Alaska Solar Panel Installers Insurance Policy Information
Alaska Solar Panel Installers Insurance. Renewable energy is becoming more accessible to businesses and homeowners. Solar panels are one of the easiest renewable designs to implement. Other than their green status, they contribute to significant monetary savings.
A growing demand for solar power has made it possible for many contractors to expand their businesses or start a new one. Business owners need to remain aware of the specific dangers of any installation activity. The solar power business model opens up some new Alaska solar panel installers insurance coverage necessities for contractor businesses to consider.
Alaska solar panel installers insurance protects your business from lawsuits with rates as low as $97/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Alaska Becomes The First State to Make Solar Panels Mandatory
Starting January 1st, 2020, virtually all new homes built in Alaska will be equipped with solar panels due to a newly passed bill by The Alaska Energy Commission on May 9, 2018 - requiring new homes in AK to be built with solar panels.
This means solar power contractors will be getting a lot more business int the coming years, and havign the right insurance will be even more important as their businesses grow.
What Is Solar Panel Installers Insurance?
A solar power installation business leaves AK contractors with several different coverage aspects to consider. Equipment, transportation, and workers must be insured properly. Solar installations entail a wide range of responsibilities. Your workers need to be protected from injury costs. Equipment and function also need to be addressed by your insurance company. Solar panels in buildings can have some complications after installation. The panels and damage to the building should also be covered.
A thorough conversation with an insurance broker can help you make sure that every situation possible is covered under your new policy.
Transportation and Work in Progress
Equipment floater coverage is an important part of making sure the supplies do not cause a loss on the way to the job site. Solar panels are covered by this part of the policy from the time they are loaded up for transit until after the job is successfully completed. Many types of damage are covered by this. This includes storm damage, theft, and fire. Damage from vandalism is also covered. If anything happens during the installation, replacements are guaranteed. This is incredibly important due to the size and expense of solar panels.
An event as simple as a wreck on the highway could completely destroy the materials. Also there have been many cases of expensive inverters being stolen from jobsites.
General Liability Insurance usually covers 5 basic categories of AK business liability:
- Bodily Injury - Physical harm to a person at your place of business, or an injury caused by your employee at a client's site - like leaving tools on the jobsite and someone trips and falls and gets hurt.
- Completed Operations/Products Liability - Claims after your business has completed work for a customer - such as a panel blows off a roof in a windstorm.
- Personal Injury - Damage to the reputation or rights of a person or business due to slander, libel, copyright infringement, invasion or privacy, false arrest, wrongful eviction, etc.
- Advertising Injury - Losses caused by your advertising (spoken or written); for example, an ad that trashes a competitor.
- Medical Payments - Pays first dollar medical expenses (think PIP in auto) of a person injured on your premises like a customer, client or visitor, regardless of fault.
Mold is often excluded from various types of insurance policies. The damages can be extensive and costly when mold is involved. Inhabitants of the affected building could also suffer physical harm, as mold can cause health issues. The same goes for Alaska solar panel installers insurance policies.
There are, however, some policies that offer optional coverage for future mold damage in AK buildings where solar panels have been installed. Water leakage is one of the most common complications, resulting from installation mishaps. Construction lawsuits can be long and expensive. If your company offers a mold coverage option, it is best to take advantage of it.
Professional Liability For Solar Installers
Professional liability (errors & omissions) has to do with the design and engineering aspect of a solar project. Each project is different, depending on the details of the building or needs of the customer. Once a design is approved and implemented, any issues that arise are covered by the professional liability portion. Rebates and tax incentives are also included in this coverage.
Workers can incur a myriad of injuries when installing solar panels. The most serious injuries can result from working on roofs. The combination of height and heavy equipment can dangerous. While many safety precautions are taken on most job sites, accidents still happen sometimes.
Workers comp is required by most businesses with non-owner employees in most states, according to laws. This part of a solar policy meets the same standards as it does in all business applications. Accidental injuries that happen while on the job are potentially covered by workers compensation. There is usually a strict approval process, however. Medical costs and lost wages are covered by this part of the policy once all other possible liabilities are ruled out.
How Much Coverage Do You Need?
AK solar power installers need to be properly covered, just like any other business. Their work does present the possibility of some unique issues, however. Leaks from faulty sealants can cause water damage. This can, in turn, result in mold exposure. Proper coverage covers your work, even after the job is complete. Equipment, however, is only covered until the job is complete. Equipment coverage takes care of the solar panels and supporting materials from the time they are loaded on the transport vehicle.
AK Solar power installers insurance is a lot like average business coverage, with a few tweaks and other optional features.
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
- Builders Risk
- Building Cleaning & Maintenance Services
- Cabinet Installer
- Cable And Satellite TV Installer
- Chimney Sweep
- 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
- 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
- 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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