eCommerce Insurance Alaska Policy Information
eCommerce Insurance Alaska. E-commerce business owners oftentimes feel immune from the litigious atmosphere of brick-and-mortar establishments, but this is far from true. E-commerce sites are just as prone to litigation as other types of businesses, even if precedents are slowly being set.
In one particular case, a woman with a hearing impairment sued eBay because she claimed that the company failed to follow the Americans With Disabilities Act when it required that she receive an automated phone call with a registration access code in order to register as a seller. Since she could not hear the registration code, she claimed eBay violated the mandated of the ADA.
The woman also alleged that eBay is a storefront and was required as such to accommodate people with disabilities. Ebay's legal counsel countered that the entity is not a storefront at all, and thus exempt from ADA regulations that brick-and-mortar businesses must adhere to. According to eBay, the web is not a place, but instead is a means for remote communication. Still, E-commerce lies in a gray area that is very much open to interpretation in the courts. New legislation is continually on the forefront to address e-commerce related claims such as this one. And that is why online stores need eCommerce insurance Alaska.
eCommerce insurance Alaska protects your online store from lawsuits with rates as low as $57/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Three decades ago, E-commerce was nonexistent. In today's world, there are millions of different businesses selling products and offering services online. E-commerce businesses face different risks than traditional businesses, but the risks are still there, and mitigating them requires the purchase of eCommerce insurance Alaska that is specially designed for the unique needs of the E-commerce genre.
E-commerce is poised for growth. By 2017, spending online is estimated to top $370 billion, with an estimated 10 percent of all retail sales occurring on the web. With this growth comes additional litigation from customers who feel they were wronged in some way by E-commerce sites. As an operator, you face claims from customers, some of which are covered by a business owner's policy, or BOP. This type of policy covers general liability. However, a standard liability policy on its own is not enough. You must also safeguard your business against potential data security breaches and business interruption with eCommerce insurance Alaska.
When conducting business online, there is an exchange of sensitive data belonging to customers, and there is also valuable business information that is generally stored on secure databases. Regardless of safeguards in place, breaches do occur. While proper risk management can offset some breaches, some are inevitable. Being prepared for the fallout and claims against you is important, no matter what type of E-commerce business you operate. If your customer's information is compromised, you can be held liable.
Business interruption is another risk that E-commerce business owners face. If you are reliant on a third-party provider for shipping, internet service, or other services, then your business can be impacted by problems with that third party. For example, if they experience a business stoppage, their problem can lead to reduced profits for your business.
Coverage for E-Commerce Businesses
Speaking with a licensed and knowledgeable insurance agent about your inherent risks is a good start when shopping for the right type of level of protection for your particular business. Some of the eCommerce insurance Alaska coverage types you might consider, based on your business' unique structure include:
- Transportation coverage. Shipping errors that result in loss of money for your business are covered by transportation coverage.
- Contents coverage. If you have a warehouse or manufacture the products you sell, then contents coverage gives you comprehensive coverage for your tools and machinery.
- Worker's comp. Worker's compensation coverage is vital for E-commerce businesses with employees. This insurance provides protection for employees who are hurt or become ill due to a work-related peril and is mandatory in AK.
- Intellectual property insurance. You can be sued for the rights to software, gaming operations or data. Intellectual property insurance covers the cost of defending yourself in court.
- Directors and officers coverage. Liability of directors and officers for your business is mitigated with this type of coverage. It covers operational mistakes that end up costing your company money.
Liability Protection for E-Commerce Businesses
Regardless of the type of E-commerce business you own, you must have liability insurance in place. The limits you choose should take all potential scenarios into account. Analyze your business' worth and risk factors when making a buying decision, and then determine the right level of eCommerce insurance Alaska coverage based on the deductibles and limits you need to fully protect your business. Discuss your situation with a licensed agent who has dealt with E-Commerce clients in the past, and work with an agent who can compare rates for eCommerce insurance Alaska coverage with multiple companies to find a mix of affordability and protection.
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 Information Technology & Internet Insurance
Learn about small business IT technology insurance policies that help protect IT businesses, consultants & subcontractors from the unique risks that small tech businesses face when they work.
- Application Development
- Amazon Seller
- Computer Electronic Repair
- Computer Programming
- Computer System / Network Developer
- Cyber Liability
- Data Breach
- eBay Sellers
- Internet Business
- IT Consultant
- Online Store
- Software Developer
- Technology Services
- Website Design
Some the more popular IT businesses do IT contracting or freelancing work. These businesses have specific risks they face, and can have huge exposures to uncommon risks. Even if the business is very careful, a small oversight or mistake can lead to a large and expensive lawsuit.
For information technology companies, like some of the more popular ones listed below, data security is paramount:
Application Development (Mobile & Web), Business Intelligence / Data Mining Businesses, Computer Installation & Repair, Computer Programming, Computer Retail Store, Data Analysts, Architects & Scientists, Database Administrators, Frontend Developers, Hosting, IT Business Consulting, IT Project Management, IT Staffing, IT Training, Information Technology Consulting, Life Sciences & R&D, Network Architects, Network Security Consultants, System & Network Design, Technical Writing and Web Site Development.
The IT business segment has a critical need for professional liability and errors and omissions coverage. If coverage applies, the insurer has several rights and duties such as providing a legal defense against claims and suits brought by parties claiming damages. The insurer is permitted to investigate all claims to determine whether they are covered by the policy and they may choose to litigate, deny or settle claims.
Most policies providing coverage for electronic data liability, computer professional liability, and computer errors and omissions are claims-made contracts.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Business Income with Extra Expense, Equipment Breakdown, Computer Fraud, Employee Dishonesty, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits Liability, Errors and Omissions Liability, Professional Liability, Umbrella Liability, Hired and Nonowned Auto Liability & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Building, Earthquake, Flood, Real Property Legal Liability, Forgery, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices Liability, Directors and Officers 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.