Cave Tours Insurance Alaska Policy Information
Cave Tours Insurance Alaska. Cave tour companies have the exciting and fulfilling job of sharing their passion for cave systems by introducing eager members of the public to the rich history and natural features of caves.
Caves are natural openings in the earth that may be above- or below-ground. They can be formed by erosion from water, tectonic forces, volcanic activity, or weathering. Larger caves may offer guided tours to the public to view formations such as flowstones, stalactites, and stalagmites.
These may have been updated to include electrical lighting, paved pathways, stairs, or toilet facilities. If there are underground rivers, boat tours may be available.
Undeveloped caves may limit availability to professional explorers only. While some caves are owned and operated by governmental entities, many more are privately owned. Some caves operate only on a seasonal basis.
While some cave tours are safe for almost anybody, other caves make for a more challenging adventure. Cave tour companies will be responsible for ensuring their customers' safety by providing protective equipment such as helmets, knee pads, and ropes, as well as guiding them through the cave in a responsible manner.
If you own and manage a cave tour company, or are considering starting such a business, you may turn your hobby into a profession - a dream come true, for many. Cave tour businesses also, meanwhile, face a multitude of risks, and that is why it is crucial to arm yourself with a comprehensive insurance plan.
What kinds of Cave tours insurance Alaska coverage might be needed? This brief guide offers answers.
Cave tours insurance Alaska protects your business from lawsuits with rates as low as $67/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do Alaska Cave Tours Need Insurance?
Cave tour companies can, like any other commercial venture, fall victim to a wide variety of unplanned events. Some of these are uniquely related to the fact that you are in the business of guiding your customers through natural treasures, while others, which affect your office building, are common to nearly all companies.
Customers and employees alike may become injured during a cave tour, for example. Even if this happens due to circumstances entirely beyond your control, your company could be sued, resulting in significant legal defense costs. A vehicle could be involved in a traffic accident as you transport customers to a cave.
Your office space may, meanwhile, be affected by perils as varied as acts of nature (earthquakes, storms, and hurricanes, to name some examples), burglary, and vandalism. In this increasingly tech-savvy world, you likely store customer data electronically, and cyber criminals may target these records and appropriate credit card details.
Cave tour companies require top-notch insurance, simply said, because the perils covered here only scratch the surface. Without the correct coverage, any day you are in business is a risky one as you would be solely responsible for the resulting costs.
Armed with cave tours insurance Alaska policies - you can focus on improving your business without worrying that accidents and other unforeseen circumstances could force you to close at any time.
What Type Of Insurance Do AK Cave Tours Need?
Cave tour companies will need to carry multiple forms of insurance. The exact nature of your insurance needs depends on factors like the risk level of the caves you guide your customers through, the jurisdiction in which your company is located, the value of the equipment you depend on, and how many employees you have.
Because no two cave tour businesses are the same, consulting a commercial insurance agent is essential - they will be able to get you set up with coverage tailored to your specific circumstances. Some important examples of cave tours insurance Alaska types needed, however, are:
- Commercial Property: As a cave tour company, a large portion of your activities will take place within nature - but because you will still require an office, you do need commercial property insurance. This type of insurance covers a significant portion of the costs you will incur if your building or the assets inside are damaged or lost in perils that include acts of nature, vandalism, and theft.
- Commercial General Liability: This form of cave tours insurance Alaska covers third party personal injury and property damage claims that take place on your premises or as a result of your company's activities. It will help you manage attorney fees and settlement costs alike.
- Outdoor And Recreation: Since general liability insurance may not cover the costs associated with allegations of harm related to adventure or outdoor activities, cave tour companies should also investigate outdoor and recreation insurance.
- Workers Compensation: This type of coverage protects your financial interests if an employee is injured at work, by paying for their medical costs as well as any income they lose due to related work absences.
Cave tour companies should bear in mind that they may additionally need other kinds of coverage, including cyber insurance and commercial auto insurance. To find out what options best suit your individual needs, it is essential to partner with an experience commercial insurance specialist who understands cave tours insurance Alaska.
AK Cave Tours' Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposures can be high in caves open to tourists, who can trip, slip or fall on steps, rough terrain or slick surfaces, hit their heads on protruding rock formations, or be hit by falling rocks.
Paths, steps, and railings should be maintained in good condition. Exits should be clearly marked. Emergency lighting should be available in the event of a power outage.
Parking lots and sidewalks need to be in good repair with snow and ice removed promptly. If there are boats, personal flotation devices (PFDs) must be provided. Underground caves are in remote areas not easily accessible to emergency assistance.
There should be a disaster plan in place for search and rescue missions. Sliding rock avalanches can occur underground, severely restricting the ability for a timely rescue.
Rapidly rising underground water is particularly hazardous and can result in drowning. Personal injury exposures include alleged discrimination, invasion of privacy, or wrongful eviction.
Products liability exposures can be high if the cave owner operates the concession stands. Employees should be trained in the proper handling of consumables to prevent foreign objects in food, food poisoning, or the spread of other transmissible diseases. If these are contracted out, the cave owner should verify that the operators have adequate liability coverage.
Workers compensation exposure is moderate. Caves are generally located in remote areas not easily accessible to emergency assistance. Slips, falls, insect bites, back injury from lifting, hernia, sprains, and strains are common. Guides can be injured by hitting their heads on protruding rock formations, falling objects, encounters with unruly guests, or drowning if there are underground water sources.
Exploration to expand the cave or develop new trails is particularly hazardous due to the added potential for rock slides or suffocation. Food preparation operations can result in cuts, scrapes, and burns. Cleaning and maintenance operations can result in lung, eye, or skin irritations and reactions.
Property exposure is generally limited to an office and waiting area for guests going on tours. Larger caves may have a concession stand or retail store. Caves are generally located in remote areas miles away from public firefighting resources. On-site protection such as a smoke detector, fire extinguishers, and fire alarm is recommended.
If there is a concession stand, all cooking equipment must be properly controlled. To reduce the exposure to vandalism, the premises should be protected against unauthorized access after hours. Extra precautions may be needed if the premises are unoccupied during the off-season.
Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty and money and securities. Background checks should be conducted on all employees handling money. If there is cash admission, retail store, or snack bar, money should be regularly removed from the cash drawer and moved to a safe area.
Irregular drops should be made to the bank to prevent a substantial accumulation of cash on premises. All orders, billing, and reimbursements should be separate operations.
Inland marine exposure is from special property floater and valuable papers and records for customers' and suppliers' information. The special property floater is needed for lighting, communication systems such as two-way radios, and other items used within the cave itself as standard property policies do not include underground property.
Accounts receivable will be needed if the cave bills customers. Computers may be used to track inventories. Contractors' equipment may be used to maintain the premises. Backups of all data should be kept off premises for easy restoration after a loss. If there are boats, separate watercraft coverage will be needed.
Business auto exposure may be limited to hired and non-owned for employees running errands. If there is transport, pickup, or delivery of customers, hazards may include operating vehicles off-road in rough terrain or during inclement weather. All drivers must have appropriate licenses and acceptable MVRs. Vehicles must be regularly maintained, and records kept.
Cave Tours Insurance Alaska - The Bottom Line
To protect your operations, employees and customers, having the right cave tours insurance Alaska coverage is important. To learn what types of options are available to you, coverage, endorsements and costs - speak to a reputable commercial 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 Arts & Recreation Insurance
Read up on small business arts and recreation commercial insurance.
- Amusement Parks
- Archery Ranges
- Athletic Fields
- Billiard And Pool Halls
- Bowling Alleys
- Cave Tours
- Dance Studio
- Disc Jockey DJ
- Drive-In Theaters
- Entertainers And Performers
- Event Planning
- Fairs And Fairgrounds
- Film Production
- Fine Art
- Guides & Outfitters
- Handball & Racquetball Courts
- Horse & Dog Racetracks
- Indoor Sports Complexes
- Interior Decorator
- Interior Design
- Motorsports Racetracks
- Photo Booth
- Recording Studio
- Recreation Centers
- Riding Stables
- Roller Sakting Rinks
- Shooting Ranges
- Skeet & Trap Shooting Ranges
- Ski Resorts
- Talent Agency
- Tennis Centers
- Video Arcades
- Wedding And Special Event
Commercial insurance policies for arts, entertainment and recreation are specialized policies that protect against the unique risks that arts and recreation businesses face.
Performing artists and companies, entertainers including musical groups, theatre groups, comedians and more, writers, performers, photographers, videographers, DJ's and so many other types.
Professional liability coverage (errors and omissions) is needed in these cases to protect their financial interests due to mistakes, errors or omissions by these professionals in doing their jobs. Fr example - a bride and groom did not like the way their wedding photos turned out.
Or a wedding planner might plan a lavish wedding, but the bride's parents who are paying for it did not like the way it went. There is a lot of gray areas with arts, and you need to be protected if your clients don't agree with you that your work was what the agreed to.
If your business is involved with children, you need to review your coverages very carefully so certain important protections are not excluded. Abuse and molestation insurance might be needed to fully protect yourself in this instance.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Income with Extra Expense, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Accounts Receivable, Commercial Articles Floater, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits Liability, Umbrella Liability, Hired and Non-owned Auto Liability & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Building, Bailees Customers Floater, Money and Securities, 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.