Alaska Surveyor Insurance Policy Information
Alaska Surveyor Insurance. Surveyors use the mathematical principles of geometry, trigonometry, and physics to measure and describe portions of land or sections of the earth to provide accurate data for determining property boundaries on maps or plans. Distances are measured by calculating the degree of various angles between measurement points.
Equipment traditionally includes a 66-ft. long surveyor's chain for measuring short distances and a surveyor's transit with a telescope and a level mounted on a tripod that can rotate vertically or horizontally. The transit is used for sighting longer distances and for determining vertical and horizontal angles.
Today, a tape measure has generally replaced the chain. Modern tools may include electronic distance measurement devices (EDM), global positioning systems (GPS), satellite imaging, 3D scanners, and many other types of equipment. Licensing requirements vary by state.
As a surveyor, you have an important job to do. The information that you relay to the land owner, government agency or anyone else that commissions your services can have a major impact on their decisions. That's one of the reasons that it is important to have the right insurance.
But you don't just want to cover the surveyor part of your job. You want insurance that covers your entire business and protects every aspect of it. The best way to do that is to customize the standard business insurance products for your own unique needs as a surveyor. Let's take a look at those Alaska surveyor insurance products now.
Alaska surveyor insurance protects your surveying business from lawsuits with rates as low as $37/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Insurance Is Crucial For Surveyor
Without insurance, you will have to pay any expenses that you are liable for out of your own pocket, including legal fees, property damages, and personal injuries; but, with the right Alaska surveyor insurance coverage, you can avoid the financial repercussions that are associated with the risks that your AK surveying business faces.
What Type Of Insurance Should Surveyor Have?
here are two types of Alaska surveyor insurance that you should be concerned about when it comes to covering yourself.
Commercial General Liability - Almost every business out there has general liability insurance. General liability covers you in a variety of situations. The most common example of people used to demonstrate how general liability works is a slip and fall on your premises. However, there is a lot more.
General liability can cover you in the case of an employee slandering one of your biggest clients, paying for your attorney's fees in defending you in court; general liability can cover you if someone is injured while they are at a site you are surveying trips and falls over some of your equipment and injures themselves or if the site that you are surveying sustains property damage due to the work that you have done there then you might be covered under general liability as well.
It depends upon your particular policy and the circumstances, but these are all situations in which general liability insurance is intended to cover you.
There are lots of other situations in which general liability might cover you as well; you're going to need to talk your insurance broker or agent to find out exactly what those are in the surveying business.
Professional Liability - Professional liability insurance goes by many different names. In the medical profession, it goes by malpractice insurance; in other occupations it goes by errors and omissions insurance. But no matter what you call it, the purpose of professional liability insurance is to protect you from any damages that happen from the normal course of your job.
For example, if you have been hired to complete a land survey for a home near protected site, and your survey shows that a proposed build does not encroach upon a protected site but it is later found out that it does indeed encroach, then you are still protected with professional liability insurance as long as you gave them the best information and did your job the way that you are supposed to. Professional liability insurance to cover the cost of attorney's fees and even damages if you are found to be liable in court.
Whenever you conduct a survey and make a mistake, professional liability insurance is there to keep you going and make sure that your business stays afloat. There are a few other types of insurance you may want to consider as well however.
Other Types Of Commercial Insurance
One of your insurance options is commercial automobile insurance. If you use a particular vehicle for your work, then you want to be covered by commercial auto insurance because the coverage extends far beyond the general liability most people give up their personal vehicles. In addition, most insurance companies require commercial auto insurance if you're using your vehicle for business.
You will also need commercial property insurance in order to check your place of business from natural disasters, theft, vandalism and other mishaps. Property insurance is fairly inexpensive, but it is something that every business owner with a brick-and-mortar business needs.
In addition, anyone with salary or hourly employees needs to have workers compensation insurance. Workers compensation covers the medical bills of employees who are hurt on the job. More importantly, it protects you from being sued by those employees more injuries that they sustained while working for you. Workers comp is required by law in virtually every state in the US - so you definitely want to plan for this type of insurance.
AK Surveying Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is very limited at the firm's office due to lack of public access. Any customer area must be neat and floor coverings maintained in excellent condition. To prevent slips, trips, or falls, all areas accessible to clients must be free of obstacles with floor coverings in good condition. The number of exits must be sufficient, and be well marked, with backup lighting in case of power failure. 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.
The off-site exposures are extensive as surveyor must take their sightings from the most appropriate angle to get an accurate survey. To do so, they may have to set up their equipment in the middle of the street or on a premises not owned by the client. Hazards increase if there is no field guide that provides policies and procedures for dealing with all situations. When interfering with traffic, proper barriers and warning signs are needed in order to prevent accidents.
Professional liability exposure is high because a survey determines the boundaries for properties being purchased, subdivided, or sold. Engineers and architects rely on surveys in making design decisions. Any resulting claim will generally be related to property damage instead of bodily injury or personal injury. For example, if an error is made in road design and the survey was a contributing factor, there may be a claim against the survey firm.
The hazards increase if the firm fails to conduct thorough background checks to verify surveyor' training, background, education, certification, and licensing.
Workers compensation exposures can be high from site work. Surveyor may travel over rough terrain in rural or unpopulated areas, encounter animals, insects, or hostile vegetation, be hit by falling objects, or be injured in a motor vehicle or aviation accidents. Slips, trips, and falls are common. Surveyor may be injured trying to get to a location, set up equipment, and perform the necessary calculations. Non-clients may object to a surveyor being on their premises, resulting in threats or even assault.
Surveyor should check in frequently and have an emergency communication procedure in place. Surveyor who measure roads and other similar points are in danger of being struck by vehicles. Barriers should be in place when doing street work.
Property exposure is generally limited to that of an office, although there may be some incidental storage or an area for meetings. Hazards arise from the considerable storage of survey documentation, maps, diagrams, photos and similar records, although these are now often digitized instead of paper format.
Ignition sources include wiring, heating and air conditioning systems, wear, and overheating of equipment. Storage of paper documents, such as maps, diagrams, or photos, should be in fireproof cabinets. Fire suppression systems must not damage the papers. Theft exposures depend on the amount and type of computer and surveying equipment on hand.
Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty. Hazards increase without proper background checks and monitoring procedures. Ordering, billing, and disbursement should not be handled by the same individual. An annual audit should be conducted.
Inland marine exposure includes accounts receivable if the firm offers credit, computers, special floater, and valuable papers and records for contracts, survey reports, and clients' information. Surveyor' tools, many of which are electronic, should be kept in the office or in a locked vehicle when not in use at an off-site location. The customers' papers on file may be originals that are difficult to recreate.
A morale hazard may be indicated if the surveyor does not keep valuable papers and disks in fireproof file cabinets to protect them from smoke, water, and fire. Power failure and power surges are potentially severe hazards to data stored electronically. Duplicates should be kept off-site to allow for easy restoration in the event of a loss.
Business auto exposure is moderate as surveyor travel to job sites using light trucks or all terrain vehicles designed to transport the surveying team and their tools. If company vehicles are supplied for use, there should be written procedures in place regarding personal use by employees and their family members. All drivers must have appropriate licenses and acceptable MVRs. Vehicles must be maintained. and records kept in a central location.
To ensure your surveying business is properly protected, speak with an experienced broker that understands Alaska surveyor 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 Professional Services Insurance
Get informed about small business professional services insurance, including Professional liability, aka errors and omissions (E&O insurance), that protects your business against claims that a professional service you provided caused your client financial loss.
- Answering Service
- Armored Car
- Attorney Lawyer
- Background Music Services
- Business Consulting
- Chemical Engineers
- Civil Engineers
- Claims Adjuster
- Commercial Laundries
- Commodity Broker
- Corporate Wellness
- Court Reporter
- Credit Bureaus
- Debt Collection Agency
- Detective Agency
- Diaper Services
- Electrical Engineering
- Environmental Consultant
- Executive, Career & Life Coaching
- Executive Search Firm
- Expert Witness
- Financial Planner
- Financial Services
- Funeral Directors
- HR Consultant
- Inspection Bureaus
- Insurance Agents & Brokers Insurance
- Mediator - Arbitrator
- Medical Billing
- Music, Drama & Dance Therapy
- Office Machine Repair & Maintenance
- Piano Tuners
- Project Management
- Safety Consultants
- Speakers Bureaus
- Temporary Staffing
- Tax Preparer
- Title Abstractors
- Valet Parking
Let's face reality. People today are claims conscious, resulting in a significant share of malpractice lawsuits against professionals.
Liability resulting from the rendering of or the failure to render professional services is excluded in most liability coverage forms. This means that a policy covering a account's or lawyers' office will cover liability arising out of the maintenance or use of the premises, but specifically exclude liability arising out of the rendering of a professional service or the omission of such a service.
In addition to the professions in which actual physical or mental injury may be caused to clients, certain other professions are exposed to claims for malpractice.
Claims may be brought against lawyers, accountants, architects, and similar professional persons for errors or omissions in their professional capacity. Errors & Omissions insurance pays damages that might be awarded to a plaintiff alleging professional negligence.
Professional liability policies are made available to such risks, and these policies provide essentially the same protection as is afforded under the physicians, surgeons or dentists professional liability policy.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Employee Dishonesty, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits Liability, Professional Liability, Umbrella Liability, Hired and Non-owned Auto Liability & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Building, Business Income with Extra Expense, Earthquake, Equipment Breakdown, Flood, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Money and Securities, Special Floater, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices Liability, Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage and 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.