Commodity Broker Insurance Alaska Policy Information
Commodity Broker Insurance Alaska. As a commodity broker, you are tasked with purchasing and selling commodity contracts. Needless to say, your job is extremely important, as you're not only making vital decisions on the behalf of your clients, but you're also responsible for large sums of money.
While you may be great at what you do and you always go the extra mile to ensure that all of your t's are crossed and i's are dotted, there's always a chance that something could go wrong when you least expect it.
Commodity brokers are trained and licensed to purchase and sell commodities for their individual or corporate clients on a fee or a commission basis. Commodities are unprocessed materials, such as grain, livestock, or metals, that are traded on futures markets.
Commodities brokers match the products of the farmer or mine owner with the anticipated future needs of the marketplace. These contracts or "futures" are traded in the commodities market.
Commodity brokers are regulated under the jurisdiction of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and are required to be members of the National Futures Association (NFA). Commodity brokers have a high degree of fiduciary responsibility to their clients.
Whether you work for yourself or you trade on a firm's floor, you are exposed to numerous risks on a daily basis. Those risks range from general and professional liabilities to an array of crimes (such as fraud).
In order to protect yourself and your clients, making sure that you have the right type of commodity broker insurance Alaska coverage in place is vital.
Why is it so important for AK commodity brokers to have insurance? What type of insurance do you need? Read on to find the answers to these questions and to ensure that you are properly protected.
Commodity broker insurance Alaska protects your trading firm with rates as low as $47/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do Commodity Brokers Need Insurance?
Just like any other professional, AK commodity brokers face a number of risks. Some of those risks are common to all industries, while some are unique to your specific profession.
For instance, if you're an independent broker or you run a firm, you're responsible for anyone who visits the location where operate your business. If a third-party - a client or a postal employee delivering your mail, for example - slips and falls at your facility, sustains in injury, and files a lawsuit, you are responsible for any medical care that may be required, as well as the cost of litigation.
Similarly, if you make a mistake and a client sues you for suspected fraud, you are liable for any financial repercussions. In the event that something does go wrong, having the right type of insurance in place is the key to avoiding serious monetary losses.
If you aren't insured, you would be responsible for covering the expenses out of your own pocket, which could be financially devastating. If you're insured, however, your carrier would cover the related costs.
Additionally, in order to legally operate as a commodity broker, you are required to carry certain commodity broker insurance Alaska coverage. If you aren't properly insured, you could face fines and penalties and even lose your license.
In other words, being insured will ensures that you are operations are compliant with Federal and AK state laws, and can help you avoid exorbitant expenses and even the possibility of losing your business.
What Type Of Insurance Coverage Do Commodity Brokers Need?
There are several factors that will impact the specific type of commodity broker insurance Alaska that should be purchased; where you operate your business, whether or not you're an independent broker or you own and operate your own firm and employ other brokers, for example.
With that said, here's a look at some of the most common types of insurance coverage that commodity brokers should carry:
- General Liability - All AK commodity brokers should have general liability insurance. This type of coverage protects you from any third-party personal injury and property damage liability claims. For instance, if a client who is seeking advice is injured on the premises of your business and files a lawsuit against you, general liability insurance will cover the cost of any legal expenses and expenses that a court may find you liable for.
- Professional Liability - Also known as errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, professional liability protects you from any mistakes that may occur. For example, if you make an investment error that leads to financial losses, you'll have the coverage you need to protect you against any legal actions that a client may take.
- Commercial Property - To protect the space where you operate your business from physical damage, you'll need commercial property insurance. This policy protects the physical structure of your business, as well as the contents within it, from acts of nature, theft, and vandalism. If a fire were to break out, this coverage would help to pay for any necessary repairs or replacements.
These are just a few examples of the types of commodity broker insurance Alaska coverage that AK commodity brokers should have in place.
Alaska Commodity Broker's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is often minimal since most of the client contact is done electronically or by mail. If clients visit the premises, they must be confined to designated areas to prevent them from overhearing private conversations or gaining access to other clients' confidential information.
To prevent slips, trips, or falls, all areas accessible to customers should be well lighted with floor coverings in good condition. The number of exits must be sufficient, and be well marked, with backup lighting in case of power failure.
Parking lots and sidewalks need to be in good repair with snow and ice removed, and generally level and free of exposure to slips and falls. Off-premises exposures arise from sales visits, training sessions, and similar work at the customer's premises. There should be policies and training as to off-site conduct by employees.
Professional liability exposure is extensive due to the handling of futures contracts and the necessity for client confidentiality. Working with individual clients presents fewer professional exposures than working with corporate clients.
Commodities brokers are licensed and are expected to act responsibly for both the buyer and the seller. The exposure increases if the broker fails to conduct thorough background checks to verify employees' credentials, education, and licensing, ignores or has inadequate error checking procedures, or allows clerical workers to do tasks that only professionals should handle such as putting in orders or offering investment advice.
The handling and sharing of information not generally available to the public is a serious exposure, sometimes resulting in allegations of insider trading. Ongoing training must be required for all employees. Policy and procedure manuals should be updated regularly. Very serious losses may result from failure to document decisions and actions or to secure client approval.
All employees must be supervised and monitored, and must take at least one consecutive week of vacation a year.
Workers compensation exposures are generally limited to those of an office. Since work is done on computers, potential injuries include eyestrain, neck strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and similar cumulative trauma injuries that can be addressed through ergonomically designed workstations.
Some commodity brokers travel extensively for sales presentations and similar activities. Workers can be injured by slips and falls at clients' premises or in automobile accidents.
Property exposures are generally limited to that of an office, although there may be some incidental storage or an area for meetings. Ignition sources include electrical wiring, heating and air conditioning equipment, wear, and overheating of equipment. Computers and other electronic equipment may be targets for theft.
Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty, which can be quite serious as commodity brokers frequently have access to their clients' personal and proprietary information, including investment accounts, and handle large values. Potential for theft, directly or by means of identity theft, is great.
Hazards increase without proper background checks, along with monitoring procedures and securing of all records to prevent unauthorized access. All job duties, such as ordering, billing and disbursing should be separate and reconciled on a regular basis.
Receipts should be issued for any cash payments received. Bank deposits should be made on a timely basis to limit the buildup of cash on premises. Audits should be performed at least annually. All transactions should be handled in accordance with CFTC guidelines.
Inland marine exposures consist of accounts receivable if the broker offers credit, computers, and valuable papers and records for customers' and vendors' information. Clients' records and approvals are typically originals that are difficult to re-create.
Power failure and power surges are potentially severe hazards. A morale hazard may be indicated if the insured does not keep valuable papers and disks in fireproof file cabinets to protect them from smoke, water, and fire. Duplicates should be kept off-site to allow for re-creation in the event of a loss.
Business auto exposure is generally limited to hired and non-owned. If vehicles are supplied to employees, there should be written procedures in place regarding personal use by employees and their family members. All drivers must have appropriate licenses and acceptable MVRs. Vehicles must be maintained, and records kept in a central location.
Commodity Broker Insurance Alaska - The Bottom Line
To find out more about the specifics, including any other protections that you may need and the amount of commodity broker insurance Alaska coverage you should carry, speak with a reputable insurance agent.
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 Professional Services Insurance
Get informed about small business professional services insurance, including Professional liability, aka errors and omissions (E&O insurance), that protects your business against claims that a professional service you provided caused your client financial loss.
- Answering Service
- Armored Car
- Attorney Lawyer
- Background Music Services
- Business Consulting
- Chemical Engineers
- Civil Engineers
- Claims Adjuster
- Commercial Laundries
- Commodity Broker
- Corporate Wellness
- Court Reporter
- Credit Bureaus
- Debt Collection Agency
- Detective Agency
- Diaper Services
- Electrical Engineering
- Environmental Consultant
- Executive, Career & Life Coaching
- Executive Search Firm
- Expert Witness
- Financial Planner
- Financial Services
- Funeral Directors
- HR Consultant
- Inspection Bureaus
- Insurance Agents & Brokers Insurance
- Mediator - Arbitrator
- Medical Billing
- Music, Drama & Dance Therapy
- Office Machine Repair & Maintenance
- Piano Tuners
- Project Management
- Safety Consultants
- Speakers Bureaus
- Temporary Staffing
- Tax Preparer
- Title Abstractors
- Valet Parking
Let's face reality. People today are claims conscious, resulting in a significant share of malpractice lawsuits against professionals.
Liability resulting from the rendering of or the failure to render professional services is excluded in most liability coverage forms. This means that a policy covering a account's or lawyers' office will cover liability arising out of the maintenance or use of the premises, but specifically exclude liability arising out of the rendering of a professional service or the omission of such a service.
In addition to the professions in which actual physical or mental injury may be caused to clients, certain other professions are exposed to claims for malpractice.
Claims may be brought against lawyers, accountants, architects, and similar professional persons for errors or omissions in their professional capacity. Errors & Omissions insurance pays damages that might be awarded to a plaintiff alleging professional negligence.
Professional liability policies are made available to such risks, and these policies provide essentially the same protection as is afforded under the physicians, surgeons or dentists professional liability policy.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Employee Dishonesty, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits Liability, Professional Liability, Umbrella Liability, Hired and Non-owned Auto Liability & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Building, Business Income with Extra Expense, Earthquake, Equipment Breakdown, Flood, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Money and Securities, Special Floater, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices Liability, 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.