Chimney Sweep Insurance Alaska Policy Information
Chimney Sweep Insurance Alaska. Chimney sweeps inspect, clean and repair residential and commercial chimneys. The traditional method of cleaning chimneys involves a two-step process in which the sweep brushes from the top of the chimney outside the building, and then finishes by sweeping and cleaning the fire box from inside the premises.
A newer method involves the sweep working from the inside using a vacuum and brushes. AK chimney sweeps offer chimney repair services such as masonry work, tuck pointing, installation of chimney caps, and similar chimney-related services.
When most people picture a chimney sweep, images of Mary Poppins' friend Bert (played by Dick Van Dyke) dancing along rooftops and singing "Chim Chim Cheree" come to mind. In real life, chimney sweeps don't sing and dance, but rather, they provide an invaluable service for the clients that they serve: they clean out and inspect chimneys to ensure that they are working properly and safely.
There are a lot of risks that are associated with operating a chimney sweep company. To protect your business, your clients, your employees, and your personal assets, carrying the right type of chimney sweep insurance Alaska coverage is essential.
Chimney sweep 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 Is Insurance Important For Chimney Sweeps?
Working as a chimney sweep involves climbing ladders, getting into cramped quarters, and inspecting the structural elements of a chimney, among other things; who knows, you might even sing and dance a little (but probably not as elaborately as Dick Van Dyke) while you're working. Given the nature of your line of work, and the fact that you are providing specific services, working on someone else's property, and that you likely employ a staff, there are a variety of risks that are associated with operating a chimney sweep.
Despite your best efforts to make sure that you are offering the best services and providing your employees with a safe workplace, mishaps can happen. An employee could slip off of a ladder and suffer a serious injury, or a client could file a lawsuit against you, stating that you damaged their property while cleaning a chimney. In these types of situations, you will be held liable for any injuries or property damages.
Should someone take legal action, you would also be responsible for covering the cost of your legal defense fees. These types of expenses can be exorbitant and could potentially put you in financial ruin; ultimately, you could end up going bankrupt trying to pay for damages, medical bills, and legal fees. With the right insurance in place, however, you can avoid financial turmoil.
Why? - Because your chimney sweep insurance Alaska policy would help to cover the costs of the liabilities that are related to your business operations.
What Type Of Insurance Should Chimney Sweeps Have?
The type of insurance a chimney sweep business should carry depends on the specifics of your operations. Some of the factors that will affect the coverage you should carry include where you are located, the size of your operation, the number of people you employ, and the services you offer; however, there are certain chimney sweep insurance Alaska policies that you should have in place, regardless of the specificities of your business. These policies include:
- Commercial General Liability - All business owners and operators must carry commercial general liability insurance, including chimney sweeps. This form of coverage protects you against any third-party injuries or property damage that may occur; for instance, if a vendor slips and falls while delivering supplies to your business, your insurance will cover the cost of any related medical care, as well as any legal costs that may arise if the person files a lawsuit.
- Commercial Property - This type of coverage protects the physical structure that you operate your chimney sweep business out of, as well as the contents within it, from damages, theft, and acts of vandalism. For instance, if someone spray paints the side of your building, breaks the windows, and steals any of your supplies, the provider of this type of this policy will help to pay for the repairs to your building, as well as the cost of replacing the stolen inventory.
- Inland Marine - While a commercial property insurance policy will protect your equipment and inventory, it only protects these items when they are within the structure of your business; but, the coverage isn't extended to equipment and inventory that's in-transit. For instance, any tools or machinery that you're using on a job sit isn't covered by a commercial property insurance policy, but it is protected by inland marine insurance. For example, if any of your tools are stolen at a job site, marine inland insurance will cover the cost of replacing the tools.
These are just some of the insurance policies that AK chimney sweeps should have in place. If you have employees workers compensation is a must.
AK Chimney Sweeps Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is slight at the chimney sweep's premises due to lack of public access, but moderate away from the premises due to hazards at the job site on clients' premises. Equipment used for chimney cleaning may present an attractive nuisance to children. Property damage can result from soot and creosote entering the house or commercial building.
Completed operations bodily injury claims from fire or carbon monoxide poisoning may occur if the cleaning results in a blocked chimney instead of a clean one.
Workers compensation exposures are moderate due to the soot and creosote dust that may be inhaled by the sweep. Long-handled equipment may result in sprains from standing in awkward positions. Wildlife can nest in chimneys and attack, resulting in bites or scratches. If the sweep works outside from the top of the chimney, a fall can result in injury or death. Falling objects may strike sweeps cleaning the chimney from the inside.
Property exposures at the chimney sweep's premises are generally limited to an office and storage of chimney-cleaning equipment, supplies, and related stock including chimney caps and masonry products.
Crime exposures are primarily from employee dishonesty. Background checks, including criminal history, should be performed on all employees handling money. Since many sweeps are smaller operations, checks and cash are normally collected by the employee at the time of service.
Inland marine exposures include accounts receivable if the chimney sweep offers credit to customers, contractors' equipment, and valuable papers and records for customers' and suppliers' information. The brushes, vacuums, ladders and other tools taken to job sites are neither attractive from a theft standpoint nor easily damaged. Backup copies of all data should be stored off premises.
Business auto exposure generally consists of travel to and from job sites with crew, equipment, and supplies. All drivers must be well trained and have valid licenses for the type of vehicle being driven. MVRs must be run on a regular basis. Random drug and alcohol testing should be conducted. Vehicles must be well maintained with records kept in a central location.
AK Chimney Sweep Insurance
To make sure that your business is properly protected, speak to an experienced commercial insurance broker to find out exactly what type of chimney sweep insurance Alaska coverage you need and how much coverage you should have.
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 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.