Landscaping Insurance Alaska Policy Information
Landscaping Insurance Alaska. Landscaping is a lucrative business, and its value goes beyond just giving home or business owners better views. Studies indicate that good landscaping improves air quality, protects water quality, and can even lower the crime rate in the neighborhood. Smart Money Magazine recently published a study showing that homebuyers place the value of a well-landscaped property at more than 11 percent over its asking price. Landscaping investments tend to be recouped when a seller sells his home, and homes with good landscaping tend to sell faster.
Landscape contractors design, install, and maintain outdoor spaces, combining plants and architectural features in a manner attractive to customers. Services offered may include installation of sod for a lawn, planting of trees, bushes, shrubs, flowers, and other plants, or the installation of retaining walls, fountains, walkways, or other architectural enhancements.
Some landscape contractors will change the contours of the grounds, while others will limit their work to planting new or maintaining existing lawns and plants. Additional operations may include installation or winterization of underground sprinkler systems, tree trimming, nurseries or lawn and garden shops.
If you own a landscaping company in AK or are a landscaper, you have many of the same concerns in regards to liability that other businesses do. Protecting your business from risks is part of being a smart business owner, since even landscapers can run into problems and find themselves on the receiving end of a lawsuit or claim. By choosing landscaping insurance Alaska, you can provide your landscaping business with a safety net that keeps your business up and running, even if you face claims arising from property damage, injuries, or accidents.
Landscaping insurance Alaska protects your business from lawsuits with rates as low as $27/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Coverage Types Landscaping Businesses Should Consider
There are a few coverage types that all landscaping businesses should consider, including general liability insurance, business owners insurance, worker's compensation insurance, and commercial vehicle insurance.
General liability insurance for Alaska landscapers and lawn care professionals provides coverage for property damage, including any damage to customers' property that you or your employees cause. Landscaping insurance Alaska also provides bodily injury coverage to cover bodily injury or death that arises to a third party as a result of your actions or those of your employees. It may also provide products/completed operations coverage that covers completed work performed by your company or products sold by your company. Finally, it may cover injuries caused by advertising, such as when your AK business' advertising harms another person's reputation. This type of coverage is needed to protect your business from false claims, libel, and slander.
Business Owners Landscaping Insurance Alaska
Small landscaping businesses with revenue of less than $5 million often purchase business owners' policies, sometimes referred to by the acronym BOP. A BOP policy is structured for AK landscaper businesses with fewer than 100 employees, and it usually includes several types of coverages under one umbrella. Business owners retain the ability to purchase added coverage if desired.
Usually, the basic coverages provided under a landscaping insurance Alaska BOP policy include property damage insurance to cover office space, store space, garages, warehouses, and other buildings owned or leased by the business. The addition of a rider for equipment and tools may be necessary. Because landscapers often use expensive specialized equipment, standard coverage for equipment may not be sufficient. Owners should purchase as much insurance as they need to cover the cost of replacing expensive mowers and other landscaping essentials.
The landscaping insurance Alaska policy also usually covers business income loss. If the business shuts down because of an event that is covered by the policy, the business is protected from loss of income and operating costs.
Equipment breakdown coverage usually comes with a standard BOP policy. This protection covers equipment failure due to mechanical malfunctions, power surges, and operator mistakes.
For landscapers structured as sole proprietorships where there are no employees in the business, not all of these coverage types may be necessary. Some sole proprietorships are sufficiently covered with just a general liability policy in force. A seasoned GeneralLiabilityInsure.com insurance agent can help business owners understand their needs and find policies to suit their preferences and risk tolerance levels.
Workers' Compensation Insurance and Landscaping Businesses In AK
One important part of owning a business and hiring employees is complying with worker's compensation laws. You must generally purchase this type of insurance for workers on your payroll. It protects them from loss due to work-related illness, injury, or death.
Alaska requires worker's compensation for all employees that are not the landscaping business owners. Worker's compensation can help pay for medical expenses related to the injury or illness caused on the job.
Commercial Vehicle Insurance and Landscaping Businesses AK
Landscapers tend to spend a significant amount of time in their vehicles traveling between client jobs. Anytime you drive in relation to carrying out job functions, you are at risk and your business is at risk. Commercial vehicle landscaping insurance Alaska coverage is necessary for landscapers, and those that rely on personal auto policies to provide coverage may find themselves coming up short in the event of a claim or lawsuit. AK landscapers should make sure that any vehicles used for business are insured under a commercial policy.
Research the options that are available for your business prior to making your final landscaping insurance Alaska purchase.
AK Landscapers Risks & Exposures
Property exposures may be limited to an office and a storage yard for vehicles or equipment. Property exposures may include the use or sale of live and growing plants, shrubs, bushes, trees, or flowers. These may grow outside in a yard or in a structure such as a greenhouse. Both the structure and the growing stock are susceptible to damage by fire, wind, hail, and vandalism. The stock is also vulnerable to loss by frost and animals or insects.
Specialty coverages designed specifically for growing stock may be needed. Older greenhouses may be subject to frequent glass breakage since they are typically made with the lowest grade of plate glass. Newer greenhouses are simply frames with plastic coverings which need frequent replacement as they tend to yellow or cloud in the weather and block out sunlight needed by plants. There may be backup systems or generators employed to prevent freezing or other temperature losses. Fire hazards can be high from the flammables used in the repair of vehicles or equipment, such as solvents and degreasers, and the chemicals in fertilizers and insecticides. These must all be well controlled, labeled, and separated with proper storage in the appropriate containers and storage facilities.
Premises liability exposures can be light at the landscaper's own premises if there is no public access. If there is a nursery, the exposure increases as customers may slip or fall on wet flooring or dirt or trip over equipment. Plants and equipment stored in the open can present an attractive nuisance. At job sites, hazards include injury or damage from stones or other debris thrown by power mowers, trimmers, and other equipment.
Tree trimming may result in falling tools, branches or debris that may injure persons, damage vehicles or other property, or fall onto power or communication lines. Use of chain saws on trunks or limbs and the use of chippers for disposal may result in flying debris that can cause serious bodily injury. The areas of operation should be restricted by barriers and proper signage to protect the public from slips and falls from spills and equipment and supplies impeding access.
The application of lawn chemicals presents both a premises and completed operations hazard that could result in serious long-term injury, illness, or disease to customers and passersby. Overspray from operations could result in small but frequent property damage losses. Contractors who do not obtain and keep proper licensing and certification for chemical applications create a serious liability exposure to themselves.
Inland marine exposure includes accounts receivable if the landscaper offers credit to customers, contractors' equipment, goods in transit, and valuable papers and records for customers' and suppliers' information. Equipment may include mowers, sprayers, cherry pickers for tree trimming and trenchers for underground work. Goods in transit may be damaged by fire, collision or overturn. While the transport of fully grown trees for planting is rare, the stock may be of high value. Vehicles containing stock should be attended at all times.
Crime exposures are from employee dishonesty. Background checks, including criminal histories, should be obtained on each employee prior to hiring. Ordering, billing, and disbursement should be handled as separate duties with reconciliations occurring regularly. There should be appropriate procedures in place when employees accept payments off site.
Environmental impairment exposure is significant. The application of chemicals can result in damage to air, soil, or groundwater. The landscaper must comply with all federal, state, and municipal regulations regarding the use and disposal of chemicals and waste products. Employees who handle chemicals must have the appropriate licenses and certifications individually.
Business auto exposures can be very limited if the service is maintenance only and does not supply plants. If plants and large trees are transported, the exposure increases due to the possibility of the load being involved in a collision or overturn. Vehicles may be custom designed with specialty equipment, such as lifts, cherry pickers, and tree planting or removal equipment.
Drivers should be aware of and be able to perform cleanup procedures in the event of a collision or vehicle overturn. All drivers must be well trained and have valid licenses for the type of vehicle being driven. 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 are high due to the operation of machinery and equipment, work at heights, work on uneven ground, and exposure to underground or above ground cables and lines. Use of power-cutting equipment can result in cuts and possible amputations. Back injuries, hernias, sprains, and strains can result from lifting. Chemical applications may cause lung problems along with allergic reactions and other more serious complications. Casual labor, seasonal workforce, and high turnover present a significant loss control challenge.
Insurance Classification Of Landscaping Services
Insurers classify landscaping businesses using several coding systems. You can wind up paying more for your insurance if your landscping company is not properly classified - like a landscaper that plans gardens only being coded as a tree trimmer. Below are the most commonly used coding systems for landscaper insurance:
- ISO General Liability Codes: 97047, 97050
- NAICS CODES: 541320 Landscape Architectural Services, 561730 Landscaping Services
- SIC CODE: 0781 Landscape Counseling and Planning: Establishments primarily engaged in landscape planning and in performing landscape, architectural and counseling services. Garden planning, Horticultural advisory or counseling services, Landscape architects, Landscape counseling & Landscape planning.
- Suggested Workers Compensation Codes: 0042, 9102, 0106
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
- Boat Repair & Dry Docks
- Boiler Contractors
- Builders Risk
- Building Cleaning & Maintenance Services
- Cabinet Installer
- Cable And Satellite TV Installer
- Chimney Sweep
- Cistern Contractors
- 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
- Furniture Repair
- Garage Door Installer And Repair
- General Contractors
- Glass Contractor
- Glazier Insurance
- Gutter Installation And Repair
- House Cleaning
- HVAC Contractor
- Insulation Contractor
- Janitorial Cleaning Services
- Lawn Care
- Lawn Irrigation Sprinkler System Installation
- Oil And Gas Well Drilling Contractors
- 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
- Tool Grinding And Repair
- 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.