Sheep And Goat Farm Insurance Alaska Policy Information
Sheep And Goat Farm Insurance Alaska. Livestock plays a vital role in the everyday lives of countless individuals. Not only does livestock provide nourishment, but it's also the source of several essential products.
Of all the different types of livestock, sheep and goats are extremely important. Goats are a source of meat and milk, while sheep are a source of wool.
Sheep and goat farmers raise animals to produce milk, meat, and/or wool. Lanolin may be used in manufacturing cosmetics, while skin may be used to make leather or parchment. The animals graze in pastures and are fed supplemental silage.
Milk can be extracted by hand or using automated milking machines. The milk can be sent to an aggregator for combining with other milk before processed and packaged, or it can be processed, packaged, and marketed directly to customers. To keep milk production high, animals must be bred regularly, which also maintains a steady supply of replacements for milking.
Animals grown for their meat are kept until they reach market weight. At that time, the farmer either drives the animals to the processing plant or hires a carrier to transport them. Many operations raise their own grain to turn into feed for their livestock.
Sheep are sheared annually, and the fleeces sold as wool. Angora goats are sheered for their mohair fleece while other goats provide cashmere and other fine fiber. Sheep and goat farms are subject to regulation by the USDA, FDA, and EPA.
Being a sheep and goat farmer is certainly commendable, as you provide the general public with many of the products that they need; however, there are certain risks that are associated with operating a farm.
In order to protect yourself from unexpected events - and the exorbitant costs that could be associated with them - investing in the right type of sheep and goat farm insurance Alaska coverage is very important.
Sheep and goat farm insurance Alaska protects livestock business from lawsuits with rates as low as $67/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do Sheep And Goat Farms Need Insurance?
Like others businesses in any other industry, there are certain risks associated with operating a AK sheep goat farm. Some of those risks are similar to the risks that other business owners face; however, some are unique to your particular industry.
For example, a third-party could file a lawsuit against you after suffering an injury while they were on your farm, your building and equipment could be damaged in an act of nature, or your livestock could become unexpectedly sick or perish.
As the proprietor of your sheep and goat farm, you are responsible for anything that goes wrong. Should anything unexpected arise, you're liable for related expenses; the cost of which, of course, could be extensive.
If you're properly insured, instead of paying those costs out of your own pocket, your insurance carrier would cover them for you; therefore, sheep and goat farm insurance Alaska can help to save you from serious financial losses.
It also verifies that you are compliant with local AK laws, as goat and sheep farmers are legally required to carry certain types of coverage.
What Type Of Insurance Do Sheep And Goat Farms Need?
There are several different types of sheep and goat farm insurance Alaska coverage that goat and sheep farmers require; however, coverage requirements may vary from farmer to farmer, as it really depends on the specific details of your farm.
Examples of some of the key coverages you'll need, however, include:
- Commercial General Liability: To protect yourself against third-party property damage and personal injury claims, you'll need commercial general liability insurance. This policy covers any lawsuits that someone who is not associated with your farm may make against in you the event that they suffered an injury on your property or claim that you or one of your employees damaged their property.
- Commercial Property: You'll also need to carry commercial property insurance, which protects the buildings on your farm and the content within them from acts of peril, theft, and vandalism. If a fire were to break out or someone were to break into a building and steal equipment, this policy would help to cover the losses.
- Livestock Insurance: Livestock can become infected with illnesses or perish unexpectedly. If that happens, the cost of veterinary care or replacing your sheep or goats could be exorbitant. Livestock insurance would help to cover the costs that are associated with damage to your animals.
- Workers' Compensation: You'll also need to carry a workers' compensation policy to protect your employees. In the event that they are injured on the job or develop a work-related illness, this coverage would help to pay for any medical care that employees would require, as well as compensate them for any lost wages if they were unable to work as a result of an illness or injury.
- Equipment Breakdown: You rely on a lot of equipment to keep your farm running, and repairing or replacing that equipment can be quite costly. With equipment breakdown insurance, however, instead of paying those exorbitant costs yourself, your insurer would cover them for you.
- Business Interruption: If you have to unexpectedly cease operations on your farm, this insurance would help to cover any income you would lose until you can reopen for business.
These policies are just a few examples of the type of sheep and goat farm insurance Alaska you'll need to have operating a AK livestock business.
AK Goat And Sheep Farms' Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposures are limited. FDA inspectors and veterinarians regularly visit the premises. Sheep and goat farms may be visited by school-age children and other tour groups who can trip and fall on uneven walking surfaces or housekeeping hazards or be injured in interactions with animals. Visitors should be accompanied by an employee.
Restricted areas should be secured to keep visitors from straying into operational areas.
Male animals should be securely confined when visitors are present. Fences should be well maintained to prevent animals from straying, especially onto roads.
Retail operations should have excellent housekeeping to prevent slips and falls. All exits should be adequately marked. The farm may present an attractive nuisance to trespassers. There must be adequate security to prevent unauthorized entry.
Products liability exposures are moderate due to the potential for contamination, spoilage and foreign objects in the milk, or passage of disease from meat products to consumers. Raw milk is often delivered directly to the consumer. All milk should be tested before it is delivered to customers or milk processors.
Effective procedures are required to ensure sanitary working and processing conditions, that vaccinations are up to date for all animals, and that diseased animals are not sent to a processor. The workplace must meet all FDA specifications and be arranged so that foreign substances do not enter processing areas.
A testing laboratory should be on-site to perform quality control. Tanker cleaning must be done on a continuous basis and fully documented. Controls must be in place to prevent contamination from exposure to chemicals such as insecticides and pesticides.
Stock dating and rotation are crucial factors. An effective working recall program that can be activated immediately must be established.
Environmental impairment liability exposures are moderate due to the potential for air, land, or water pollution from the use of agricultural chemicals and pesticides application, disposal of animal waste, and motor vehicle fuel storage tanks.
Drugs, needles, and syringes used to administer medications are considered biohazardous waste and must be disposed of properly. When there are underground storage tanks, a UST policy will be required.
Workers compensation exposures are high due to the use of equipment and interaction with unpredictable animals that can bite, kick, or suffocate an employee. Male animals may be territorial. Training, supervision, and communication are important in maintaining a safe work environment.
Slips, trips, falls, back injuries, foreign objects in the eye, and muscle strains are common. Shearers can cut themselves while removing fleeces from animals.
Exposure to farm chemicals, noxious odors from animal waste, and organic dust can lead to respiratory issues. Injuries can result from loading and unloading animals from vehicles. Employees can pick up communicable diseases from working with animals.
Property exposures in the sheep and goat barns are limited if they are unheated and maintained only as shelter from weather, predators and for birthing. If used for shearing and/or milking, the exposure increases. All equipment must be inspected and maintained regularly to avoid wear and tear or overheating.
Wiring must be up to date and of sufficient capacity. Electrical fixtures should be dust and moisture proof. Fleece and fibers are considered fire resistive.
Dairy products must meet extremely high sterility requirements, with most processes taking place in closed containers to prevent contamination. This sterile environment helps control most fire exposures.
However, if a small fire does begin, a total loss could occur as state, local, or federal regulations may require the disposal of major portions of stock and raw materials that have been exposed to fire, smoke, heat, or water. Spoilage losses can be severe if the refrigeration and cooling equipment malfunctions or loses power. Controls, such as alarms, must be in place to warn if power is out or if temperature rises in coolers and freezers.
Emergency backup systems, such as emergency generators, should provide power if an outage or shutdown occurs. Lightning may strike buildings unprotected by rods and Ground Fault Interrupters (GFIs), and severe winds and tornados may destroy property in certain geographical areas. Sheep and goat farms are in rural areas where fire response time may be slow and a water supply to douse a fire may be undependable.
Auxiliary fire-fighting procedures should be in place, including evacuation of the animals. Fire extinguishers should be well distributed. Automatic fire detection and suppression systems should be considered, especially in larger operations. Smoking should be prohibited. Sheep and goat farms may be a target for vandalism. Business income and extra expense may be high after a loss due to the unavailability of backup facilities.
Crime exposures are from employee dishonesty and theft but are relatively minor if there are no retail or delivery operations. Pre-employment checks should be conducted for employees. Inventory controls should be in place. Money-handling responsibilities should be separated, with no employee handling both receivables and disbursements. A money and securities exposure exists if there are retail operations on premises or if products are delivered to customers. Some prescription medications for animals may be targeted by thieves.
Inland marine exposures include accounts receivable if the farm bills customers, computers (which may include controls for automated milking equipment), livestock, mobile equipment, and valuable papers and records. Sheep are docile and are subject to attack by predators. Mobile equipment is common for cleaning barns and moving the animals.
A wide range of farm machinery may be needed if the operation grows its own feed grain. Valuable papers and records include pedigree information, records needed to substantiate FDA requirements, product information that may be needed in case of a recall, and veterinary information.
Goods in transit coverage will be needed if bulk milk, animals, or wool fleeces are transported. Bulk milk must be transported in tankers used only for milk that are sanitized after each use.
Bulk milk tankers and animal carriers are bulky, and overturns may result in a total loss. Refrigerated trucks used to transport dairy products can malfunction, resulting in spoilage.
Business auto exposures may be limited to hired and non-owned if carriers or processors transport the milk or animals to processing centers. If the farm delivers its own products or transports animals, the exposure increases.
Drivers must have appropriate licenses and acceptable MVRs. Drivers must be trained in handling the sway of animal trailers. All vehicles must be well maintained with records kept.
Sheep And Goat Farm Insurance - The Bottom Line
In order to find out exactly what kind of sheep and goat farm insurance Alaska coverage you'll need to fully protect your farm, speak with a reputable broker who specializes in commercial farming insurance.
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 Agribusiness Insurance
Learn about small business agribusiness insurance - a type of commercial insurance protects farmers against loss of, or damage to crops or livestock.
- Insurance Farming Terms Glossary
- Aquaculture Fish Farm
- Commercial Fishermen
- Dairy Farm
- Equine & Horse Farm
- Farm And Ranch
- Farm Equipment Dealers
- Farm Labor Contractors
- Livestock & Cattle
- Mushroom Farms
- Nursery And Greenhouse
- Nut Farm
- Orchards & Groves
- Poultry Farm
- Sheep & Goat Farm
- Swine, Hog & Pig Farm
- Tobacco Farm
- What Are Farm And Ranch Insurance Endorsements?
Farming is, and has always been a tough business. There are many uncontrollable factors for farmers to deal with - like the weather, vermin, or other natural catastrophes. Any of these can destroy cash crops, such as corn, cotton, soybeans, and wheat, and put the farmer in a very bad financial situation.
Insurance for agribusiness falls into three general categories:
The first is property insurance on the buildings and the usually substantial amount of business personal property made up of machinery, livestock, equipment and other stock.
The second is liability for both premises and products.
The last is protection for worker injuries. Commercial auto insurance should be written if the operation owns vehicles and especially if it transports its own products.
There are a wide variety of agribusiness insurance options that are available to farmers. These policies allow them to to receive compensation in the event of a poor growing season, dropping prices, cattle disease or catastrophic natural event.
Loss of crops or livestock can financially ruin an agribusiness operation. The crop insurance agrees to indemnify the farmer, rancher or grower against losses which occur during the crop year. Losses have to be caused by things which are unavoidable or beyond the farmer's control - like a drought, freeze and/or disease.
Some policies offer coverage due to adverse weather events such as the inability to plant due to excess moisture or losses due to the quality of the crop.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Buildings, Business Personal Property, Crop Insurance, Employee Dishonesty, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Goods in Transit, Mobile Equipment, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Environmental Impairment, Umbrella, Business Automobile Liability and Physical Damage, Hired and Non-owned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Business Income and Extra Expense, Earthquake, Equipment Breakdown, Farm Owners, Flood, Computer Fraud, Employee Dishonesty, Forgery, Money and Securities, Cyber Liability, Employee Benefits, Employment-related Practices Liability, Product Recall, Underground Storage Tank, Stop Gap Liability and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) (Drones).
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Also find AK local small businesses by General Liability Class Code 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.