Hot Air Balloon Insurance Alaska Policy Information
Hot Air Balloon Insurance Alaska. Hot air balloons offer many different things to many different people - a romantic get-away, a wonderful way to take pictures from up above, or even a sport.
Balloon operators rent or charter balloons for rides, lessons, tours, and commercial advertising displays. Some balloons remain tethered to the ground, allowing passengers to ascend into the air without traveling at a distance. Balloon operators may participate in contests, competitions, or exhibitions, or be part of a meteorological or scientific research operation.
All pilots must have Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) licensing to operate the balloon. Strict compliance with FAA standards for the maintenance and use of the balloon is important.
Checking weather conditions before the flight is critical. Balloons may veer off course due to high winds and collide mid-air with other balloons or hit power lines. Gusts of wind can cause difficulty during landing, including overturn of the basket containing the pilot and passengers.
As a general rule, drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and hot air balloons do not do well when both are in the air because the potential of physical contact is too great.
Made up of an envelope (the "balloon") filled with propane-heated air and a basket that carries the passengers and the fuel, hot air balloons, in fact, represent the safest and most unique mode of air travel.
Hot air balloon operators make it possible for almost anyone to experience the world as never before, and because many people dream of taking a hot air balloon flight, there is no doubt that hot air balloon operators have a highly rewarding job.
It is also, on the other hand, impossible to escape the fact that hot air balloon operators take on many risks. Whether you already own a company that facilitates hot air balloon flights, or you are currently investigating this possibility, managing those risks is an essential part of being a responsible business owner.
What role can insurance play in protecting your company from financial losses, and what types of hot air balloon insurance should balloon operators carry? Discover more in this brief guide.
Hot air balloon insurance Alaska protects balloon operators from lawsuits with rates as low as $87/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do Alaska Hot Air Balloons Need Insurance?
Hot air balloon operators may be in one of the most exciting branches of commerce, but they, like all other businesses, face numerous hazards. Some of the perils you may be confronted with are of a universal nature, while others are unique to hot air ballooning.
Your AK business premises may be impacted by acts of nature (earthquakes, floods, wildfires, or lightning strikes, for instance), and you could fall victim to criminal acts like vandalism and theft, just like any other commercial venture.
These perils could lead to massive repair or replacement costs while also causing costly business interruptions that could, without the right insurance, prove extremely burdensome.
In addition, despite the fact that hot air balloon flights are generally safe, accidents can happen, and unforeseen circumstances may arise. Your employees and passengers may collide with a power line during a hot air balloon flight, for example, or the envelope may collapse mid-flight. During landing, damage may be caused to third party property. The possible injuries and property damage that may arise from hot air balloon flights can lead to exorbitant liability-related costs.
By arming yourself with the best possible hot air balloon insurance Alaska coverage, you don't simply meet your legal obligations and protect third parties - you will also know that you have safeguarded the future of your business, and will as such be able to operate without any worries.
What Type Of Insurance Do AK Hot Air Balloons Need?
The profile of your unique business influences the insurance coverage you will require - and that includes the jurisdiction where you are based, the number of employees you have, and the size of your operation.
Consulting a skilled commercial insurance broker, who will be able to offer you advice tailored to your circumstances, is therefore essential. Among the types of hot air balloon insurance Alaska that balloon operators should always carry to protect their business against the costs of major perils are, however:
- Commercial Property: This type of insurance shields you from the costs that would otherwise be associated with property loss and damage caused by perils such as theft, vandalism, fire, and natural disasters. Business interruption insurance is a related form of coverage that covers a portion of your lost revenue. Your hot air balloons will not, however, fall under these policies.
- Commercial General Liability: This essential form of hot air balloon insurance Alaska coverage protects hot air balloon operators in the event of bodily injury or property damage claims related to incidents that occurred on their business premises or as a result of the company's operations. Your legal costs, such as attorney fees and settlement expenses, are covered under this kind of insurance.
- Hot Air Balloon: Niche insurance companies are able to provide specialized insurance coverage for your fleet of hot air balloons, covering repair and replacement costs in case of mishaps.
- Workers' Compensation: This kind of insurance simultaneously protects your company and employees. Were an employee to sustain an occupational injury or illness, it takes care of their medical bills alongside any income they lose to related work absences. In turn, your company is shielded from litigation.
Because AK balloon operation might also have additional insurance needs, it is imperative to partner with a seasoned commercial insurance specialist, who is able to help you get set up with the hot air balloon insurance Alaska coverage your unique company deserves.
AK Hot Air Balloon Operator's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is limited to the customer waiting area and any pre-flight training for passengers. To prevent trips, slips, and falls, all areas accessible to customers should be well maintained with floor covering in good condition. Customers should not be permitted near any hazardous activity such as fueling. Observers should be kept away from the balloon while it is being loaded and released.
Products exposure is limited unless balloon and equipment repair is handled for customers.
Workers compensation exposures are substantial. Slip and falls, burns from balloon heating equipment, lifting, back injury, hernia, sprain, and strain can occur. Operators may have to work in awkward positions while boarding and disembarking from balloons.
Injuries may result from landing in trees, falls from heights or electrocution from contact with power lines. Driving chase vehicles presents exposure to over-the-road accidents.
Aircraft hull exposure covers the balloon, gondola and heating equipment, which can be damaged due to the tight timeframes required in the event of an emergency. Pilot error, including failure to consider weather conditions, can result in a costly accident.
Pilots must adhere to all FAA regulations, including the need for ongoing physical examinations. All balloons must be maintained according to manufacturers' specifications, and records of such maintenance kept in a central location.
Aircraft liability exposure covers injuries to passengers and damage to property of others which can result from landing at unauthorized locations. In an emergency situation, timely response is critical. Pilots must meet all FAA regulations, including current licensing, for the balloon.
They must participate in regular training activities to maintain skills. Balloons must be maintained and records kept of the maintenance. Crash landings can result in severe injury or death to passengers.
Property exposure includes an office facility and a storage facility for the balloon(s) and its equipment. Fire potential is due to the heating equipment used for hot air balloons and the tanks of gas used for lighter-than-air balloons.
Gas tanks should be stored upright in locked, fireproof cabinets. Smoking should be prohibited. Balloons may be targets for theft or vandalism. The premises should be secure from unauthorized access by others.
Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty and money and securities. The exposure increases without background checks on all employees. Payment for services may be made with cash. Monetary transactions must be monitored and audited on a regular basis to prevent employee theft.
All billing, ordering, and disbursements should be separated. Regular deposits should be made.
Inland marine exposure includes accounts receivable for billings, communications equipment, computers, and valuable papers and records for customers', regulatory, and suppliers' information. Communications equipment includes the radio and transmitting equipment used during the flight to track and monitor the balloon's progress. There may be bailees exposure for items kept in lockers by customers taking balloon flights.
Business auto exposures come from the service and "chase" vehicles used to monitor, track, and retrieve the balloon and its passengers and crew at the end of the flight. Chase crews should include a driver and a spotter as they may be traveling in remote or unfamiliar areas.
Transport of passengers to and from lift and landing points increases the loss potential. All drivers must have appropriate licenses for the types of vehicles being driven and acceptable MVRs. They must be trained in proper tie-down techniques for the balloon and equipment.
Vehicles must be well maintained with records kept in a central location, and have appropriate safety equipment for passengers.
Hot Air Balloon Insurance Alaska - The Bottom Line
To protect your operations, employees and the people you serve, having the right hot air balloon insurance Alaska coverage is vital. To learn what types of coverage options are available to you and the costs - speak to a reputable commercial insurance broker.
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 Aviation Insurance
Learn about aircraft and aviation liability insurance - a specialized form insurance that provides coverage for hull losses as well as liability for passenger injuries, environmental damage and third-party damage caused by aircraft accidents.
- Insurance Aviation Terms Glossary
- Aerial Applicators
- Flight Schools
- Hot Air Balloon
- Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) Drone
Aviation policies often have to be written so that they cover the liability of the owner and the operator relating to bodily injury to passengers or to people who aren't passengers, as well as for property damage.
The policy will cover medical costs, including the loss of income, paid to any passengers who are suffering from permanent or total disability but without proving negligence.
In other words, you can consider aviation insurance a sort of liability insurance for the aviation industry.
Aviation insurance often covers various types of risks such as:
Aircraft Hull Insurance - It covers the aircraft itself in the event of accidental damage, regardless of where it might happen. Spares - The policy will cover any damage or the loss of spare parts relating to the aircraft or the engine if they aren't attached to them.
Passenger Legal Liability Insurance - The policy will cover both the airline and the operator in the event passengers face bodily harm, death, or loss of their baggage while in the custody of the airline or its operator.
Third-Party Legal Liability - The policy will cover the airline and the operator when there is damage to a third-party property on the ground for which they may be held liable.
Cargo Liability Insurance - The policy covers damage or loss to the consignments that are carried by the insured airline. The shipper and consignees will claim against the carrier; that's when the insurer will cover the airline. The policy also covers post office mail that is often shipped via airline operators.
Minimum recommended coverage: Building, Business Personal Property, Business Income and Extra Expense, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Accounts Receivable, Communication Equipment Floater, Computers, Contractors’ Equipment, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits, Environmental Impairment, Umbrella, Hired and Non-Owned Auto, Workers Compensation, Aircraft Hull, Aircraft Liability & Hangarkeepers Legal Liability.
Other coverages to consider: Earthquake, Equipment Breakdown, Flood, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices, Underground Storage Tank, Business Automobile Liability and Physical Damage and Stop Gap Liability.
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