Road Contractors Insurance Alaska Policy Information
Road Contractors Insurance Alaska. The services that street, highway, and road contractors provide are in high demand. Roadways across the country need to be repaired, improved, and expanded, and new roadways need to be installed.
Street and road contractors build, maintain, or repair streets, highways, and interstates. After the route is designed and the land cleared, road construction consists of grading and leveling the earth, laying a bed of gravel, laying down the subsurface road bed (usually of cast-in-place reinforced concrete), surfacing the road with pavement, drying and curing, and marking lanes and crosswalks.
For some projects, mesh or reinforcement bars (rebar) will be used to strengthen the finished pavement. Road contractors may perform all of these operations or just the subsurface work. Bridges, underpasses and viaducts, and projects over or near water involve additional steps.
Surface work includes laying down the uppermost surface of asphalt or concrete which must withstand wear-and-tear from tire friction and the elements. The surface may be made of asphalt or concrete. A cold or hot mixture may be used. Cold mixtures are often used for temporary repairs and patching as they can be used at lower temperatures, but they are not as strong or durable as a hot mix, which is a combination of asphalt and concrete.
Operations may include transporting unwanted dirt and debris to dump sites or bringing sand, gravel, and other materials to the job site. Hot mix plants ("batch plants") that are transported to jobsites generally produce paving materials, but smaller operations will purchase the hot mix, and have it delivered to their jobsite. After the mixture is laid, a paving machine levels the surface so it will be smooth.
Whether you're repaving battered roadways, expanding highways, or installing new interstates, as a road contractor, the work you do is tedious and can be quite taxing.
Road contractors face numerous risks. While you try your best to avoid those risks, in the event that something does go wrong, you are financially liable for the repairs, damages, and injuries that may occur. As you can imagine, such costs can be extremely exorbitant, but if you're properly insured, you can avoid serious and potentially devastating financial loses.
What kind of risks do road contractors face? What type of road contractors insurance Alaska are needed? Read on to find out how to properly protect yourself, your business, and your assets.
Road contractors insurance Alaska protects busineses from lawsuits with rates as low as $47/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do Alaska Road Contractors Need Insurance?
"Road contractor" is an all-encompassing title that is used to describe contractors that perform a variety of tasks; road and sidewalk paving, freeway construction, highway resurfacing, and more. No matter the specific nature of your job, if the work you do falls under the title of "road contractor", you face a number of risks.
Examples of these risks include work-related accidents and injuries, vehicle collisions, and property damages. While you always go the extra mile to ensure that you deliver impeccable work, there's always a chance that something could go wrong. In the event that something does go wrong, you will be held financially liable. That's why carrying insurance is so important.
With the right type of insurance coverage, if something unexpected does occur, road contractors can avoid the financial repercussions that are associated with mishaps.
For example, if you a third-party filed a lawsuit against you, claiming that you damaged their property while repaving a roadway, or if you sustained a work-related injury, instead of having to pay for the related expenses out of your own pocket, your insurance carrier will cover the costs for you.
In other words, by having the right type of road contractors insurance Alaska coverage, you can avoid serious and potentially devastating financial losses.
What Type Of Insurance Do AK Road Contractors Need?
There are several types of coverage options available for road contractors. The specific types of policies that road contractors should carry depend on a variety of factors, such as the specific services they provide and the region they are located in.
For these reasons, in order to find out exactly what type of coverage you should invest in, speaking to a AK licensed and experience commercial insurance agent is highly recommended. With that said, however, here's a look at some of the most essential road contractors insurance Alaska policies needed:
- Commercial General Liability: This type of insurance policy will help to cover the costs that are associated with third-party liability and property damage claims. For instance, if a third party were to file a lawsuit against you, claiming that you damaged their property, commercial general liability insurance would pay for the related costs, such as legal defense fees, settlement fees, and repairs to damages that you may have been found liable for.
- Inland Marine: This type of coverage offers protection for a road contractor's property that is mobile in nature, such as equipment that they own and transport from one location to another. In the event that this property is lost, stolen, or damaged, inland marine insurance will help to cover the related expenses.
- Commercial Property: To protect the physical property of the space that you operate your business out of, such as an office, a warehouse, or a garage, and the equipment and materials that are housed within it, from damages and losses that are associated with acts of nature, theft, or vandalism, you'll need to invest in commercial property insurance.
- Workers' Compensation: If you have employees, you're responsible for their well-being. Workers' compensation will help to cover the costs that are associated with any work-related injuries or illnesses that employees may face.
The above are just a few examples of the different types of road contractors insurance Alaska policies that should be considered. To find out how much coverage you'll need and to develop policies that offer robust protection, speak with an experienced insurance agent.
AK Road Contractors' Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure at the contractor's premises is limited due to lack of public access. Equipment and materials stored in the open may present an attractive nuisance to children. If a hot tar process is used at the contractor's premises, it poses a fire hazard as high winds may carry smoke and heat to adjacent properties.
Contact with the tar or bitumen is a minor injury and property damage hazard. Off-site exposures are extensive. The area of operation should be restricted by barriers and proper signage to protect the public from the hazards of digging and overhead operations. Digging and excavation, the operation of heavy machinery and asphalt plants, and the weight of large mixers and mix-in-transit vehicles present numerous hazards to the public and to employees of other contractors.
Hazards increase significantly in the absence of job site control, including spotters, signage, and barriers where appropriate. Road contractors must contend with vehicular, bicycle, and foot traffic. The smoke, dust, and noise generated by paving operations are often nuisance hazards. The uneven ground, hot tar, and heavy machinery may result in serious injuries to passersby and motorists, as well as property damage to adjacent vehicles, buildings, and residences.
Grading and trenching may result in damage to underground lines or piping, some of which may be catastrophic. Serious traffic accidents may occur in the absence of an appropriate barricading system and clear marking of streets and roads that are closed. The party responsible for warning signs, barricades, and other precautions for drivers must be spelled out in any contract.
At job sites, the contractor is responsible for the safety aspects of the entire project even after hours when there is no construction activity. Construction sites create an attractive nuisance hazard, especially if work is close to residential areas. Wet pavement, in particular, attracts children and vandals. All equipment must be disabled when not in operation to prevent untrained individuals from using it.
Safety barriers such as perimeter fencing may be needed, especially if work is left uncompleted overnight. If the insured does road work on bridges, there may be hazards to persons and property due to falling objects. Work near water poses unique hazards.
The use of subcontractors as well as any contractual liability exposures should be examined.
Personal injury exposures include assault and battery and invasion of privacy. Background checks should be conducted for any employee who will have regular contact with customers.
Completed operations hazards can be high due to the number of vehicles that drive on public roads and the potential for serious bodily injury should the road fail. Quality control and full compliance with all construction, material, and design specifications is necessary. Hazards increase in the absence of proper record keeping of customer specifications, work orders, change orders, as well as inspection and written acceptance of finished work by the customer.
Environmental impairment liability exposures are moderate from the waste generated in the fueling and cleaning of heavy equipment, including mix-in-transit containers, and especially from the asphalt plant. Spillage and leaking of pollutants into the air, ground, or water can result in high cleanup costs and fines. Spills must be controlled, and equipment monitored at all times.
Allowing waste to accumulate either at the job site or in the contractor's yard could result in contamination of air, ground, or water supply. Disposal procedures must adhere to all EPA and other regulatory standards. Proper written procedures and documentation of both the transportation and disposal process are important.
Operations can result in claims of noise or dust pollution by neighboring properties and claims for cumulative structural damage to neighboring foundations from heavy traffic.
Professional liability exposures are high from the design of the project and the interpretation of specifications by the contractor's engineers. Collapses under the load of traffic are rare but catastrophic. Other factors must be considered, including soil conditions for foundations, historic flood and tide levels, wind shear, and potential for seismic activity.
Due to prior bridge collapses, it is now mandatory that every bridge design be submitted to wind tunnel testing. Many contractors have engineers that will do incidental draft work, such as water drainage channels.
Workers compensation exposures can be very high. Serious injuries or even fatalities may occur from vehicles during work on existing roads, particularly in the absence of an appropriate barricading system and clear marking of streets and roads that are closed.
Working around the asphalt plants or with the hot mix can result in burns and inhalation of smoke or harsh chemicals. Other common hazards include slips and falls, back injuries, hernias, sprains, and strains from lifting or working from awkward positions, cuts and puncture wounds from working with hand tools, foreign objects in the eye, and hearing impairment from cumulative exposure to high-decibel operations, bites from insects or vermin, temperature extremes, auto accidents to and from job sites, and exposure to pollutants.
As operations are often conducted in remote areas, it may be difficult to transport an injured worker to a medical facility to receive prompt treatment. Fine sand from the concrete mixture may cause eye injuries or even lung disease such as silicosis. Pouring concrete from a mixer usually involves operations on top of the vehicle; the absence of proper guarding may significantly increase the exposure to loss.
Cleaning residue from inside cement mixers is particularly hazardous without adequate ventilation. The absence of good maintenance, proper use of basic safety equipment, such as properly installed guards, steel-toed shoes, and eye protection, and strict enforcement of safety practices may indicate a morale hazard.
Digging and grading of land may result in injury from underground electrical cable or gas lines. Work on viaducts, bridges, and ramps may involve some work at heights. Work over or near water and waterways poses an additional risk of drowning.
Property exposures at the contractor's own location are usually limited to an office and storage of material, equipment, and vehicles. Ignition sources include electrical wiring, heating, and air conditioning systems. The contractor's yard may include piles of gravel, sand as well as large mixing or batch plants that combine the ingredients for mixing cement or concrete and load them into trucks awaiting transport to job sites.
The exposure is greatly increased if there are large drum mix plants or batch plants involving heat and flammable bitumen or tar. If repair work or cleaning of vehicles and equipment is done in the building, fire hazards may be high due to the storage and use of flammable gasoline and other fuel sources.
If equipment and supplies are stored in the yard, they may be damaged due to wind, vandalism, and theft. Appropriate security measures must be in place including lighting and physical barriers to prevent unauthorized access.
Inland marine exposures are from accounts receivable if the contractor bills customers for services, contractors' equipment, including hot mix plants, goods in transit, installation floater, and valuable papers and records for project plans, clients' and suppliers' information. Copies of project plans and other data should be kept at an offsite location for easier restoration.
Construction equipment and concrete mixed in transit are heavy and difficult to transport. The training of drivers and haulers, especially with respect to the loading, tie-down and unloading, is important to avoid damage from overturn or collision. At the job site, hazards come from uneven terrain, from the abrasive or caustic nature of some of the materials, or from the sheer weight of the surfacing material as it may exceed the equipment's load capacity.
Tools and equipment may strike underground objects or utility lines, fall into holes or pits, slip or fall into mud, water, or sinkholes, be damaged by rock, land, or mud slides, or burst into fire due to overload. Tools and equipment may be damaged by dropping and falling from heights, changes in the weather, water hazards, or being struck by other vehicles.
Hot mix plants may overheat and catch on fire. Materials and equipment left at job sites may be stolen or vandalized. Equipment should be secured and rendered inoperable when not in use. Jobs may involve placement of large precast concrete deck segments manufactured offsite, transported to the job, and lifted up onto bridge piers or other structures with a crane.
Resulting hazards include instability due to overload and wind velocity, causing possible damage to both the crane and the building materials. Contractors may lease, rent or borrow equipment, or may lease out, rent or loan their owned equipment to others, which poses additional risk as the operator may be unfamiliar with operation of the borrowed item.
Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty. Background checks should be conducted prior to hiring any employee. There must be a separation of duties between persons handling deposits and disbursements and reconciling bank statements. Physical inventories should be conducted on a regular basis to prevent employee theft of equipment.
Commercial auto exposures are very high. Serious property damage or injury to passing pedestrians or motorists or to employees of other contractors can arise during loading and unloading of equipment and materials. Similar hazards are posed if trucks are used for grading of land or dump trucks are used for hauling sand and gravel.
The bodily injury and property damage can be severe should hot tar be transported, or the contractor uses mix-in-transit units, which are among the heaviest on the road. These can cause severe bodily injury or property damage even in apparently minor collisions. These units are awkward to handle while driving or in operation and are difficult to tow if they overturn or become stuck in mud.
The driver of the truck must be trained in handling a top-heavy vehicle as considerable skill and knowledge is required for safe driving. If there is a collision, the resulting overturn may spill the load onto a public road and prevent access until cleanup is completed. Equipment unloading and setup may take place on uneven ground, or in undeveloped areas, posing an additional upset or overturn hazard.
Long drives with oversized equipment may lead to driver fatigue and resulting accidents. For long-term projects away from home base, personal use of company vehicles poses a concern. There should be written procedures for personal and permissive use of vehicles furnished to employees.
Similarly, employees may use their own vehicles on company business for long periods, especially to transport crews to the jobsite. All drivers must have appropriate licenses and acceptable MVRs. Random drug and alcohol testing should be conducted. Vehicles must be maintained, and the records kept in a central location.
Road Contractors Insurance Alaska - The Bottom Line
To protect your operations, employees and your clients, having the right road contractors insurance Alaska coverage is important. To learn what types of options are available to you, how much coverage you should invest in and the cost - 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 Construction Contractors Insurance
Learn about construction contractors insurance, including how much the premium costs and what is covered - and how business insurance can help protect your construction business from lawsuits.
- Blasting & Drilling Contractors
- Bridge Contractors
- Building Contractors
- Cable Layers
- Demolition Contractors
- Dock & Pier Contractors
- Dredging Contractors
- Foundation Layers
- General Contractors
- Road Contractors
- Sewer Contractors
- Steel Erection Contractors
- Surety Bonds
Construction contractors have substantial needs for many types of insurance coverage. Most would point to the importance of coverage for completed operations, premises liability coverage during construction operations at jobsites and professional or design errors and omissions insurance.
Such coverages can be provided only when the interests of the contractor and of the property owner are understood; particularly the contractual obligations assumed by the contractor. Next in significance is the workers compensation exposure followed by business automobile. Inland marine coverage for expensive mobile equipment, supplies, other tools of the trade and builders' risk can be vital.
Liability coverage is needed by a construction contractor in order to obtain most jobs. In addition, if a contractor wants to stay in business, it must be obtained to protect it from lawsuits due to its premises operations, off-site locations and products/completed operations exposures. Owners and contractors protective liability and railroad protective liability coverages may also be required in certain cases in order for a contractor to meets its obligations for particular jobs.
Many construction contractors do not have the usual location-specific buildings and business personal property exposures. Their business property is more mobile and, therefore, better covered with inland marine coverage forms. However, for those larger construction contractors that own buildings and/or maintain business inventory there are many coverage forms and choices available to them.
Construction contractors use their vehicles to get to and from their workplaces and jobsites. They also use vehicles to transport equipment and inventory to those locations. It is important to cover the liability of these vehicles for injury or damage they may cause, as well as to provide coverage for damage to the vehicles themselves.
Employers are required to provide coverage for injuries sustained by their employees while on the job. Construction contractors must comply with these requirements but some try to avoid them by hiring subcontractors. These subcontractors may actually operate and qualify as employees. The relationship between a contractor and its subcontractors must be carefully evaluated in order to determine if workers compensation coverage is still needed.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Employee Dishonesty, Surety Bonds, Accounts Receivable, Builders' Risk, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits Liability, Umbrella Liability, Business Automobile Liability and Physical Damage, Hired and Nonowned Auto Liability & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Building, Business Income with Extra Expense, Earthquake, Flood, Leasehold Interest, Real Property Legal Liability, Contractors' Equipment, Goods in Transit, Installation Floater, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices Liability, Environmental Impairment Liability, Stop Gap Liability, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) (Drones).
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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.