Lawn Care Insurance Alaska Policy Information
Lawn Care Insurance Alaska. As a lawn care professional, you're aware of how important your service is to the community. Lawn maintenance services are required for public parks, private homes, and corporate exteriors. Lawn mowing, weeding, fertilizing and seeding are labor-intensive task that primarily involves maintaining the owner's yard as per their expectations. And, accidents happen in such a line of work.
You might be having an endless list of clients who clamor to hire you. But, just one unfortunate incident is enough to put you and your startup at risk for significant financial loss, regardless of whether you're a victim of happenstance or you're the one at fault. If you're a sole proprietor, you'd be held personally liable for damage or loss if you don't have a lawn care insurance Alaska policy. That could imply losing personal property, including your home, in some cases.
Lawn care insurance Alaska protects your business from lawsuits with rates as low as $27/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Do You Need Lawn Care Insurance?
Insuring a lawn care business will protect it against accidents, property damage, lawsuits, and equipment failure, in addition to helping one focus on the primary task at hand. In fact, securing lawn care insurance Alaska is among the basic requirements for a business that offers commercial or residential property lawn care in most states. It ensures that you and your employees are protected. In case something goes wrong, having the proper insurance policy in place takes much worry and financial stress away.
Having a licensed insurance professional to guide you would an excellent way to help design the appropriate insurance package. There are multiple, different kinds of coverage plans which can help prevent costly accidents. As with most other businesses, a simple combination of property insurance, workers' compensation, and general liability is an excellent starting point. Furthermore, some of these basic policies are almost always required by state law and local municipal codes. The various kinds of insurance available for a lawn maintenance business are discussed below.
Types of Lawn Care Insurance Policies
General Liability Insurance - Your services entail working on a property that belongs to other people for the most of your day. As such, it's important to ensure your insurance package provides coverage for personal injury or property damages which could arise from the business operations.
General liability insurance guards you against lawsuits from clients, protecting you and your lawn care business against multiple forms of negligence. You can pair general liability insurance with other lawn care insurance Alaska coverage policies to cover the crucial bases.
Business Owner's Policy - People tend to overlook the fact that lawsuits can be incredibly costly. And, most small businesses barely budget enough to cover such costs. Once an accident occurs, you won't know how costly it'll be or how much damage it'll cause. Damaged equipment or lawsuits can financially ruin your business. A business owner's policy will help keep your business afloat during such difficult times as it combines general liability, commercial property and business income bundled in one lawn care insurance Alaska policy.
Property Insurance - Property insurance protects the premises, furniture, and other business equipment like phones, computers, copiers, and cabinets. This lawn care insurance Alaska policy will insure your business against loss or damage to structures used in regular business operations.
Workers' Compensation Insurance - Working in the landscape care and maintenance industry presents several safety risks. Accidents can happen, even to the most cautious person. Unexpected accidents can threaten your business, especially if you're not well insured. An injured employee might hold you responsible for medical fees and damages.
As an employer, you should carry a AK workers comp policy to protect the livelihood of both your business and employees. It is mandate in most states for any non-owner employees and is aimed at covering the cost of missed wages, medical bills, and legal fees that might be incurred after the occurrence of an accident.
AK Commercial Auto Insurance - Do you transport the equipment using your own vehicle? If so, then covering your vehicle would be beneficial to your business. Business auto insurance will help protect you against significant vehicle-related costs, including lawsuits that might arise from accidents. You can extend commercial auto coverage across other vehicles that are used in your business' day-to-day operations.
Umbrella Liability Insurance - Perhaps you work on high-priced real estate properties. In such cases, your clients might need higher insurance coverage. Umbrella/excess liability insurance will enable you to have a plan that has more lawn care insurance Alaska coverage without having to raise the premium of your general liability policy.
Inland Marine Insurance - Machinery and tools are your business' lifeline. And, lawn care services often involve much traveling. Securing inland marine insurance will help cover your equipment during transport. It'll ensure that you don't get caught in situations which would result in you needing to repurchase expensive equipment.
Additional Tips For Lawn Care Professionals
- Obtain a package that's right for your style and size of business.
- Be prudent and seek adequate legal advice.
- If possible, set up automatic renewal policies on the primary lawn care insurance Alaska coverage types.
- Have the basic liability coverage policies in place at the beginning stages of your business if you're getting started.
- Aside from insurance, put a safety plan in place to ensure smooth, efficient business operations.
- Strive to fulfill the service agreements that your clients sign for.
- Revise your insurance options 2-3 times each year and seek legal advice for any blind spots or loopholes.
AK Lawn Care Risks & Exposures
Property exposures may be limited to an office and a storage yard for vehicles or equipment.
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 lawn care providers's own premises if there is no public access. At job sites, hazards include injury or damage from stones or other debris thrown by power mowers, trimmers, and other equipment.
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. Lawn care contractors who do not obtain and keep proper licensing and certification for chemical applications create a serious liability exposure to themselves.
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.
Workers compensation exposures are high due to the operation of machinery and equipment, 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.
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 and the like. Goods in transit may be damaged by fire, collision or overturn.
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.
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.
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.
AK Lawn Care Insurance
After the above basic coverage policies, you can then review additional protection. Consider other kinds of coverage that you might need. Coverage of aspects like loss of income, mechanical breakdown, and other kinds of hazardous coverage would be worth consideration if your specific business' needs warrant it.
Lawn care insurance Alaska will save you from financial headaches that might arise in the future. Besides, having an ideal insurance package will make your services more appealing to the potential clients. It provides peace of mind to clients as they're guaranteed of compensation in case you unwittingly cause loss or damage to their property.
Work with a licensed insurance professional to secure maximum, but affordable coverage. Secure policies that will collaborate to create the ultimate coverage package, suiting most or all of your needs as your budget will allow.
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.