insurance - The Bottom Line
To discover the exact types of Alaska oil and gas well drilling contractors insurance policies you'll need, what coverage limits you should carry and the associated costs - speak 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 Contractors & Home Improvement Insurance
Learn about small business contractor's insurance, including what it covers, how much it costs - and how commercial insurance can help protect your contracting business from lawsuits.
- Air Conditioning Systems Installation Repair
- Appliance Repair & Service
- Blacksmith & Metal Workers
- Boat Repair & Dry Docks
- Boiler Contractors
- Builders Risk
- Building Cleaning & Maintenance Services
- Cabinet Installer
- Cable And Satellite TV Installer
- Chimney Sweep
- Cistern Contractors
- Contractor Liability
- Curtain Cleaners
- Deck Builders
- Door And Window Installers
- Dryer Vent Cleaning
- Drywall Contractor
- Electrical Contractors
- Environmental Remediation Contractors
- Fence Installation
- Fire Sprinkler Contractors
- Fire & Water Restoration Contractors
- Flooring Contractor
- Furniture Repair
- Garage Door Installer And Repair
- General Contractors
- Glass Contractor
- Glazier Insurance
- Gutter Installation And Repair
- House Cleaning
- HVAC Contractor
- Insulation Contractor
- Janitorial Cleaning Services
- Lawn Care
- Lawn Irrigation Sprinkler System Installation
- Oil And Gas Well Drilling Contractors
- Paperhanging Contractors
- Plastering And Stucco Contractor
- Pressure Washing Contractors
- Propane And Fuel Dealers
- Rug, Upholstery & Carpet Cleaning
- Sandblasting Contractors
- Security Alarm
- Septic Tank Cleaning
- Siding Contractor
- Sign Installation & Repair
- Solar Panel Installers
- Snow Plow
- Stone And Tile Installer
- Surety Bonds
- Swimming Pool Contractor
- Swimming Pool Service And Maintenance
- Tool Grinding And Repair
- Tree Surgeon
- Tree Trimming
- Tank Cleaners
- Upholstery Shop
- Waste Haulers & Garbage Collection
- Water Well Drilling
- Welding Contractor
- Wildlife & Pest Control
- Window Cleaning
A contractor that wants to begin or stay in business, liability coverage must be obtained for the premises or operations, off-site locations and products/completed operations exposures. These coverages may be included as a part of a businessowners policy (BOP) or purchased in a commercial general liability (CGL) policy. Owners and contractors protective liability and railroad protective liability coverages may also be required in certain cases in order for a contractor to obtain a particular job.
Physical damage coverage for tools, supplies and equipment, both on and off the contractor's premises, is a concern. Liability exposures at the premises of the contractor, and at the premises of the contractor's customer, must be properly addressed along with completed operations. Business insurance is very important as is workers compensation insurance protection for employees.
Contractors may work under a general contractor as a subcontractor in larger construction projects - like a new commercial site or residential subdivision. They can work on smaller projects directly with a home owner, usually specializing in renovations or remodels.
In business insurance speak, often called 'artisan contractors' or 'casual contractors', they are involved in many aspects of construction and contracting work – and include various trades and skills. Carpenters, painters, plumbers, electricians, roofers, tree trimmers, landscaping are just a few examples. They may do roofing, fencing, drywall, tile work and many other trades that involve skilled work with tools at the customer's premises.
An artisan contractor performs a single trade or job, and each has its own specialized liability needs with its own exposures to risk and accidents. Contractors liability insurance can offer coverage for bodily injury, property damage, advertising injury and medical payments.
Most artisan contractors should have commercial general liability at the very least, but many need broader coverages - like an umbrella to increase their limits of liability, inland marine policy to protect their tools, workers compensation if they have employees, and even commercial auto if they use vehicles for business purposes.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Employee Dishonesty, Contractors' Equipment and Tools, General Liability, Employee Benefits Liability, Umbrella Liability, Automobile Liability and Physical Damage, Hired and Non-owned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Building, Business Income with Extra Expense, Earthquake, Flood, Leasehold Interest, Real Property Legal Liability, Accounts Receivable, Builders Risk, Computers, Goods in Transit, Installation Floater, Valuable Papers and Records, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practicesand 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.