Alaska Taxidermy Insurance Policy Information
Alaska Taxidermy Insurance. Taxidermists preserve animals, birds, and fish for display in homes, offices, museums, restaurants, and other retail establishments. The carcasses of the animals, birds, fish, and reptiles are received from customers. Unwanted biological materials are removed and discarded. The hide may be frozen for later use. To prepare, the hide is measured, treated with chemicals to prevent decomposition, fitted onto forms, and mounted on a board or other display piece.
The taxidermist completes the job by adding glass eyes, painting, and retouching the hide to provide a natural appearance. Occasionally artificial beaks, teeth or tongue are added. Some taxidermists also offer tanning and hide preparation services.
Whether you do taxidermy at home as a hobby or you make your full-time living from it, there are definitely some rewards that come from the process. But there are also things to worry about - especially if you are doing taxidermy as a full-time business. One of those things is insurance. Every business needs commercial insurance, and usually you need several types of insurance to make sure that your business is fully protected. But what about specialized occupations like taxidermy? How do you make sure that you are covered in all of the standard areas as well as the specialized areas that require Alaska taxidermy insurance?
Alaska taxidermy insurance protects your business from lawsuits with rates as low as $47/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
What Types Of Taxidermy Insurance Are Available?
General Liability For Taxidermists
General liability insurance is a type of Alaska taxidermy insurance that is very common among businesses. Commercial general liability was created by insurance companies to sort of offer blanket coverage over many of the issues that business owners faced. Since they had so many of these things in common, it was determined that you could offer it under one package called business liability insurance in most of it would apply to just about any business owner out there.
General liability covers things like completed operations, product liabilities, things that happen on your premises and lots more. It can be customized for taxidermists as well. One example of liability insurance might be that someone visiting your taxidermy shop gets injured by one of your tools or even gets cut on one of your completed taxidermy projects.
Taxidermist's Professional Liability
You may want to consider some kind of extra insurance when you're working in taxidermy. The reason for that is that you will often be working with people's pets. This means that you only get one shot to get it right. If you mess up somehow and are not able to taxidermy their pet successfully, then there is no way that they can replace that.
Many taxidermists choose to get errors and omissions insurance if they're going to be working with people's pets so that they are covered in the event that they make a mistake and are not able to taxidermy someone's beloved pet properly or have made a mistake where something happens to it later on and it gets destroyed.
Commercial Property Insurance For Taxidermists
Property insurance is also pretty important for taxidermists. That's because your entire inventory is going to be located on your premises. Property insurance usually protects you from natural disasters and fires, floods in vandalism and other things that happen to your property. Each property insurance plan is a little bit different, but they all generally include protection from the major natural disasters out there and from fire, severe wind damage and vandalism.
This is important, especially if you have a retail location where you have set up shop and built a business that people know. If some kind of mishap wipes out your business, then you are either going to have to spend a great deal of out-of-pocket money to restore your business or have insurance that will pay for it.
Other Important Insurance Types
There might be other types of insurance that you need depending upon your operations:
Workers Compensation - For example, if it is just you that works at your taxidermy shop, then you don't have to worry about any of the concerns for insurance that businesses with employees have to worry about. But if you have even one employee that gets paid hourly or receives a salary, then you're going to have to offer workers compensation insurance. Workers comp pays for employees medical bills who are injured on the job and may even help them recover lost wages.
Business Auto - You might also have to get commercial automobile insurance. This will depend upon whether you have vehicles that you use specifically in your taxidermy business. Or whether you use your own vehicle enough in your business to have it qualify for any sort of tax write-offs. If that's the case, then you might have to get commercial automobile insurance. This is usually based on a policy of your insurance company, but it is nice to have because it covers your vehicles completely even if the other driver had no insurance on their vehicle.
Alaska Taxidermist's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is usually limited because there is little visitor access. If customers and visitors are allowed on the premises, floor coverings must be in good condition. Parking lots and sidewalks must be well maintained and kept free of ice and snow.
Products liability exposures come from damage done to the item being prepared, lack of accurate records verifying ownership, and disappointment when an item does not look the way the customer had hoped. The taxidermist should process the hides in a way that does not attract bugs or other vermin to the finished piece.
Environmental impairment exposure is high due to the potential for air, surface, or ground water, or soil contamination due to the disposal of waste chemicals, scrap, and hair. Disposal of wastes must adhere to all federal and state guidelines.
Workers compensation exposures can be high due to the handling of carcasses. Cuts while removing the skins and hides are common, as are puncture wounds, slips and falls on slick floors, back, and lifting injuries such as hernias, sprains, and strains. Bloodborne pathogens may pass disease from carcasses to workers. Inhalation of dander and feathers may induce allergic reactions. The use of chemicals can result in serious eye, skin, and lung injuries.
Some chemicals, particularly formaldehyde and arsenic, are toxic. Employees must be fully informed as to the potential effects of any chemicals, including long-term occupational disease hazards so that they can take action as quickly as possible. Grinding of fiberglass molds and forms can present an occupational disease exposure. Workers should be provided with personal safety protection such as gloves and masks.
Property exposures consist of a small office and processing area. Ignition sources include electrical equipment, heating, and air conditioning. Chemicals and flammables used in the preservation and hide preparation operations must be properly labeled, separated, and stored. Fire loads can be high as feathers, skins, and stuffing materials are combustible. There should be adequate ventilation to prevent the buildup of dust and chemical vapors which can ignite.
Poor housekeeping can be a serious fire hazard. Vandalism is a concern because of animal rights activists. Hides and skins can present a high exposure to theft, particularly if the taxidermist specializes in rare or exotic animals. Controls should be in place to prevent access to the premises after hours. Hides are often kept in freezers until the taxidermist has time for processing. Power outages could result in a spoilage and loss of income loss.
Crime exposures are from employee dishonesty. Background checks should be conducted on all employees handling money. Billing, ordering, and disbursements must be kept as separate duties and audited annually.
Inland marine exposure includes accounts receivable if the taxidermist offers credit, bailees customers, computers, and valuable papers and records for clients' and suppliers' information. The bailees customers exposure is high since the customers provide the carcasses to be preserved. These must be returned to the customer in good condition. All items must be clearly identified to be sure they are returned to their rightful owner. There must be a procedure in place for disposing of unclaimed items.
Business auto exposure is generally limited to the pickup of items to be processed and delivery of completed items. Drivers must be licensed with acceptable MVRs. All vehicles must be well maintained with documentation kept in a central location.
Alaska Taxidermy - The Bottom Line
To learn more about the different types of AK taxidermy insurance policies you should consider, and how much coverage you should have, speak to a professional insurance broker.
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 Miscellaneous Insurance
Find informative articles on miscellaneous businesses including the types of commercial insurance they need, costs and other considerations.
- Adult Daycare Insurance
- Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting
- Bail Agent
- Control of Well
- Employment / Staffing Agency
- Engraving Business
- Facility Support Services
- Mail Order
- Oil And Gas Lease
- Personal Concierge
- Photofinishing Lab
- Portable Sanitation
- Printers & Publishers
- Private Water Districts
- Process Server
- RV Parks & Campgrounds
- Security Guard
- Surety Bonds
- Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) Drone
- Waste Disposal Landfill
- Wedding Planner
An insurance contract is an agreement where one party obligates itself to make good the financial loss or damage sustained by a second party when a designated event occurs. The event must be fortuitous and happen by accident. The named insured must have insurable interest at the time of loss. One final point is that in order for any contract to be considered insurance, there must be a risk of loss.
Fortuitous Event - An occurrence largely beyond the control of any involved party; happening by chance; accidental; for example: fire, lightning, windstorm, explosion or flood.
Insurable Interest - In order to recover from a loss to property, the holder must have an insurable interest in the property at the time of the event or occurrence. An insurable interest is any right, title or interest in property where the holder of that right, title or interest sustains financial loss if the property is damaged or destroyed. Any lawful and substantial economic interest in the safety or preservation of the property from loss, destruction or damage also constitutes an insurable interest.
An entity does not have to be the property owner to have an insurable interest in it. Examples include, but are not limited to, mortgagees, trustees, vendors, lessees and bailees. Insurable interest for any entity must exist at the time the loss occurs.
Risk Of Loss - If property could never be destroyed, there is no risk of loss. If property must necessarily disintegrate or be destroyed, there is no risk of loss. Between these two extremes is the exposure of risk that can be insured.
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