Grain Elevator Insurance Alaska Policy Information
Grain Elevator Insurance Alaska. A grain elevator, as he name suggests is a structure that is designed to stockpile or store grain. The buildings house vertical storage bins that make it easy to transport the grain that is stored within it.
The purpose of a grain elevator is to protect grain, an essential agricultural crop, from becoming damaged, because if it is left in a field, the quality of the grain can become compromised by mold, insects, birds, and rodents. These structures ensure that grain is stored in the best possible environment so that it remains safe, healthy, and can continue being used.
Grain elevators are designed for the long and short-term storage of bulk grain such as corn, soybeans, or wheat. Grain is brought to the elevator by farmers, usually by truck, and is inspected and sampled prior to unloading. If accepted, it is weighed, cleaned, dried, and moved into the elevator's storage silos by conveyor belt or other material handling equipment.
Once it is purchased, it is removed from the silo, weighed and loaded onto trucks, railcars, or barges for shipment. The grain elevator may operate as an adjunct to milling or feed manufacturing plants. Some large grain elevators broker grain between farmers who produce the grain and agribusiness companies which purchase it in bulk.
As the operator of a grain elevator, it's safe to say that you offer a valuable service. Like any type of business owner, it's important that you protect your business from the risks that you are exposed to.
What's the best way to do that? By investing in the right type of grain elevator insurance Alaska coverage. Why do grain elevator owners and operators need insurance? What type of coverage should they have? In this guide, you'll find the answers to these questions and more.
Grain elevator insurance Alaska protects granaries from lawsuits with rates as low as $67/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do Grain Elevator Need Insurance?
Just like other business owners, grain elevator owners and operators face several risks, and just like other businesses, you are responsible for those risks. In other words, if something goes wrong, you are legally liable for any of the related costs.
For example, if your grain elevator breaks down or is damaged for any reason, you will be responsible for the repairs; or, if a client sues you, citing that the grain you stored for them or that you supplied to someone else was damaged, you'll be responsible for the related costs.
As you can imagine, the costs that are associated with any mishaps or unexpected circumstances that may arise, you could be looking at serious financial losses. The costs that are associated with lawsuits and any settlements that you may be required to pay can be quite expensive.
If you have the right type of grain elevator insurance Alaska coverage in place, however, if something unexpected arises, instead of having to pay for the expenses out of your own pocket, your insurance carrier will cover them for you.
In other words, AK granary insurance can help to protect you from serious financial losses.
What Type Of Insurance Do Grain Elevator Need?
The specific type of grain elevator insurance Alaska coverage that grain elevator owners and operators will need depends on several factors; where your operation is located, the size of your operation, and how many people you employ, for example.
Since the insurance requirements for AK grain elevator owners and operators do vary, it's very important to consult with an insurance broker who specializes in commercial policies so that you can ensure you have the coverage you need.
With that said, here's a look at some of the different types of coverage that AK grain elevators should have:
- Commercial Property - This type of coverage is designed to protect your commercial property and the contents within it from acts of nature, theft, and vandalism that may impact your property. For example, if a fire were to break out, commercial property insurance would help to cover any repairs that may need to be made, and it would help to replace the grain that you lost.
- General Liability - You'll also need to have a commercial general liability insurance policy in place. This kind of coverage protects you from third-party property damage and personal injury liability claims. For example, if a client were to suffer an injury while making a delivery to your grain elevator and they filed a lawsuit against you, this type of coverage would help to cover your legal defense fees, as well as any settlements that you may be required to pay.
- Workers' Compensation - If you employ a staff, AK workers' comp insurance is a definite must. If any of your employees suffer a work-related injury, this type of coverage will help to pay for any medical care that they may require, as well as replace any wages that the employee may lose if they are unable to work while they are recovering.
These are a few examples of the type of grain elevator insurance Alaska policies you'll need to have operating a AK granary.
AK Grain Elevators' Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is moderate. Customers, dealers, and inspectors regularly visit the premises. Visitors must be provided with appropriate safety equipment and be accompanied at all times by an employee. Grain can be slippery. Careful attention to housekeeping is required to prevent injury from slips, trips, and falls. Floor openings should be covered or protected with railings.
Good controls of the grain loading and unloading operations are necessary to prevent injury to visitors. There should be a disaster plan in place for unexpected emergencies.
The elevator may have a railroad sidetrack or dock. An employee should verify that no one is in the path of an incoming or outgoing train. Railroad tracks, piles of grain, and conveyors can be attractive nuisances for trespassers. The premises should be enclosed by fencing with "No Trespassing" signs posted. Dust explosions and fires could damage adjacent properties.
Products liability exposure can be high due to the potential for contamination of grain. Grain must be properly dried to prevent molds and fungus from growing. Fumigation processes must be carefully monitored. Chemicals used to control vermin must be FDA approved and carefully administered to avoid affecting the grain.
If the grain elevator contracts for the delivery of grain to customers, a written guarantee should be obtained from carriers that the trucks have not been previously used to transport chemicals or other contaminants.
Environmental impairment exposure may be high due to fumigants used to control mold and fungus, pesticides used to control pests and vermin, and lubricants and solvents used for maintaining and fueling machinery. Control of contaminants should be carefully monitored, and records should be kept. Waste disposal must meet all state and federal regulations.
Workers compensation exposure is severe due to numerous life-threatening hazards including suffocation from entrapment in grain bins, falls from heights, crushing injuries or amputations from grain handling equipment, and fires and explosions from accumulations of grain dust.
Any worker entering a grain storage area or performing equipment maintenance at heights should be provided with a body harness and maintain contact at all times with an attendant. Workers should not enter grain storage areas when the grain is being moved into or emptied from the facility.
Man lifts and conveyors should be regularly inspected and equipped with emergency shutdown switches. Man lifts should not be used for moving grain, and employees should not be permitted to ride on conveyors. All electrical equipment should be explosion-proof, have static eliminators, and be grounded.
Slips and falls are common as grain can be slippery. Floor openings should be covered or protected with railings. Careful attention to housekeeping is required. Much of the work can be manual and can result in lifting or back injuries such as hernias, sprains, and strains.
Ongoing exposure to mold and fungus spores, fumigation chemicals and pesticides can cause a variety of respiratory illnesses. Continued exposure to high noise levels can cause hearing problems. Appropriate safety equipment is required.
Many workers are seasonal and may not have the benefit of proper training and experience. If the elevator has a dock for loading onto barges, the elevator may need U.S. Longshore and Harbor Workers coverage in addition to workers compensation.
Property exposure is severe due to the combustibility of grain dust and multiple sources of ignition. Accumulations of grain dust provide the major source of fuel for an explosion. Gases can build up in wet grain, resulting in spontaneous combustion and a fire that is accelerated by the grain dust. Ventilation, dust control and removal systems, use of moisture probes, and proper attention to housekeeping to reduce dust accumulations on exposed surfaces such as floors can reduce the exposure.
Ignition sources include extensive electrical wiring for grain processing equipment, such as conveyor belts and grain dryers. Electrical wiring, motors, belts, and other equipment must be grounded to prevent static buildup and discharge, and be inspected and maintained on a regular basis. All electrical wiring and fixtures should be conduit and be explosion-proof. Smoking should be prohibited throughout the facility.
Grain elevators may be targeted by vandals. Appropriate security controls must be taken including physical barriers to prevent entrance to the premises after hours and an alarm system that reports directly to a central station or the police department.
Business income exposure is very high due to the seasonality of operations and the unavailability of temporary replacement facilities.
Inland marine exposure comes from accounts receivable if the grain elevator bills customers, bailees, computers for tracking inventory, contractors' equipment, and valuable papers and records for customers' and suppliers' information. Duplicates must be kept of all data to permit easy replication in the event of a loss.
If the elevator holds grain for others, there will be a high bailees exposure. The equipment used to process the grain may require contractors' equipment coverage. Goods in transit coverage may be needed depending on when the title of purchased grain passes to the buyer as the elevator may be responsible for the goods until delivered to the purchaser.
Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty. Pre-employment background checks, including criminal history, should be performed on all employees handling money. Grain elevator operations involve a number of transactions and accounts that can be manipulated.
Loading docks should be supervised to minimize employee theft of goods. There must be a separation of duties between employees handling deposits and disbursements and reconciling bank statements.
Regular audits, both internal and external, are important in order to prevent employee theft of accounts. Receipts must be provided for all payments and compared to money received.
Business auto exposure is limited because most grain is delivered by the farmers, and pickup is by the buyers or by rail. If the elevator contracts delivery with outside providers, a certificate of insurance should be kept on file verifying liability coverage. If vehicles are owned, all drivers must have a valid driver's license with acceptable MVR. Vehicles must be well maintained with records kept at a central location.
Grain Elevator Insurance - The Bottom Line
To find out what kind of grain elevator insurance Alaska coverage you'll need to fully protect your granary, speak with a skilled commercial broker who specializes in business 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 Warehouse And Storage Insurance
Learn about small business warehouse and storage insurance - which protects storage and warehouse facilities and protects their inventory from property damage from fire and weather, vandalism and theft and liability coverage as well.
The purpose of your operation is to store & secure and other businesses' property, your also have to protect your own. Warehouse and storage commercial property insurance, you can protect your buildings, their contents and other people belongings, and other structures from damage due to fire, weather, smoke, theft, and other causes of loss.
Warehouse business property insurance protects your assets, including office equipment, computers, furniture, tools, and equipment.
And Like other warehouses, you may also need warehousemen legal liability insurance. Warehouse legal liability insurance, which should be carried by every 3rd party warehousing company, says that the facility or plant is responsible for the safe storage of your goods and products - and they must provide "reasonable care" to your goods while under their care.
Warehouse legal liability coverage is special because it protects the physical products and goods that belong to someone else, under the storage facility's care, custody and control.
Warehouses should also have a commercial general liability insurance policy. CGL protects against third-party bodily injury & property damage and the legal costs associated with defending against lawsuits.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Building, Business Personal Property, Business Income and Extra Expense, Accounts Receivables, Computers, Contractors' Equipment, Valuable Papers and Records, Warehouse Operators' Legal Liability, General Liability, Employee Benefits, Umbrella, Hired and Non-Owned Auto and Workers Compensation
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Earthquake, Equipment Breakdown, Flood, Goods in Transit, Cyberliability, Employment-related Practices, Environmental Impairment, Business Automobile Liability and Physical Damage, Stop Gap Liability and U.S. Longshore and Harbor Workers Coverage
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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.