Alaska Radio Station Insurance Policy Information
Alaska Radio Station Insurance. As a radio broadcaster, you provide an invaluable service to the public at large. Your listeners rely on you for news and entertainment, and look to you to help them stay informed and to pass the time.
Radio stations broadcast advertising, educational or financial information, music, news, religious services, sporting events, talk shows, and weather reports. Some have call-in shows where listeners can ask hosts for advice on assorted topics.
Broadcasting can be transmitted over airwaves, digitally, by satellite, or over the Internet. As most stations are on the air 24 hours each day, the programming can be tailored to a specific audience, such as children or college students.
Broadcasters are licensed and regulated by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), which monitors each station for content appropriate for broadcasting. Stations need to maintain logs of all programming for FCC review.
Concerns have been raised about the impact of radiofrequency (RF) waves on humans as these produce radiation which generates heat that can increase body temperatures. A related concern is whether RF exposure triggers certain types of cancer. While studies are ongoing, to date results have been inconclusive.
Currently, the FCC requires radio stations to meet RF exposure guidelines to acquire a broadcasting license.
While owning and operating a radio station can be exceptionally rewarding, it can also be stressful. You're tasked with a great deal of responsibilities and you are liable for any issues that may arise.
In order to avoid the significant costs that can be linked to potential problems - property damage, work-related injuries, lost or stolen property, etc. - having the right type of commercial insurance is an absolute must.
Why is business insurance so important for radio broadcasters? Why types of Alaska radio station insurance coverage do broadcasters need? Read on to find the answers to these questions and more.
Alaska radio station insurance protects your broadcasting business from lawsuits with rates as low as $47/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do AK Radio Stations Need Insurance?
Just like business owners in any other industry, owning and operating a radio broadcasting company is not without risks.
The property that your broadcasting company is located in can be damaged in an act of nature, one of your employees could be injured on the job, someone could file a lawsuit against you, citing that you were responsible for damaging their property; and those are just a few of the issues that could arise.
Since you're the owner and operator of your AK radio broadcasting business, you're liable for the expenses that are associated with any issues that might arise. As you can imagine, those costs can be significant.
While you always do your best to make sure that everything operates smoothly and that nothing goes wrong, you never know when an issue can arise. If something does go wrong, if you aren't insured, you'll have to pay for those expenses out of your own pocket.
If you have the right type of Alaska radio station insurance coverage, however, instead of having to cover those expenses yourself, your insurer will cover them for you. In other words, business insurance can protect you from serious financial losses.
What Type Of Insurance Do Alaska Radio Stations Need?
There are several different types of commercial insurance that a radio broadcasting company might want to carry. The specific type of coverage that you'll need depends on a number of factors, including where your business is located, the size of your operation, and whether or not you employ a staff.
With that said, however, there are some key types of Alaska radio station insurance coverage that all radio broadcasters should invest in. Examples include:
- Media Liability - This type of coverage is an errors and omissions (E&O or professional liability) insurance that is specifically intended for radio broadcasters. It covers the costs that are associated with any lawsuits that may be brought against you by your clients; allegations that you made a mistake or that you omitted something that was in your contract, for example.
- Commercial Property - You'll also want to invest in commercial property insurance. This kind of coverage covers the cost of any damages that the physical property your radio broadcasting company operates out of, as well as the contents within it, from acts of nature, vandalism, and theft. For instance, if a pipe were to burst and your property were to flood out, your insurance company would cover the cost of any damages that need to be made or property that needs to be replaced.
- General Liability - This kind of Alaska radio station insurance protects you from third-party advertising, personal injury and property damage claims. In the event that a client or a vendor were to sustain an injury while visiting your station and they filed a lawsuit against you, your commercial general liability insurance would cover the cost of any related expenses including your legal defense fees and any judgements.
- Workers Compensation - As an employer, you are responsible for providing your employees with a safe work environment. If, however, something were to go wrong and an employee were to sustain a work-related injury, workers' comp would cover the cost of their medical care. It would also compensate them for any wages that they might lose in the event that they cannot work while they are recovering.
The above are just a few of the different types of Alaska radio station insurance policies that broadcasting companies should invest in. In order to find out more about other types of coverage that you should carry and what limits you should have on your policies, get in touch with a reputable agent that has experience working with AK radio stations.
AK Radio Station's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure at the station is limited as public access is generally restricted to designated waiting areas and offices. If members of the public are allowed into the station for community events and broadcasts, or if the station offers tours to schools and other organizations, slips and falls can be reduced through good housekeeping and maintenance.
Floor coverings must be in good condition, with steps and uneven floor surfaces prominently marked, and free from obstacles. Exits must be sufficient in number, be well marked, and have backup lighting in case of power failure. Parking areas and sidewalks should be in good repair and free of ice and snow.
Premises security is important, particularly if the station operates 24-hours-per-day.
Off-site exposures include reporters and equipment at the scene of newsworthy events, and salespersons calling on current and prospective customers. There should be procedures as to how they carry out their duties.
If the station owns transmission towers, proper maintenance is needed to prevent towers from collapsing during inclement weather, releasing chunks of ice and snow on adjacent properties, and to restrict unauthorized access by children or trespassers.
Functional lighting is required at all times to prevent aircraft from crashing into towers.
Professional liability exposure comes from broadcasting activities, including allegations of copyright infringement, libel or slander, defamation of character, invasion of privacy, failure to check the authenticity of the material, breach of confidentiality, or failure to broadcast commercials at the scheduled times.
Contractual agreements should be written and include verification of originality and authenticity of any broadcasted material such as commercials. All advertising, including changes, must be documented in writing. The exposure will be heavier for stations that cover local news events, do investigative reporting, or host talk shows or call-in listeners.
The defense for civil suits and FCC fines due to the broadcasting of obscene material is generally excluded from professional liability policies.
Workers compensation exposures are high both on and off premises due to the potential for slips and falls, electric shock from ungrounded equipment, falling items, injury from the lifting of cable or other equipment, hearing impairment from noise, and contact with clients or the public.
Repetitive motion injuries due to computer work can be prevented with ergonomically-designed workstations. Employees maintaining towers can fall, be struck by lightning, or receive high-voltage electric shocks from improperly grounded electrical wiring. Safety equipment is critical to prevent injuries.
Additional exposures arise from the use of independent contractors and whether employees go on overseas assignments, do undercover investigative reporting, visit dangerous or exotic locales, or participate in contests and dangerous or hazardous activities while on the job.
Property exposure is high. Ignition sources include electronic equipment used throughout the operation, heating, and air conditioning systems. All wiring should be up to date, well maintained, and meet codes for the occupancy. There are usually booths set up for the DJ and other booths for recording radio tracks. As newer equipment is added, wiring should be upgraded as needed.
Electronic equipment is susceptible to damage by fire, smoke, and water. Fire extinguishers and automatic fire extinguishing or suppressant systems should be of a dry chemical nature and not water based. Broadcasting equipment and music libraries are valuable and may be targeted by thieves.
Security should be appropriate for the value of the property and the area where located.
Business income and extra expense exposure is high as broadcasting must be done even after a loss. A disaster recovery plan, including the use of alternate facilities, should be in place due to the time needed to repair or replace broadcasting equipment.
Equipment breakdown exposures are high due to the reliance of the station on electronic broadcasting systems. A lengthy breakdown could result in a severe loss, both direct and under time element.
Crime exposures are from employee dishonesty and theft. Background checks, including criminal history, should be performed on all employees handling money. All billing, ordering, and disbursements should be handled as separate duties. Regular reconciliation and audits are vital. Stations will have expensive broadcasting equipment on premises. Some will have extensive music inventories susceptible to theft. These should be inventoried at regular intervals.
Inland marine exposures include accounts receivable if the station bills customers, audio, and broadcasting equipment, computers, towers, and valuable papers and records for client's and regulatory information. Towers, guy wires and portable audio equipment used on remote sites should be included in a broadcasting equipment floater.
Towers can be struck by lightning, be blown over in heavy winds, or collapse due to the weight of ice and snow. Proper grounding, the use of appropriate guy wires, and de-icing equipment in northern areas will prevent or reduce these losses. Satellite dishes may be considered property or inland marine, depending on the insurer, but inland marine forms generally offer broader coverage.
Since most radio stations use distance feeds, the satellite coverage is important. Valuable papers and records include the license to operate and broadcasting logs required by the FCC. Duplicates should be made of all records and sound recordings and kept in an off-site backup facility for easy reproduction following a loss.
Business auto exposures may be limited to hired and non-owned only for employees running errands. If the company supplies vehicles to reporters and salespersons, there should be a written policy on personal and permissive use of the vehicles. All drivers must have appropriate licenses and acceptable MVRs.
All vehicles must be maintained, and records kept at a central location. Mobile studios may have permanently attached equipment used for broadcasting at the scene of a newsworthy event. Drivers should have training in driving these vehicles, including special training for driving in adverse conditions.
Alaska Radio Station Insurance - The Bottom Line
To discover the exact types of Alaska radio station insurance policies you'll need, and how much coverage you should carry - and the associated premiums, consult with a reputable broker that is experienced in media liability 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 Advertising, Marketing & Media Insurance
Learn about small business media liability insurance - a specialized form of professional liability insurance that provides protection for legal claims brought by third parties.
- Advertising Agency
- Book Publishers
- Call Center
- Direct Mailing Services
- Graphic Arts
- Graphic Designers
- Magazine Publishers
- Market Research Firm
- Marketing Consultant
- Podcast Insurance
- Printers & Publishers
- Public Relations
- Radio Stations
- Search Engine Services SEO
- Social Media Consultant
- Television Stations
Media operations are fast-paced businesses with unique property and liability insurance exposures. They depend more and more on computer systems and up-to-date software programs. These businesses usually have extensive contracts with both freelance individuals and corporations.
In addition, personal injury liability and confidentiality issues must be addressed. Insurance coverage for these concerns must be as comprehensive, flexible and responsive as the organization seeking it.
Advertising and Media Liability Insurance provisions are not standardized, so it is critical to carefully review a particular form's basic features and available coverage options. While some carriers offer coverage on an open perils basis, most will provide coverage only on a named perils basis.
The named perils generally include coverage against allegations involving defamation, disparagement of an individual's reputation, product disparagement, invasion or infringement of the right of privacy, infliction of emotional distress, plagiarism, piracy, infringement of copyright, trademark, or other intellectual property, newsgathering torts such as trespass and assault, unfair competition with respect to other covered communication perils, and errors and omissions.
Coverage can be written on a claims-made basis or on occurrence-based forms. The occurrence basis affords additional protection to the insured as coverage is provided for a claim or event occurring during the policy period, even if the coverage expires or is cancelled or nonrenewed.
Most media liability policies provide a Limit of Liability per event, plus an Aggregate Limit of Liability for all events covered during the policy term. Some carriers now offer coverage without requiring an Aggregate Limit of Liability. Such a policy is an advantage to the insured as this eliminates the fear that the policy limits will run out before the policy expires.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Building, Business Personal Property, Business Income with Extra Expense, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Accounts Receivable, Bailees' Customers, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits Liability, Professional and Advertising Liability, Umbrella Liability, Hired and Non-owned Auto Liability & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Earthquake, Equipment Breakdown, Flood, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Special Floater, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices Liability, Business Automobile Liability and Physical Damage, Foreign Automobile Liability and Physical Damage, Foreign Workers Compensation, Repatriation Expense 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.