Volunteers of America Insurance Alaska Policy Information
Volunteers of America Insurance Alaska. Volunteers of America best describes its own goals in saying that the organization represents more than a non-profit organization - it is also a ministry; a calling.
With thousands of employees, volunteers, and donors, Volunteers of America is certainly a voice to be reckoned with. It is successful in helping many who most need hope in their lives, whether veterans, at-risk youth, homeless people, and vulnerable older adults and women.
Volunteers of America chapters provide counseling, food and shelter, transportation, and other forms of assistance such as job training to disadvantaged individuals. Advocacy for battered women, children, the homeless, individuals with disabilities, prisoners, seniors, and veterans is offered.
Facilities for offices, retail stores, and warehouses may be owned or leased from others. Volunteers of America is a faith-based, nonprofit organization funded primarily through donations, government grants, and fund-raising activities.
A large portion of labor is voluntary or supplied by clients. Volunteers may work with the clients to aid in their development. Chapters may partner with local businesses to develop opportunities for clients to improve their employment skills.
Although Volunteers of America is a nation-wide organization, it has its boots on the ground in countless local communities through venues such as local offices and thrift stores.
While their activities are charitable, these local AK entities have to be business-minded to ensure that they can continue to benefit those in need. Among many other things, that means taking a close looks at the hazards they may face, as well as steps to reduce their risk and shield them from financial consequences if they were to be affected by unforeseen circumstances.
What types of Volunteers of America insurance Alaska might local chapters need? To find out more, keep reading.
Volunteers of America insurance Alaska protects local chapters from lawsuits with rates as low as $77/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do Alaska Volunteers of America Chapters Need Insurance?
The fact that Volunteers of America are engaged in philanthropic activities in no way shields them from the many risks that commercial ventures, governmental entities, and even private residences are also exposed to.
Any AK Volunteers of America office or thrift store could, for example, find themselves affected by natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, or serious floods.
A fire that starts in a neighboring building may spread to theirs, or ongoing construction work could cause structural damage to a building. Theft and vandalism, including, on the more extreme end of the scale, arson, are other universal threats.
Volunteers of America organizations further have to think about the liability-related costs associated with accidental events in which employees, one of their many volunteers, recipients of one of their programs, donors, or anyone else are injured on their premises. Your activities could also inadvertently damage property belonging to someone else.
The risks you may face are nearly as diverse as the ways in which Volunteers of America help the vulnerable. The one common factor is that all perils lead to costs - and sometimes expenses that are so overwhelming that they would stop you from carrying out your calling.
Alongside the appropriate insurance coverage, you will not have to pay for all peril-related costs on your own.
Investing in Volunteers of America insurance Alaska is, therefore, the closest you have to a guarantee that you will be able to continue your charitable work even if disaster were to strike.
What Type Of Insurance Do AK Volunteers of America Chapters Need?
Numerous different insurance policies exist, each designed to protect commercial and non-profit organizations alike against the financial fallout of different perils.
The precise kinds of coverage a AK Volunteers of America organization will need depend on factors as diverse as the location, the types of goods stored, whether the venue is open to the public, and how many employees and volunteers it has.
This is why it is always crucial to consult a seasoned insurance broker who understands the non-profit sector, and who will walk you through the process of obtaining an individualized Volunteers of America insurance Alaska plan.
Among the most common kinds of insurance that nearly every Volunteers of America chapter will need, however, are:
- Commercial Property: This kind of insurance is designed to help you manage the costs that follow catastrophic events such as acts of nature, theft, and vandalism, in which your property is damaged or lost. Your physical building as well as the other physical assets therein - such as computers, inventory, and furniture - are covered by these types of policies.
- Workers' Compensation: This kind of Volunteers of America insurance Alaska pays for the medical bills of employees who are injured on the job, and it can also reimburse them for the wages they miss out on if they are unable to return to work for a time. It does not typically cover volunteers, however.
- General Liability: If someone were to file a lawsuit in which they claim that your Volunteers of America organization was responsible for bodily injury or property damage, this form of insurance covers the resulting legal costs.
Because you may need additional types of coverage, it is imperative to discuss your risk profile with an insurance broker who specializes in the non-profit sector. They will be able to answer all your questions and help you craft the best possible Volunteers of America insurance Alaska plan, for the best possible cost.
AK Volunteers of America Chapter's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is moderate at donation locations, processing locations, warehouses, retail locations, offices, and residential facilities due to the number of visitors. Donation locations must be easily accessible for convenient drop-off, with security to prevent unauthorized access while the premises is closed. Offices, processing, and warehouse operations have limited premises exposure due to lack of public access.
Retail stores have frequent visitors who can be injured by slips and falls. Aisles must be adequate and free of debris with flooring in good condition, 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.
Heavier items such as appliances should be kept on easily-reached shelves to prevent them from falling on customers. Crowd control may be a concern if the store offers special cut-rate sales during peak seasons.
Residential facilities must be equipped with hard-wired smoke detectors in each unit. Safety and security of each client is critical. As with the retail operations, flooring must be in good condition, and sufficient exits provided with backup lighting in the case of emergency.
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. There should be appropriate security for the area. If the business is open after dark, lighting must be adequate.
If janitorial services or other operations are performed off-premises, property damage may result to customers' property. Personal injury exposures include violating the privacy of clients, libel, and slander, wrongful eviction, or invasion of the right of private occupancy of a living unit.
Abuse and molestation exposure is very high because at-risk individuals are being supervised who could be abused by or could abuse others. No coverage is available for the abuser. While there is some coverage in the standard market for the institution where the abuse takes place, it is very restricted
More complete coverage should be purchased for the institution through specialized markets. The institution must take all care possible to protect clients from predatory employees and volunteers through criminal background checks, training, monitoring, and supervision, and report all allegations of abuse to the proper authorities. Shelters must be monitored to prevent incidents of client-on-client abuse.
Directors' and officers' exposure can be substantial. There should be published policies and procedures that are consistently followed, especially as they relate to membership, membership revocation, the election of officers, and removal of officers.
Products exposure can be high if the organization restores and repairs donated items. Because extensive modification may take place, the organization could be considered the manufacturer of an item that causes damage.
Professional liability exposure could be extensive depending on services provided. The assistance to at-risk individuals may include evaluations by psychologists and psychiatrists. Physical and occupational therapists may be on staff to assist in the development of clients' job-related motor skills.
Workers compensation exposure includes clerical employees who may develop repetitive motion injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, warehouse and retail store workers who can slip and fall or incur back injuries from lifting, and custodians who can develop respiratory ailments or contact dermatitis from working with chemicals to maintain the premises.
Because the primary goal of the organization is to help clients become self-sufficient, all such training must be well documented. There is a special concern with working with the disabled because of the potential for making an already difficult physical situation worse. Workers must be supplied with appropriate safety gear and be adequately supervised based on the type of job and the level of disability.
Instruction in proper lifting techniques must be provided, along with appropriate equipment for the situation. Handling donations may include exposure to hazardous substances, insects or vermin, or communicable diseases.
Equipment used for repair operations should be appropriately maintained to prevent injury. In any retail business, hold-ups may occur. Employees should be trained to respond in a prescribed manner.
Property exposures may include offices, donation centers, processing centers, housing facilities, retail stores, and warehouses. Ignition sources include electrical wiring, heating, and air conditioning systems. Operations may be in older buildings. All heating and electrical wiring should be up to date and meet current codes for the occupancy.
Many provide housing for clients who are monitored and receive various forms of assistance. Rules and guidelines must be in place and enforced because many of the clients may not be accustomed to caring for themselves, personal property, or the property of others. All residential units should have hard-wired smoke detectors. Many chapters maintain storage areas for donated items that are restored and then sold
Warehouses should have proper shelving, wide aisle-ways and separation of flammables from combustibles are essential. Cleaning and mending clothing can produce dust which adds to fire loads. Restoration of furniture will include flammable liquids such as adhesives, paint, and varnish. Work on donated automobiles may involve the use of grinding, spray painting or welding. These must be conducted away from combustible materials.
If food services are provided, there should be automatic shut-off devices and temperature controls in place and maintained. Valuation of the donated items, at the time of loss, could be a concern and should be considered when coverage is written. Donation centers may be targets for thieves or vandals. Adequate security should be in place after hours to deter pilferage or dumping.
Crime exposures come from employee dishonesty and theft of money and securities from cash drawers at retail stores. Background checks should be conducted on all employees and volunteers handling money. Employee dishonesty coverage should be expanded to include volunteers as employees. Money should be regularly collected 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 premises. There must be a separation of duties between persons handling deposits and disbursements and handling bank statements. Audits should be periodically conducted, preferably by an outside firm.
Inland marine exposures include accounts receivable for donor lists, work done for business partners, and government services provided, computers for office work and job training, and valuable papers and records for donors' records, employment records, and documentation for government and private grants.
All records must be duplicated and kept off site for easy restoration in the event of a loss. Goods in transit coverage will be needed if the organization transports donated goods to processing facilities and retail stores.
Commercial auto exposure is moderate due to the transportation of donated goods from collection centers to processing centers to warehouses to retail stores. If the organization transports clients, including disabled persons, the exposure increases.
All drivers must have an appropriate license for the vehicle being driven and acceptable MVR. Owned vehicles must be maintained, with records kept at a central location.
Volunteers of America Insurance Alaska - The Bottom Line
To protect your chapter, your volunteers, employees and the people you serve, having the right Volunteers of America insurance Alaska coverage is very 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 Non-Profit Insurance
Find useful articles on business insurance for non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations, charities and associations.
- Animal Shelter & Pet Rescue
- Classic & Collector Car Clubs
- Fraternal Organization
- Goodwill Insustries
- Labor Union
- Parent Teacher Organization
- Public Administration
- Red Cross Chapters
- Salvation Army
- Social Work Services
- Veterans Groups
- Volunteers of America
- Youth Groups
For 501(c) Non-Profits - Directors And Officers Liability Insurance has become an increasingly important policy to have. D&O coverage protects insured directors or officers against claims involving allegations of wrongful acts occurring while performing their duties as such. The insurance is divided into two separate coverages:
Side A coverage reimburses the individual directors and officers for payments made for loss each has incurred because of wrongful acts.
Side B coverage reimburses the corporation for the payments it has made on behalf of the directors or officers themselves.
General Liability is a foundational policy for almost any business. Most companies do not have any control over the final cost of injuries to a person injured because of their operations, products, or services. The person injured may be a young child, a blue-collar worker, a surgeon, or a homeless person.
The cost of the injuries may be comparatively minor or run into the millions of dollars, depending on the person and the extent of his or her injuries. Do you have sufficient assets to pay such a loss?
Commercial general liability insurance is designed to help you protect your assets with three main coverages:
- Coverage A: Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability
- Coverage B: Personal and Advertising Injury Liability
- Coverage C: Medical Payments
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Building, Business Personal Property, Business Income and Extra Expense, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Directors and Officers Liability, Employee Benefits, Professional, Umbrella, Hired and Non-owned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Earthquake, Equipment Breakdown, Flood, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Fine Arts, Musical Instruments, Commercial Articles Floater, Computers, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices, Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage and Stop Gap Liability.
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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.