Farm Equipment Dealers Insurance Alaska Policy Information
Farm Equipment Dealers Insurance Alaska. Farm equipment dealers, as the name suggest, are organizations that provide farmers with equipment. Tractors, plows, combines, harvesters, seeders, balers, fertilizer spreaders, sprinklers; it takes a lot of equipment to operate a farm.
As a farm equipment dealer, you have the all-important task of outfitting farmers with the equipment that they need to maintain their farms. Without your services, farmers wouldn't be able to operate a functional operation, and in turn, the community at large would suffer.
Farm equipment dealers sell new and/or used farm machinery and equipment such as tractors, combines, or irrigation systems and generally provide financing and insurance for purchasers. They may also sell outdoor power equipment for lawns, gardens, and golf courses.
They may sell farm machinery parts and accessories, provide repair and/or body work, or offer equipment rental and leasing. Some offer off-site repair services to farmers or towing services for items that must be transported back to the shop. The business may or may not be a franchise.
Most dealerships purchase new machinery directly from manufacturers, financing the purchase through arrangements with either the manufacturer or a bank. Used items are generally trade-ins from customers purchasing newer machinery, or are from farm equipment auctions.
While a selection of items may be displayed in a showroom, most are stored in open lots outside the building.
Just like any business, there are certain risks that are associated with owning and operating a farm equipment dealer organization. In order to protect yourself, your company, the people who work for you, and the people you serve, having the right type of farm equipment dealers insurance Alaska coverage is paramount.
Why is insurance for farm equipment dealers so important? What type of coverage will you need? Read on to find the answers to these questions and more.
Farm equipment dealers insurance Alaska protects your dealership from lawsuits with rates as low as $67/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do Farm Equipment Dealers Need Insurance?
Any number of things can go wrong with your AK farm equipment dealership. An employee could suffer a work-related injury. A vendor or another third-party could suffer an injury on your property. A client could claim that the equipment you supplied was defective.
The facility you operate your business out of could be damaged in a storm. Equipment that you carry could be stolen or vandalized. These are just a handful of examples of the situations that could arise, and as the owner and operator of your organization, you are legally liable for any mishaps that may occur.
In the event that something does go wrong, you could be looking at pretty steep expenses. Lawsuits, medical bills, covering lost wages, repairing damages, etc. can have exorbitant price tags. That's why you need to have the proper insurance coverage.
In the event that a mishap does occur, instead of having to pay the related expenses yourself, your insurance carrier will cover them for you. In other words, by being properly insured, you can avoid serious financial losses. Additionally, in order to legally operate a farm equipment dealer business, you are required to carry certain types of farm equipment dealers insurance Alaska coverage.
If you aren't properly insured, you could end up being hit with stiff penalties. There's even a chance that you could lose your business.
What Type Of Insurance Do Farm Equipment Dealers Need?
There are several types of farm equipment dealers insurance Alaska coverage that farm equipment dealers may need to carry. The specific type of coverage you'll need is dependent on several factors; where your AK operation is located, the size of your business, the specific type of equipment you deal, and the clients you service, for example.
Because insurance coverage requirements do vary, speaking with a reputable and experienced insurance agent is vital, as they will be able to let you know exactly what kind of insurance you'll need.
With that said, however, here's a look at some of the different types of farm equipment dealers insurance Alaska coverage that you'll likely need to carry:
- General Liability - This policy covers third-party liability claims that are related to property damage and personal injuries. For instance, if a vendor were to slip and fall while making a delivery to your facility, suffer an injury, and then file a lawsuit against you, this type of coverage would help to pay for any related expenses.
- Workers Compensation - To protect your employees from any work-related injuries or illnesses they may suffer, you'll need to carry workers' comp. This policy will cover any medical care that your employees may need, as well as wages they may lose, in the event that they are injured on the job.
- Cyber Liability - You likely use technology and computer programs to place and process orders. That means that you collect a lot of personal information about your employees and your business. If a data breach were to occur, cyber liability insurance would cover any related expenses.
These policies are just a few examples of the type of farm equipment dealers insurance Alaska you'll need to carry as the owner and operator of an AK farm equipment dealership.
AK Farm Equipment Dealership's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is high due to the number of visitors. To prevent slips and falls, flooring must be in good condition, with no frayed or worn spots on carpet, and no cracks or holes in flooring. Steps and uneven floor surfaces should be prominently marked. Sufficient exits must be provided and be well marked with backup lighting systems in case of power failure.
Large equipment is stored in the yard to be viewed by customers. The yard, 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. If the premises is open after dark, there should be adequate lighting and appropriate security for the area.
There should be a disaster plan in place for unexpected emergencies. The yard creates an attractive nuisance. Equipment should be disabled when it is unattended. Chains and fences should be in place to prevent entrance to the dealership after hours.
Personal injury exposure includes allegations of discrimination, false arrest or detention, unauthorized or intrusive searches, or wrongful ejection from the premises.
Product liability exposure is high due to the potential for bodily injury, including rollovers, cuts, and amputations. Adequate guards and warnings are important. There should be a check-off procedure in place prior to the release of the equipment to the customer to prevent any vital functions not working properly.
Any direct import of products may result in the dealer being considered as the manufacturer. Nonfranchise dealers and sellers of used machinery have a much higher products exposure. If equipment is rented to customers, each should be inspected and reconditioned before being rented again.
Environmental impairment exposures can be significant due to the storage of fuel in underground fuel tanks and the disposal of used oils, solvents and other hazardous wastes from service and repair operations. All tanks and pipes, underground or above, should meet alaska or federal regulations and be routinely tested for leakage.
Spillage and leaking of pollutants into the air, ground, or water can result in high cleanup costs and fines. Contracts should be in place to dispose of all environmentally dangerous chemicals. If there are underground storage tanks, a UAK policy will be needed.
Workers compensation exposure is high due to the potential for bodily injury, including rollovers, cuts, and amputations from the machinery and equipment. Adequate guards and warnings are important. The potential for injury increases significantly for repair operations, whether on the premises or at the customer's premises. Employees performing maintenance or repair work on customers' equipment should be properly trained.
All employees should have ear and eye protection. The proper use of lifting techniques and of dollies should be encouraged. Employees can incur injuries from slips, falls, back sprains, strains and hernias, hearing impairment from noise, and foreign objects in the eye. Welders may suffer burns. Repair areas should be properly ventilated. Refueling should be done only in well-ventilated areas to minimize inhaling of fumes.
Information regarding chemicals should be available to employees along with early warning signs of problems. Off-premises operations, including pickup and delivery of customers' equipment, can result in injury due to vehicular accidents.
Property exposure is high due to flammable fuels, paints, lubricants, oils, degreasers, and solvents used in the repair operations. These must be properly labeled, separated, and stored away from combustibles. Spray painting should be in spray booths with good ventilation, UL-approved wiring and fixtures, and adequate controls.
Welding is often a part of the repair and body work operation that needs to be evaluated for proper handling of the tanks and gases. It should be done away from the other operations with either a separate room or flash/welding curtains.
Smoking should be prohibited. Poor housekeeping is a serious fire hazard. Unless stored and disposed of properly, oily rags can spontaneously combust and cause a fire. Work areas must be cleaned regularly and trash removed from the building.
Farm machinery and equipment parts are target items for thieves. Appropriate security controls must be taken including physical barriers such as chains, fences, or gates, lighting to deter access to the premises after hours, and an alarm system that reports directly to a central station or the police department.
Business income and extra expense exposures are high as replacement facilities may not be readily available.
Inland marine exposures are from accounts receivable if the dealership offers credit, bailees if customers' items are brought in for repair, computers used to monitor inventory, exhibitions if machinery is taken to trade shows or fairs, floor plan coverage for machinery furnished by manufacturers and held for sale, goods in transit, installation floater, signs, tool floater for repair items taken off-site, and valuable papers and records for manufacturers, vendors', and customers' information.
Backup copies of all records, including computer records, should be made and stored off premises. Machinery and equipment stored in open lots are particularly susceptible to damage by hail, wind, flood, vandalism, and theft.
Lots should be well lighted with chains, fences, or gates to prevent access and transport. An alarm system that reports directly to a central station of the police department should be used. Security guards may be appropriate in some areas.
If the dealership rents machinery or equipment, the rental contract should include a hold-harmless agreement in which renters agree to assume responsibility for the operation of the machinery to limit the dealer's exposure to vicarious liability only.
The customer should also be required to sign a pre-inspection form to minimize disputes when the rented machinery is returned with damages.
Crime exposures are from employee dishonesty, forgery or alteration, theft of money and securities, computer fraud, money orders, and counterfeit paper currency. Background checks, including criminal history, should be performed on all employees handling money.
Dealers' operations involve a number of transactions and accounts that can be manipulated. There must be a separation of duties between persons handling deposits, billing, ordering, disbursements, and reconciling bank alaskaments.
Physical audits should be conducted at least annually. Theft of money and securities prevention requires controls of monies kept in the cash drawers and regular bank drops.
Commercial auto exposures are high due to the transportation of heavy farm machinery for delivery or repairs or to other dealerships. All drivers must be trained in appropriately securing and carrying this type of equipment for transport. Drivers should have a commercial license and have their MVRs regularly checked. All vehicles must be regularly maintained with records retained.
Farm Equipment Dealers Insurance - The Bottom Line
As mentioned, in order to determine exactly what kind of farm equipment dealers insurance Alaska coverage you'll definitely need to protect your dealership, speak with a reputable agent who 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 Agribusiness Insurance
Learn about small business agribusiness insurance - a type of commercial insurance protects farmers against loss of, or damage to crops or livestock.
- Insurance Farming Terms Glossary
- Aquaculture Fish Farm
- Commercial Fishermen
- Dairy Farm
- Equine & Horse Farm
- Farm And Ranch
- Farm Equipment Dealers
- Farm Labor Contractors
- Livestock & Cattle
- Mushroom Farms
- Nursery And Greenhouse
- Nut Farm
- Orchards & Groves
- Poultry Farm
- Sheep & Goat Farm
- Swine, Hog & Pig Farm
- Tobacco Farm
- What Are Farm And Ranch Insurance Endorsements?
Farming is, and has always been a tough business. There are many uncontrollable factors for farmers to deal with - like the weather, vermin, or other natural catastrophes. Any of these can destroy cash crops, such as corn, cotton, soybeans, and wheat, and put the farmer in a very bad financial situation.
Insurance for agribusiness falls into three general categories:
The first is property insurance on the buildings and the usually substantial amount of business personal property made up of machinery, livestock, equipment and other stock.
The second is liability for both premises and products.
The last is protection for worker injuries. Commercial auto insurance should be written if the operation owns vehicles and especially if it transports its own products.
There are a wide variety of agribusiness insurance options that are available to farmers. These policies allow them to to receive compensation in the event of a poor growing season, dropping prices, cattle disease or catastrophic natural event.
Loss of crops or livestock can financially ruin an agribusiness operation. The crop insurance agrees to indemnify the farmer, rancher or grower against losses which occur during the crop year. Losses have to be caused by things which are unavoidable or beyond the farmer's control - like a drought, freeze and/or disease.
Some policies offer coverage due to adverse weather events such as the inability to plant due to excess moisture or losses due to the quality of the crop.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Buildings, Business Personal Property, Crop Insurance, Employee Dishonesty, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Goods in Transit, Mobile Equipment, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Environmental Impairment, Umbrella, Business Automobile Liability and Physical Damage, Hired and Non-owned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Business Income and Extra Expense, Earthquake, Equipment Breakdown, Farm Owners, Flood, Computer Fraud, Employee Dishonesty, Forgery, Money and Securities, Cyber Liability, Employee Benefits, Employment-related Practices Liability, Product Recall, Underground Storage Tank, Stop Gap Liability and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) (Drones).
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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.