Blacksmith And Metal Workers Insurance Alaska Policy Information
Blacksmith And Metal Workers Insurance Alaska. As a blacksmith and metal worker, your work is extremely important and very rewarding; but, you're also exposed to a lot of risks. To protect yourself from potential perils, having the right type of insurance coverage is key to protecting your business, your staff, your clients, and your personal assets.
Blacksmiths heat iron or steel in a forge until the metal becomes soft enough to shape using hand tools. Blacksmiths produce a variety of items including armor, chains, cooking utensils, custom parts, decorative railings, grills or grates, horseshoes, religious items, sculptures, swords, tools, and window and door trim. Some use welding as part of the heating and forging process.
Why is insurance so important for blacksmiths and iron workers? What type of blacksmith and metal workers insurance Alaska do you need? How much coverage should you have? Below, you'll find the answers to these questions so that you can safeguard yourself from the risks that are associated with your business.
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Why Is Insurance Crucial For Blacksmiths, Iron And Steel Workers?
As a AK blacksmith, the very nature of your job can be dangerous. You work with heavy equipment and you are exposed to conditions that can be very hazardous. You are also responsible for making sure that the work you are contracted for is done properly.
Should something go awry - a piece of equipment malfunctions and an employee is injured or a client files a lawsuit against you, claiming that you damaged their property, you could end up paying medical expenses, repair bills, and legal fees; all of which can be extremely expensive. Without insurance, you would have to pay these expenses out of your own pocket, and given the high cost, you could suffer severe financial turmoil.
However, if you have the right type of blacksmith and metal workers insurance Alaska coverage, your provider would cover these expenses. In other words, insurance can make these types of incidents little more than a nuisance.
What Types Of Insurance Should Blacksmiths, Steel & Iron Workers Have?
The type of insurance that blacksmiths need depend on a variety of factors; the specific services you offer, the type of clients you work with, the size of your organization, and where your business is located are just some of the factors that will determine what type of insurance you should carry and how much coverage you need.
However, regardless of the specifics of your company, there are key types of coverage that you will need to carry, including:
- Commercial Property - To protect the building where you conduct your business and the equipment that is housed inside, you will a commercial property insurance policy. This type of coverage protects the physical structure of your blacksmith and metalworking business, as well as the property within it, including equipment and furnishings, from certain perils. For instance, if a tree falls on top of your facility, damages the roof and some of your equipment, commercial property insurance will help to cover repair and replacement costs.
- Inland Marine - While commercial property insurance protects the tools and equipment within your facility, the coverage doesn't extend to property when it's off-site; for that, you'll need marine inland insurance. For instance, if you bring equipment with you to a job site and it's damaged or stolen, a marine inland policy will help to cover the costs of repairing or replacing the equipment.
- Commercial Auto - You will also want to protect your vehicles that you use for work-related reasons, as your personal auto insurance won't extend to work vehicles. Commercial auto insurance protects company vehicles in the event of an accident; for instance, if you rear-end another vehicle while driving your work van, commercial auto insurance will cover the damages.
- Workers' Compensation - Whether you employ a staff of 5 people or 500, you'll need to have workers' compensation insurance. This type of policy provides coverage for any work-related injuries or illnesses that your employees sustain. If a piece of machinery backfires, for example, workers' comp will pay for any medical care that is needed. If the employee is unable to work while recovering, workers' comp will also offer reimbursement for a portion of his or her missed wages. It can also assist with any legal fees, should the employee file a lawsuit against you.
These are just some of the types of insurance that AK iron and steel workers need to have. To find out exactly what type of insurance you need and how much coverage you should carry, speak to an insurance professional.
AK Blacksmith's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is low if visitors are not permitted on the premises and there are no significant off-premises operations. If visitors are permitted on premises, aisles should be clear of debris and raw materials that may pose a trip and fall hazard. Visitors, particularly children, should be supervised while near heat-treating areas.
The storage of materials in the open could pose an attractive nuisance. The yard should be fenced to prevent unauthorized access, with proper lighting and warnings. Fire and explosion could affect neighboring premises. If the blacksmith goes off-site to work with horses, there is an added exposure to the animals, particularly high-valued horses, and to injury to others.
Products liability exposures depend upon the item being manufactured or repaired and its end use. Some exposures may be minor, such as a wall sconce. The exposure increases for products designed to support weight or are warranted for security or protection, such as a balcony railing. Improperly shod horses could become lame.
Environmental impairment liability exposures may be high due to possible contamination of ground, air, and water from the chemicals, paint, fuel sources and solvents used in daily operations. Storage and disposal procedures must adhere to all EPA and other regulatory standards.
Workers compensation exposure is high due to the potential for burns from heat or chemicals, cuts, and amputations. Cuts, puncture wounds, slips, trips, falls, back injuries from lifting, eye injuries from flying debris, and automobile accidents can occur.
If welding torches are used, there could be an occupational disease exposure from the fumes. Adequate face and hand protection are critical during forging and welding operations. Guards are necessary on machinery, especially when using cutting devices. Employees should not be allowed to remove guards. Animals being shod can injure workers if not properly secured.
Property exposures are high. Ignition sources include electrical wiring, heating and cooling systems, metalworking, heat-treating, electroplating, coating, welding, and explosions from the build-up of dust from the cutting and sanding operations. The risk increases dramatically in the absence of proper dust collection systems, ventilation, and adequate disposal procedures. Forges may use a variety of fuels, including propane and natural gas.
Fuels, chemicals, solvents, or degreasers may be flammable and must be adequately separated and stored from other operations. Spray-painting operations should be conducted in spray booths with sprinkler protection and explosion-proof electrical wiring. Welding should be done away from combustibles.
Equipment breakdown exposures include malfunctioning production equipment, electrical control panels, and other apparatus. A lengthy breakdown to production machinery could result in a severe loss, both direct and under time element.
Crime exposures are chiefly from employees. Background checks should be conducted on all employees. There must be a separation of duties between persons handling deposits and disbursements and handling bank statements.
Inland marine exposures include accounts receivable if the blacksmith offers credit, bailees customers if repair work is done on property belonging to others, computers, special property floater for hand tools and supplies taken off site, and valuable papers and records for customers' and suppliers' information. Exhibition coverage may be needed if the blacksmith conducts off-site demonstrations or participates in trade shows.
Commercial auto exposures are moderate due to the pickup of raw material and delivery of finished goods. Proper loading and tie-down procedures are essential to prevent overturn and spillage of oversized or bulky items. If the blacksmith provides vehicles to employees, there should be written procedures regarding the private use of those vehicles by others. Drivers should have an appropriate license and an acceptable MVR. All vehicles must be well maintained with records kept in a central location.
Blacksmith And Metalworkers Insurance
Having the right type of insurance coverage is crucial for all business owners, including blacksmiths, iron & steel workers. If you want to learn more about what type of insurance you need to protect your business and how much coverage you should carry, speak with a reputable insurance agent that specializes in commercial 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 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
- Boat Repair & Dry Docks
- Boiler Contractors
- Builders Risk
- Building Cleaning & Maintenance Services
- Cabinet Installer
- Cable And Satellite TV Installer
- Chimney Sweep
- Cistern Contractors
- 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
- Furniture Repair
- 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
- Oil And Gas Well Drilling Contractors
- 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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Also find Alaska insurance agents & brokers, 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.