Sewer Contractors Insurance Alaska Policy Information
Sewer Contractors Insurance Alaska. While it isn't exactly the most desirable topic of conversation, sewers are exceptionally important. They hold all of the waste water produced within residential, commercial, and industrial properties.
Whenever water - and anything else that it contains - is flushed down a drain, it runs through a system of pipes that connect to a sewer. Needless to say, there are a number of things that can go wrong with a sewer; the pipes can become clogged, they can overflow, and they can sustain damage.
Sewer contractors construct, install, maintain, repair, and replace sewer lines and the hookup of residential or commercial buildings to those lines. Operations consist of excavating trenches, laying the sewer lines into the trenches, connecting the piping together, then filling in the trench with dirt or other materials.
The sewer lines from individual buildings or residences, often already laid by general plumbers, are then hooked up to the sewer system. Sewer lines move solid or liquid waste products to residential septic systems or to municipal waste treatment centers.
Because sewers are so important, as a contractor who services and installs new sewers, your job is essential. When AK property owners experience issues with their sewers, they rely on your expertise to correct the issue and get their system back up and running.
Given the nature of the profession, sewer contractors are exposed to a variety of risks. In order to protect yourself from those risks, investing in the right type of sewer contractors insurance Alaska coverage is an absolute must.
For more information about insurance for AK sewer contractors, including why it's so important and what type of coverage you need to carry, keep on reading.
Sewer contractors insurance Alaska protects your utility contracting business from lawsuits with rates as low as $67/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do Sewer Contractors Need Insurance?
As mentioned, the very nature of your job comes with a lot of risks. Wastewater spills, serious injuries, property damage, pollution, and lawsuits are just some of the risks that you are exposed to.
As the owner and operator of your sewer repair and installation business, you are liable for anything that does go wrong. For instance, if you or an employee were to damage a client's property and they filed a lawsuit against you, you would be responsible for any legal expenses, as well as the compensation that a court of law may find you liable for.
Or, if you employ a staff and they suffer a work-related injury, you would be responsible for covering the cost of their medical care and replacing any wages that they may be out if they are unable to work while they are recovering from their injuries.
Needless to say, the expenses that are associated with the risks that sewer contractors are exposed to can be exorbitant. In fact, the expenses can be so costly that they could end up putting you in serious financial trouble and could even potentially put you out of business.
That's why having the right type of sewer contractors insurance Alaska coverage in place is so important; if you're insured and something goes wrong, instead of paying the related expenses yourself, your carrier would cover the expenses for you.
In addition to saving you from potential financial ruin, having the necessary insurance coverage ensures that your business is compliant with the AK law.
AK sewer contractors are legally required to carry certain types of insurance and if you aren't covered, you could end up being hit with stiff fines and might even end up losing your license to operate.
What Type Of Insurance Do Sewer Contractors Need?
Like any other contracting business, there are several types of insurance coverages that a sewer contractor will need to carry.
The specific kind of sewer contractors insurance Alaska coverage you need depends on an assortment of factors; the city your business is located in, the specific services you provide, and the size of your operation, for example.
With that said, however, there are some key coverages that all AK sewer contractors will need to consider:
- Business interruption insurance
- Commercial auto insurance
- Commercial property insurance
- Completed operations liability insurance
- Cybercrime cyber liability insurance
- Employee fidelity insurance
- Equipment breakdown insurance
- Excess coverage
- General and professional liability insurance
- Inland marine insurance
- Pollution liability insurance (including HAZMAT coverage)
- Products liability and product recall insurance
- Workers' compensation insurance
These policies are just a few examples of the type of sewer contractors insurance Alaska you'll need to carry. The insurance needs of every sewer contractor are unique to the specifics of their operations.
AK Sewer Contracting's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposures at the contractor's office are generally limited due to lack of public access. Outdoor storage of materials and equipment may create vandalism and attractive nuisance hazards. Off-site exposures are extensive.
The public and employees of other contractors can be injured due to trips and falls over debris, equipment, or uneven ground. The area of operation should be restricted by barriers and proper signage to protect the public from the hazards of digging and other operations.
Digging can result in cutting utility cable, damaging property of the utility company and disrupting service to neighboring residences or businesses. Contractors laying underground cables should verify the absence of other utility lines prior to digging.
Once a trench is excavated, there must be shoring or other supports to prevent collapse if people are to work in the trench. A significant morale hazard may be indicated by the absence of detailed procedures to determine utility locations and to research prior uses of the land.
Construction sites create an attractive nuisance hazard, especially if work is close to residential areas. All equipment must be disabled when not in operation to prevent untrained individuals from using it.
Fencing must be in place with appropriate warning signs to prevent trespassing. 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 exposures can be very high if the sewer piping is not properly connected and sealed as any blockage, spillage, or leakage could cause contamination, bodily injury and disease, and property damage.
Quality control, including work order documentation, and employee training, background, and experience is important. Warranties, guarantees, and maintenance agreements, in which the contractor promises to keep a system in operation, should be reviewed.
Shoring methods are vital to prevent cave-in following excavation, especially if under streets and roads and any structures.
Environmental impairment liability exposure can be very high due to the transportation and disposal hazards if the contractor removes old sewer lines. Buried sewer lines may gradually leak, causing serious contamination of the soil and possibly groundwater.
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. Spillage and leaking of pollutants into the air, ground, or water can result in high cleanup costs and fines.
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.
Workers compensation exposures can be severe. Lifting and back injuries, hernias, sprains, and strains can occur from setting up retaining walls or trenches, installing sewer lines, or working from awkward positions. The collapse of retaining walls or overturn of equipment may result in severe injury or death from crushing or suffocation.
Digging may result in electrocution from underground electrical cable or asphyxiation from ruptured gas lines. Hazards increase in the absence of adequate shutoff and lockout procedures to make sure the wiring is not live. Common hazards include slips and falls, foreign objects in the eye, hearing impairment from noise, cuts or puncture wounds, bites from insects or vermin, temperature extremes, auto accidents during transportation to and from job sites, and exposure to pollutants.
Serious injuries may also arise during work with hand tools, large, heavy machinery, or from the carelessness of fellow employees. 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.
Property exposures at the contractor's own location are usually limited to those of an office and storage of materials, equipment, and vehicles. Sewer pipes waiting to be installed are bulky but present little likelihood of damage from fire, inclement weather, theft, or vandalism.
Fire hazards may arise from refueling and repair operations due to the storage and use of flammable gasoline and other fuel sources.
Inland marine exposures include accounts receivable if the contractor bills customers for services, contractors' equipment, construction materials in transit, installation floater, and valuable papers and records for customers' and suppliers' information. Backup copies of all data should be stored off premises.
Excavation and boring equipment or materials, including large concrete or cast-iron piping and lines, can be large and difficult to transport without adequate loading, tie-down and unloading procedures. The equipment may be damaged if its load capacity is exceeded during excavation and laying of sewer lines.
Ground at the construction site may be uneven. Equipment may strike underground objects or utilities, fall into holes or pits, slip or fall into mud, water, or sinkholes, be damaged in rock, land, or mudslides, or burst into fire from overload. Equipment may be subject to changes in the weather, water hazards, or being struck by other vehicles.
Materials and equipment left at job sites may be subject to theft and vandalism. Equipment should be secured and rendered inoperable when not in use. 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 high due to the transport of oversize sewer piping, machinery, and equipment. Secure tying down is vital to prevent heavy damage to other vehicles. In rural areas, roads may be narrow and the ground uneven, increasing the risk of collision and upset.
The driver of the truck must be trained in handling a top-heavy vehicle as considerable skill and knowledge are 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.
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.
Sewer Contractors Insurance - The Bottom Line
In order to find out exactly that type of sewer contractors insurance Alaska coverage you should carry, consulting with a reputable agent who is experienced in covering unique businesses like yours is highly recommended.
A broker will be able to recommend what type of coverage you need and how much your policy limits should be. They will also be able to help you get the best rates possible so that you can have access to the coverage you need to protect your business without spending more than you have to.
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.