Handyman Insurance Alaska Policy Information
Handyman Insurance Alaska. A "handyman" or "handyperson" is an unlicensed contractor who offers home maintenance, small home repairs and simple installation services. They may do minor carpentry, plumbing, electrical work, painting, plastering or drywall work, but nothing requiring a license or permit. Specialties such as roofing, air conditioning or furnace installation do not fall into the job description of a handyman.
At some point in time, everyone needs the services of a handyman, and your handyman business likely fills a need in your neighborhood and community. But are you protecting yourself, your assets, and your business against potential litigation and loss?
If not, then you need a business insurance review with a seasoned agent to determine your business' areas of weakness and correct them with policies designed for your individual business' needs. Handymen do a wide range of work and you to be sure your policy covers you for what you are doing.
Handyman insurance Alaska protects your business from lawsuits with rates as low as $27/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
If you work as a carpenter, plumber, home maintenance helper, electric installer, flooring professional, or contractor, then you likely need handyman insurance Alaska that's tailored to the risks that you face in your line of work. Packaged coverage that protects you from particular perils is important, since it can make a difference between personal and business financial ruin and staying afloat with a business model that works.
As a handyman, you and your business face many common risks each day. The type of services you offer largely dictate the risks you face, but some are common, including:
- Loss due to personal ideury or property damage claims that are caused by you or others working for you during the course of business.
- Damage, loss, or theft of equipment and tools during the course of business. This can be on the job site, at your place of business, or while in transit to a job.
- Claims arising from damage caused by you or an employee when traveling in a company or personal vehicle. This includes damage to your vehicle, ideury to employees, and damage or ideury to third parties.
How Does Handyman Insurance Help?
Handyman insurance Alaska is a generic term that is used to describe the suite of insurance products that a handyman might consider during the course of his business to protect his assets and guard himself from personal liability. Perhaps the most important of these is a general business owner policy, or BOP policy. This coverage is ideal for those businesses with fewer than 100 workers and revenues of less than $5 million annually. BOP policies cover business property damage, personal property damage, loss of income due to covered stoppages of work, general liability to property, and general bodily ideury to employees and others.
Besides a BOP policy that provides the general coverages, your business may need additional addendums or policy riders to cover your business activities. Sometimes these policies are also purchased as standalone coverage alongside a general liability or BOP policy. For example, inland marine covers will cover rented or owned tools and equipment as your workers move from one job to another, while theft insurance protects equipment, vehicles, and tools. AK agents who look over your particular business model are better able to deduce what types of handyman insurance Alaska policies your business should buy.
Why Not Carry Just General Liability Insurance?
It is possible for some handyman businesses to cover their businesses fully with just a general liability insurance policy. For handymen who have no office buildings to protect, no operating expenses and no payroll, AK general liability insurance may be sufficient. This type of policy covers damage and bodily ideury caused by you or others working on your behalf when you perform work.
One of the biggest concerns for repairmen, handymen, contractors, painters, and others who provide in-home services is liability. These workers use power tools, hand tools, electric saws and other types of equipment that can cause ideury to both the property in which they work and the people around them. Having the right level of handyman insurance Alaska protection in place makes good business sense.
What About Worker's Compensation?
AK requires that businesses carry worker's compensation insurance for all non-owner employees. Check with your insurance agent to make sure that you stay compliant with any laws governing the purchase of worker's compensation insurance, which protects you and any employees from damages resulting from work-related accidents and ideuries.
What About Commercial Auto Insurance?
You no doubt use a vehicle in your line of business as a handyman, so protecting that vehicle with AK commercial auto insurance is important. Personal auto policies do not usually cover accidents that occur in the course of doing business in a personal vehicle. Check with your agent to make sure that your commercial insurance is up to par and that it protects you as you drive from job site to job site.
Most commercial vehicle insurance policies cover bodily ideury and property damage liability. If you purchase collision and comprehensive coverage, then your vehicle is protected regardless of whose "fault" the accident is. Some policies also cover theft and damage to the vehicle from vandalism, acts of nature, and related occurrences.
Alaska Handyman's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposures at the contractor's shop or office are generally limited due to lack of public access. Off-site exposures include potential bodily injury to the client or damage to the client's property. Tools, power cords, building materials and scrap material all pose trip and fall hazards even when not in use. Use of saws and other power or hand tools may be hazardous due to sharp edges and moving parts.
If there is work at heights, falling tools or supplies may cause bodily injury and property damage if dropped from ladders and scaffolding. If woodworking is part of the job, the buildup of dust and scraps can result in fire and explosion. Disposal of waste materials (dust, scrap, varnishes or paints) could create an environmental hazard. There may be significant contractual liability exposures if the handyman is responsible for finding licensed contractors to handle jobs outside the handyman category.
Completed operations liability exposures should be fairly minor since handymen usually do not handle or install items where incorrect installation would result in significant damage. It is important for a handyman to work or perform duties within his or her ability. Clear guidelines should be established with clients as to what jobs can and cannot be completed by the handyman.
Property exposures at the handyman's own location are generally limited to an office plus storage for tools, materials, equipment, and vehicles. If the handyman does shop woodworking or repairs for customers, fire can result from the flammability of wood, paints, varnishes, and wood dust.
Crime exposures are from employee dishonesty. Background checks, including criminal history, should be performed on all employees providing services to customers or handling money. All ordering, billing and disbursement should be handled as separate duties with reconciliations occurring regularly.
Inland marine exposures include accounts receivable if the handyman offers credit to customers, contractors' equipment and tools, goods in transit, installation floater, and valuable papers and records for customers' and suppliers' information. A handyman's tools and equipment may represent the majority of the physical assets. Since the handyman is not a specialist, a variety of tools is needed. Tools travel with the contractor and are not normally left at the jobsite.
Business auto exposures are generally limited to transporting workers, equipment and supplies to and from the job site. Since most jobs are small, the handyman may drive to several job sites during one day. The exposure could increase if the radius of operation is large or if there are any service time guarantees. 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.
Workers compensation exposures vary depending on the size and nature of the job. Work with hand tools and sharp objects such as saws, chisels and nails can result in cuts, piercings, and accidental amputation. Electrical work can result in burns or electrocution. When work is done on ladders and scaffolds, there is a potential for severe injury or death from falling, being struck by falling objects, or adverse weather conditions. Back injuries, hernias, strains and sprains can result from lifting.
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
- Builders Risk
- Building Cleaning & Maintenance Services
- Cabinet Installer
- Cable And Satellite TV Installer
- Chimney Sweep
- 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
- Garage Door Installer And Repair
- Glass Contractor
- Glazier Insurance
- Gutter Installation And Repair
- House Cleaning
- HVAC Contractor
- Insulation Contractor
- Janitorial Cleaning Services
- Lawn Care
- Lawn Irrigation Sprinkler System Installation
- 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
- 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 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.