Alaska Township Insurance Policy Information
Alaska Township Insurance. As a part of the public sector, township officials are exposed to a lot of risks and can face a lot of losses.
Managing fiscal policies and debt, protecting the physical safety of their residents, making sure public education received adequate investments, addressing crime; township officials are responsible for a lot.
Township buildings provide office and meeting facilities for township operations. They often have auditoriums designed for large public gatherings or for political assemblies. A council runs townships, either elected or appointed and may have a mayor or other chief official who acts as the leader.
A wide variety of services may be provided to residents in exchange for tax dollars. These services may include planning and zoning, licenses and permits, assessors', and surveyors' offices, courts, disease control, sanitation, road construction and maintenance, snow removal, and public protection such as police or fire departments.
Some townships contract utility services, such as gas, water, or electricity, for residents within their geographical area.
In order to protect themselves from any liability issues, these officials should invest in the right type of Alaska township insurance program.
What is AK township insurance? Why is it important? For more information about this vital insurance coverage, keep on reading.
Alaska township insurance protects your municipal operations and buildings from lawsuits with rates as low as $37/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do Townships Need Insurance?
Also known as municipality insurance, Alaska township insurance coverage is an insurance program that combines coverage for the unique risks that officials face.
Township officials are responsible for a lot, and as such, they face numerous liability issues. Examples of the risks that public sector officials face include:
- Lawsuits related to employment practices, such as sexual harassment, discrimination, wrongful termination, and hostile work or volunteer environments.
- Legal issues related to police enforcement, such as failure to protect, civil rights violations, negligence, and false arrests.
- Data breaches that result in the compromise of the confidential data and personal information of employees or volunteers.
- Real or alleged errors and omissions and misstatements or misleading statements.
These are just a few of the risks that AK township officials face.
Should an employee, volunteer, or resident of the municipality that an official governs take legal action against the township, the insurance coverage that a township insurance policy provides would help to pay the related expenses, including legal representation fees and the damages that a court of law may find the defendant guilty of.
The costs that are associated with legal action can be astronomical, and as such, this type of insurance can prevent public officials and municipalities from serious financial losses.
What Type Of Insurance Do Townships Need?
A robust Alaska township insurance program will include coverage for the many risks that elected officials face.
Because insurance requirements may vary, it's best to speak with an agent who has experience insuring AK municipalities.
Examples of the coverage that township's should have include:
- General Liability: This form of coverage protects a township against any bodily injury or property damage claims that may be associated with any of the locations and operations that fall under the entity of the municipality. These injuries and property damages may occur as a result of poorly maintained roadways and sidewalks, natural disasters in which elected officials failed to practice due diligence, and even town construction activities.
- Errors And Omissions (E&O): E&O insurance coverage (also known as professional liability) protects public officials from actual and alleged errors, such as misstatements or misleading statements that an official may make while executing the duties of a public entities.
- Law Enforcement Liability: This coverage helps to cover the costs that are associated with defending police officers from various allegations and lawsuits that the public may make against police officers while they are conducting law enforcement operations and activities; failure to protect, violations related to civil rights, false arrests, and negligence.
- Cyber And Data Breach: If elected officials, employees, or volunteers of a township have access to confidential data in electronic or hard copy form and a data breach occurs, cyber and data security will help to cover any lawsuits that may arise.
- Employment Practices Liability: This type of coverage offers townships protection for claims that are made by employees and volunteers that are related to wrongful practices; sexual harassment, discrimination of any kind, wrongful termination, wrongful demotion, failure to promote, defamation, libel and slander, invasion of privacy, unfair discipline, and harassment of any kind. Employment practices liability will help to cover legal expenses, as well as any compensation that may need to be paid out.
The aforementioned coverages are a basic outline of what a robust Alaska township insurance program should provide. The specific coverage that this type of program should provide depends on the unique needs of each township.
Additionally, policy limits vary and depend on the unique needs of each township. The cost of township insurance coverage also depends on several factors.
AK Township's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is high due to services provided to residents and the public's access to the building. If tours are given, exposures increase significantly as guests may be led through areas generally "off limits" to more casual visitors.
Legislation and judicial decisions have eroded governmental immunity protection in most states. Public and life safety code compliance is very important. To prevent trips, slips, and falls, all premises must be well maintained with flooring in good condition. Adequate lighting, marked exits and egresses are mandatory. Steps must have handrails, be well lit, marked, and in good repair.
An outside service contractor should inspect elevators and escalators annually. Parking lots should be free of ice and snow. Township facilities may be a target for vandals or disgruntled citizens. Security inside the facility, as well as outside areas including owned parking areas, needs to be carefully implemented and monitored.
An evacuation plan must be in place. Personal injury losses may occur due to alleged assault, discrimination, invasion of privacy, or unlawful detention. /p>
Public officials' liability exposure can be severe. Today's political climate has seen an increase in lawsuits against government authorities for failure to perform the functions of their office, failure to account for tax funds, failure to enforce regulations, failure to follow mandated procedures, such as open bidding on contracts, bad faith, and other errors or omissions. Defense costs can be prohibitively expensive.
Workers compensation exposures are varied, from office workers to janitorial staff, building or yard maintenance workers, repair personnel, and street and road crews. Workers may incur back injuries, hernias, slips, falls, strains, or sprains.
Skin and lung irritation can result from working with cleaning chemicals and paint. Office workers may develop repetitive motion injuries. Workstations should be ergonomically designed.
There may be interactions with angry constituents or protestors. Employees should be trained to deal with difficult situations.
Property exposure is generally low. Ignition sources include electrical wiring, heating, and air conditioning systems. There may be a restaurant or cafeteria on premises. Most offices and auditoriums have extensive wiring for lighting, computers, and other electronic equipment. It must be in good repair and adequate for its use.
Township buildings may have been donated and remodeled for current use. Valuation may be a concern in older buildings with unique architectural features that may be difficult to rebuild with like construction and quality after a loss. Wiring must be up to date and the building must meet codes for its current occupancy. Smoke detectors are critical for early detection of a fire. Smoking should be prohibited.
If there is a restaurant or cafeteria on premises, all cooking equipment should be properly protected. Garages for storing, fueling, and maintaining vehicles must be separated from office facilities. Township facilities may be a target for political activists or for terrorists.
Adequate security is required. There should be disaster recovery plans in place to continue operations in the event of a large loss.
Crime exposure is from public officials' dishonesty, employee dishonesty and money and securities. Background checks, including criminal history, must be completed on all employees. Receipts must be provided for all payments of taxes, fees, fines, and penalties, with daily reconciliation between receipts and money received.
Deposits should be made promptly with appropriate security provided. Money should not be left on premises overnight. There must be regular audits, preferably by an outside firm. All employees must take at least one complete week of vacation each year.
If the facilities have offices to collect fees, penalties, or obtain permits and licenses, there may be an exposure to holdup.
Inland marine exposures are from accounts receivable for billings, audio/visual equipment, computers, contractors' equipment, fine arts, and valuable papers and records. Contractors' equipment may be used off-premises to build, maintain, or service municipal streets and roads.
Fine arts such as statuary and paintings, artifacts, historical documents, rare or historical books, or manuscripts may be one-of-a-kind and irreplaceable. If insured, valuation should be done by a qualified appraiser.
Valuable papers and records are often delicate and must be protected from fire, water damage, vandalism, theft, or other losses. Duplicates of all files should be stored at an off-site facility for easy retrieval in the event of a loss.
Business auto exposure is limited generally to hired non-owned and some owned service vehicles. All drivers must have appropriate licenses and acceptable MVRs. All vehicles must be maintained on a regular basis with records kept in a central location.
Alaska Township Insurance - The Bottom Line
To learn more about Alaska township insurance programs and what type of coverage it should include to provide comprehensive protection, speak with a reputable 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 Local, State And Federal Government Insurance
Learn about commercial insurance for local, state and federal government agencies, services, operations and buildings.
- County Administration Offices
- Fire Departments
- Government Buildings
- Law Enforcement Entities
- Public Buildings
Cooperative efforts between insurance professionals and public officials have led to the satisfactory arrangement of coverages for public properties that may include large building schedules spread over a number of locations and geographic areas.
Liability insurance protection is a matter of much greater concern. As governmental and charitable institutional immunity continues to erode, the onslaught of lawsuits makes adequate liability protection essential.
Public utilities have unique insurance needs usually best handled by specialists in their field.
Because government entities are becoming more inventive in raising money, they are involved in activities that may not appear to be government-related so that they may require coverages that at first glance do not seem appropriate for them.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Building, Business Personal Property, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Accounts Receivable, Audio/Visual Equipment, Computers, Contractors' Equipment, Fine Arts, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Cyberliability, Employee Benefits, Public Officials' Liability, Umbrella, Hired and Non-Oowned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Earthquake, Equipment Breakdown, Extra Expense, Flood, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Employment-related Practices, Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage 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.