Insurance For Banks Alaska Policy Information
Insurance For Banks Alaska. Local bank branches are important client-facing contact points that can, in some ways, be said to represent the heart of a bank. The face to face services offered within each bank branch will typically include tellers, financial advisors, mortgage officers, and loan officers.
Banks are financial institutions that accept monetary deposits from customers and use those funds to make loans to others. Customers who deposit money have ongoing access to those funds through ATMs, checks, or electronic means. They have the right to close their account at any time, withdraw their money or transfer it to another financial institution.
Banks earn income from interest charged on loans, profits from investments, and transaction fees. The bank may offer financial planning, investment services, or sell insurance.
To maintain public confidence in the industry, banking is highly regulated at the federal and state level. The regulations change frequently so additional operations may be added as permitted.
Even as banking is increasingly moving into digital spaces for most consumers, local bank branches continue to perform several vital functions. Not only can clients get friendly in-person advice or services or withdraw and deposit physical cash, local branch branches also raise the bank's overall profile - reminding every passer-by that this bank is a trusted part of their community every time they spot the logo.
While banks have numerous security systems in place to keep their assets protected and these businesses must also carefully analyze the current market and the risks they face on an ongoing basis, the fact remains that uncertainty remains a key part of doing business.
Carrying adequate insurance for banks Alaska may not be able to save a branch from every unwelcome eventuality, but it is nonetheless a key part of risk management. What kinds of insurance should banks equip themselves with? Learn more here.
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Why Do Alaska Banks Need Insurance?
As well as facing some of the same risks that would be familiar to people operating in any business sector, AK banks also face a myriad of others.
Credit risk is associated with the possibility that private individuals and commercial ventures alike will default on small and large loans. The constant fluctuations of the market represent another huge risk.
Operational risk is another enormous concern, and this covers anything from large-scale, devastating, cyber security breaches to fraud and other forms of crime, or even honest mistakes, such as an employee accidentally giving out the wrong amount of money.
In addition, local bank branches are subject to the same perils that could affect any commercial operation. Acts of nature, like wildfires or earthquakes, could devastate the building. Employees could be injured on the premises or suffer from psychological burnout. Customers could sue after accidents in which they are hurt.
To protect themselves from the financial fallout of these and countless other perils, banks, like any other business, need to carry the insurance for banks Alaska that will help them minimize the damage of any mishap or disaster.
What Type Of Insurance Do AK Banks Need?
Each business has a unique risk profile. As such, each business needs and deserves insurance that is tailor-made for them. Factors that include the bank branch's size and location, the services it offers, the value of the assets present onsite, and its number of employees all influence both the types of coverage required and the exact nature of the policies that will best meet that bank's insurance needs.
Because of that, it is essential to engage a skilled commercial insurance broker who is deeply familiar with the banking industry. To get a closer look at what that might include, these are some of the core kinds of insurance for banks Alaska needed:
- Commercial Property: Like other business, bank branches need to protect themselves from the devastating financial consequences that would, without insurance, arise from property loss or damage when perils like fire, theft, vandalism, and acts of nature occur. Commercial property insurance covers the commercial building as well as smaller assets inside, such as security systems, office furniture, and computers.
- General Liability: This type of insurance for banks Alaska coverage is essential for any business, as it minimizes the cost of third party property damage and liability claims, which can occur when a person or their property is negatively affected at the facility or as a result of the bank's actions. Attorney fees, settlement costs, and other legal expenses can all be covered.
- Errors And Omissions: Also referred to as professional liability insurance, this kind of coverage helps manage the legal expenses associated with allegations that the bank's work was negligent, inadequate, or intentionally harmful.
- Workers Compensation: Bank employees may physically be injured on the job, but they may also require sick leave if they become mentally distressed, for instance after a robbery. Workers comp insurance covers injured employees' medical costs and takes care of any wages they lose to related absences from work.
Due to the fact that local bank branches have complex insurance needs, these types of insurance for banks Alaska coverage are merely examples of those needed.
Other, specialized, types of insurance a AK bank should carry are management liability, fiduciary liability, and cyber liability policies, along with kidnap and ransom coverage. Commercial auto insurance will also almost certainly be needed.
For further information, a commercial insurance broker will be able to assist.
AK Banking's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure comes from slips and falls due to public access to the premises. As customer safety and security are very important, the bank may have one or more armed security guards on duty while it is open. All employees must be trained in proper procedures during a holdup to minimize the possibility of violence to or kidnap of customers. Floors, stairs, and elevators need to be in good condition, with steps and uneven floor surfaces prominently marked.
The number of exits must be sufficient and well-marked, with backup lighting in the event of a power failure. Steps should have handrails, be well-lighted, marked, and in good repair. 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. There should be security in the parking lot equal to or better than the surrounding area.
If the business is open after dark, such as for access to ATM machines or deposit boxes, lighting must be adequate. Personal injury exposure arises from breaches of customers' privacy and confidentiality of their financial records, discrimination in lending practices, and for allegations of assault and battery during the apprehension of suspected robbers.
The use of closed-circuit camera systems prevents such incidents from evolving into a "he said she said" situation. Employees must be trained to handle such situations properly.
Product liability exposure is very low as financial products sold to customers are intangible. There may be some minor exposure if the bank sells items like tee shirts or advertising novelties or offers small gifts to customers as a reward for banking with them.
Directors' and Officers' exposure can be substantial due to competing priorities of numerous stakeholders such as bondholders, depositors, employees, regulators, and stockholders. Directors and officers are more likely to be sued for results of their decisions in times of economic downturn and well-publicized excesses within the financial services industry.
Banks may offer investment advisory services, estate handling, management of individual and corporate trusts, employee pension funds, escrow funds and other financial activities. Directors and officers can be sued if funds from any of these are mismanaged. Officers must be thoroughly knowledgeable about the banking business, able to operate competitively while maintaining profitability, and able to oversee ongoing operations effectively.
Directors should include representation from a wide variety of business interests with no conflicts of interest.
Fiduciary liability exposure is high because banks often act as trustees for clients. Appropriate surety bonds should be in place along with a fiduciary liability policy for potential errors and omissions.
Professional liability exposure by accountants and auditors can cause significant loss. There must be checks and balances in place to quickly catch and fix errors that are made. The background and training of all professional-level employees must be thorough and continual to keep up-to-date with industry changes. Monitoring is necessary.
Workers compensation exposures are moderate due to the possibility of injury or death to guards, tellers, and managers during an armed robbery. Tellers should be separated from customers by barriers such as high counters. Those working with customers at walk-up or drive-in windows should be protected by bulletproof glass enclosures.
As most work is done on computers, employees are exposed to eyestrain, neck strain, and repetitive motion injuries including carpal tunnel syndrome. All workstations should be ergonomically designed to reduce the chance of such injuries.
Property exposures are primarily from fire due to the electrical wiring for computers, printers, and other electronic office equipment, heating, and air conditioning systems. All wiring must meet current codes, be well maintained, and be adequate for the bank's operations.
Circuitry for electronic equipment may be easily damaged from smoke, water, and heat, which will cause a total loss even with a small fire. The building and its contents can be damaged during robberies, burglaries, and vandalism. Appropriate security measures should 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.
Since regulations require that customers have access to their monies on deposit at all times, disaster planning for potential interruptions is vital. Extra expense coverage should be considered as the bank must continue operations after a loss.
Crime exposures are primarily from employee dishonesty, either from the theft of cash or from the improper transfer of funds held for customers. Money and securities can be stolen during armed robbery and safe burglary. Banks need a Financial Institutions Bond to cover these exposures.
Background checks should be conducted for anyone who will have access to the accounts. There must be regular monitoring and auditing of the books by outside auditors to prevent and identify problems. All employees must take at least one continuous week of vacation a year.
Safes, vaults, theft-proof cashier cages, guards, watchpersons, and alarms are needed to protect money. Tellers' drawers should be stripped regularly, and money moved to the vault to prevent a large buildup of cash available to thieves.
Controls and programming to prevent computer fraud should be reviewed. Extortion is a growing concern due to the high value of assets held by banks.
Inland marine exposure comes from accounts receivable from billings to customers, computers for tracking deposits, withdrawals, and investments, and valuable papers and records for customers' and regulatory information.
Fine arts coverage may be needed if there are paintings or statuary in key areas such as conference rooms or lobbies. Off-premises coverage should be considered for kiosks and self-standing cash machines in other stores.
There may be signs requiring more comprehensive coverage than available on property forms. Backup copies of all records, including computer records, should be made and stored off premises for ease of restoration in the event of a loss.
Business auto exposures may be limited to hired and non-owned for employees running errands. If the company provides vehicles to officers or key employees, policies should be in place for personal and permitted use of the vehicles. Any driver must have a valid driver's license and acceptable MVR. Vehicles must be well maintained with records kept in a central location.
Insurance For Banks Alaska - The Bottom Line
To protect your bank, employees and customers, having the right insurance for banks Alaska coverage is vital. To learn what types of policy options are available to you, how much coverage you should invest in 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 Financial Institutions Insurance
Discover the types of commercial insurance that banks, finance companies and other financial institutions need to protect their asset management, deposit, lending, investment and other operations.
- Check Cashing
- Credit Union
- Currency Exchanges
- Finance Companies
- Insurance Company
- Mortgage Broker
Financial institutions handle, receive, disburse, and invest money of others.
They are subject to regulations specific to their operation but they are also subject to legal and moral obligations for their customers.
Customers entrust their funds to these institutions because of their confidence in the management's ability.
Insurance is a necessary means to protect the financial institutions and their customers against various types of losses.
The financial services offered and the personal relationships created by the institution can only be protected through the use of a sound insurance program and appropriate bonding practices.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Extra Expense, Equipment Breakdown, Financial Institutions Bond, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Directors' and Officers' Liability, Employee Benefits, Fiduciary Liability, Professional, Umbrella, Hired and Non-Owned Auto, Workers Compensation & Surety Bonds.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Buildings, Earthquake, Flood, Leasehold Interest, Real Property Legal Liability, Computer Fraud, Extortion, Fine Arts, Signs, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices, Law Enforcement Professional, Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage And Stop Gap Liability.
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