Office Supply Store Insurance Alaska Policy Information
Office Supply Store Insurance Alaska. Office supply stores sell office accessories and supplies such as paper, labels, file folders, clips, staplers, writing instruments, desk accessories and file organizers. The store may sell, rent or repair office furnishings, machinery and equipment. Services offered may include copying or duplicating, faxing, and same day delivery of supplies. Delivery may be on owned vehicles or may be contracted out to another carrier.
If you own an office supply store, you already know some of the everyday risks that you are exposed to. You probably have various risk management programs in place, such as quality control programs, vendor certification processes, recall plans and customer contracts.
Although these might help you prevent potential lawsuits, in this litigious society, it is becoming very important to cover yourself and your office supply store against various claims. That's where office supply store insurance Alaska comes in.
Office Supply store insurance Alaska protects your shop from lawsuits with rates as low as $37/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why You Need A General Liability Policy
The office supply industry is built on serving customers and along with this daily flow of patrons comes the potential for accidents. For example, if a customer slips and falls on the wet floor and breaks an ankle, they could file a lawsuit against your retail business. When these lawsuits occur, your office supply store insurance Alaska may kick in to protect your store and cover costs associated with bodily injury and property damage claims.
There are some important items to consider when purchasing general liability. If your shop offers online sales, it is imperative the carrier is aware of these operations. In addition, if you offer computer or equipment repair services, you must disclose these operations to the carrier as these services may be an issue with some insurers.
Business Owners Policy For Office Supply Stores
A business owners policy, or BOP, includes general liability insurance protection plus adds other customized protection that your AK office store may need. BOP coverage options protect your physical business assets and the intangible ones as well. Examples of these business insurance options include:
- Buildings and Contents
- Business Income and Extra Expense
- Newly Acquired or Constructed Buildings
- Employee Dishonesty Coverage
AK Property Insurance
This office supply store insurance Alaska coverage protects your business buildings(s) and other structures, business personal property, and equipment in the case of a loss due to fire, a burst water pipe or other covered event at your business.
Other Available Coverages
Property In Transit Coverage: Protects the valuable goods and inventory you transport. Also called inland marine, this covers losses to goods that occur at your premises, while being transported to or from your store, or while in storage.
AK Commercial Auto Insurance: If you use a vehicle for business purposes, such as making bank deposits or picking up merchandise to stock your office supply store, you need business auto insurance. Business auto offers coverage vehicle damage, bodily injury, vandalism and theft, depending on the type of business auto policy you choose.
Workers Compensation Insurance: This covers injuries sustained by your employees - for instance when lifting heavy boxes of merchandise to load on the shelves. There is also another part of workers compensation that doesn't come up often in discussions, which is Employers Liability Insurance. Workers compensation is generally required in most states if your business has any non-owner employees. Depending on what state you start your office supply store in you might be required by law to carry AK workers comp insurance even if you have only one employee.
Employee Dishonesty Insurance: This office supply store insurance Alaska coverage offers protection against direct physical loss of business personal property, including money and securities, caused by dishonest acts committed by employees.
Loss Of Business Income: This provides coverage for the actual loss sustained after a covered loss and extra expenses if your office supply store is closed temporarily. You will be compensated to maintain your income and continue normal operations while repairs are underway. This policy also covers losses following a product recall by the manufacturer as well as those resulting from damage or destruction caused by a covered risk to supplier or customer property as well as adjacent areas.
Utility Interruption: Coverage for loss of income caused by the necessary suspension of your office supply store due to failure of communications, water, natural gas, or electrical service to the premises.
Flood Insurance: This office supply store insurance Alaska covers damage caused by flood.
Hurricane Insurance: For stores located in high-risk areas, a separate hurricane insurance policy may be required. Be sure to discuss this coverage with a knowledgeable insurance agent when building your policy package.
Earthquake Insurance: A major earthquake can mean a total loss for your office supply store, and if you do not have this office supply store insurance Alaska coverage, your business could go bankrupt.
How Much Coverage Do You Need?
When choosing the coverage and the insurer to go to for your policy, businesses have to weigh several factors:
- What do you sell? What are the values of the items and supplies you carry in stock? How much inventory do you keep on hand?
- Where is your store located? (Is the area prone to burglary or possible storm/weather threats)?
- Do you want to protect your shop, the building, and all inventory in warehouses?
Owning an office supply business can be rewarding and very challenging, even on the best of days. Whether they come to you for stationery or furniture, your customers rely on your store for products and expertise. Don't let your customers down by suspending your operations due to uninsured claims.
Alaska Office Supply Store's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure comes from slips and falls due to public access to the premises. Aisles must be adequate and free of debris with flooring in good condition with no frayed or worn spots on carpet and no cracks or holes in flooring. Steps and uneven floor surfaces should be prominently marked. Sufficient exits must be provided and be well marked with backup lighting systems in case of power failure. All goods should be kept on easily reached shelves so that customers do not pull down items on themselves.
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. If the business is open after dark, there should be adequate lighting and appropriate security for the area.
Employees making deliveries, setting up, and installing purchases for customers present a property damage exposure to the customers' premises. If the store recommends independent contractors, certificates of insurance should be maintained to verify that the contractors carry adequate limits of liability.
Products liability exposure is normally low unless the store reconditions and sells used equipment or there is direct import of the products. Foreign-made items should come from a domestic-based wholesaler. Any direct importer should be considered as a product manufacturer. Installation of purchased goods at the customers' premises must meet all manufacturers' specifications.
If the store sends customers' items to outside repairmen for servicing, certificates of insurance should be obtained to verify that the outside repairman carries products liability coverage.
Workers compensation exposures are from lifting that can cause back injury, hernias, sprains, and strains, and from slips and falls. Employees should be provided with safety equipment, trained on proper handling techniques, and have conveying devices available to assist with heavy lifting. Shelves should be easily accessible for storage.
Housekeeping in storage areas, especially during peak times, is vital in preventing trip and falls. Repair work can result in cuts, burns and eye injuries. Proper protection is necessary. Drivers of delivery trucks can be injured in accidents. As with any retail operation, hold-ups may occur. Employees should be trained to respond in a prescribed manner.
Property exposures are low since ignition sources are limited to electrical wiring, heating and cooling equipment. All paper products comprise a heavy fire load, and are extremely susceptible to fire, smoke, and any type of moisture. Furniture and equipment will have a moderate impact on the fire load. If repairs are conducted on premises, there may be lubricants, oils, degreasers and solvents that should be stored away from combustible stock.
Theft becomes more of an exposure if electronic machinery is offered. 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.
Crime exposures are from employee dishonesty and loss of money and securities either from holdup or safe burglary. Background checks should be conducted on all employees handling money. There must be separation of duties between persons handling deposits and disbursements and handling bank statements. Money should be regularly collected from cash drawers and moved away from the collection area, preferably to a safe on premises. Bank drops should be made throughout the day to prevent a buildup of cash on the premises.
Inland marine exposures are from accounts receivable if the store offers credit, bailees customers if the store repairs customers' goods, computers to transact sales and monitor inventory, and valuable papers and records due to customers' and vendors' records. Backup copies of all records, including computer records, should be made and stored off premises. If delivery services are provided, there will be a goods in transit exposure.
Commercial auto exposure can be high if the store provides pickup and delivery service to customers. Anyone who uses a vehicle must have a valid license and acceptable MVR. Vehicles should have regular maintenance with records kept.
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 Retail Insurance
Read valuable small business retail insurance policy information. In a retail business, you need to have the right type of commercial insurance coverage so that your store, employees, and inventory are protected.
- Adult Novelty
- Appliance & Electronics Store
- Art Gallery
- Bicycle Shop
- Book Store
- Bridal Shop
- Candy Confectionery Store
- Carpet Store
- Clothing Store
- Collectibles Memorabilia Store
- Convenience Store
- Cosmetics Store
- Dry Cleaning
- Equipment Rental
- Funeral Home
- Furniture Store
- Gift Store
- Hardware Store
- Home Improvement Store
- Hotel Motel
- Ice Cream Shop
- Jewelry Store
- Lingerie Store
- Luggage Store
- Music Store
- Office Supply Store
- Paint & Wallpaper Store
- Pet Store
- Pharmacy Liability
- Plumbing Supplies Fixtures Store
- Scrap Metal Dealers
- Sewing Store
- Shoe Store
- Sporting Goods Store
- Stationary Store
- Thrift Store
- Ticket Agency
- Tobacco Store
- Toy Store
- Travel Agency
- Wig Store
Retail stores are susceptible to premises liability claims because of customer traffic, but large department and specialty stores are more susceptible than most.
All retail stores have significant property exposures. The on-hand stock represents a considerable investment, but the amount on hand fluctuates seasonally. For this reason, physical damage insurance on this property must be arranged carefully. When the insured occupies a non-owned building, insurance coverage must be arranged for the insured's interest in extensive improvements and betterments made to the premises.
Crime insurance, in the form of employee theft and money and securities coverage, is also very important.
The businessowners policy was designed with retail exposures and operations in mind. For this reason alone, it should always be the first type of package coverage to consider. However, for those risks not eligible for the business owners policy program, the commercial package policy (CPP) is a practical and convenient way to combine a number of coverages into one policy.
Retail businesses generate income through interaction with customers. This interaction is also how a customer can sustain an injury and then sue the retailer for damages. Hazards, exposures and operations both on premises and off are important and must be covered, but liability the retailer may incur because of the merchandise sold must also be considered and insurance protection arranged.
Inventory or stock is the major property exposure for most retail operations. Because stock values tend to fluctuate or have significant peaks at certain times of the year, value reporting or peak season valuation options should be considered. Business income coverage, including business income from dependent properties coverage, may mean the difference between a retail operation staying in business or being forced into bankruptcy following a loss.
When the insured occupies a non-owned building, insurance coverage must be arranged for the insured’s interest in extensive improvements and betterments made to the premises.
Most retail businesses offer endless opportunities for a variety of criminal activities. For this reason, the coverages needed must be carefully evaluated. Holdup and robbery losses may be the most obvious concerns but employee theft, fraud and counterfeit money losses are also serious issues that cannot be dismissed.
Retail businesses are gaining greater exposure to international issues because of the growth in sales via the internet. As these sales increase, the added exposures faced by these retailers must be evaluated. While their operating horizons are expanding so are their potential loss exposures.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Business Income and Extra Expense, Equipment Breakdown, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits, Umbrella, Hired and Non-owned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Building, Earthquake, Flood, Leasehold Interest, Real Property Legal Liability, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Bailees Customers, Goods in Transit, Jewelers Block, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices, Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage and Stop Gap Liability.
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Also 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.