Alaska car insurance laws
There are a few things that are important to know about Alaska car insurance laws. First, although car insurance is required in the state’s settled regions, there are areas that are exempt from registration and mandatory insurance. These are areas with few roads and limited access to the rest of the state. Even if you live in one of these areas, though, you should consider purchasing an insurance policy to protect yourself in the event of an accident.
Another factor that is important to note is the Alaska minimum car insurance requirements in those areas where insurance is needed. Those limits are often written as 50/100/25, which refers to the amount of liability insurance you need to carry to drive legally.
Car insurance in Alaska is cheaper than in many states. While the national average for a minimum coverage policy is $563 per year, in Alaska the average is $340. A full coverage policy, with comprehensive and collision coverage, will cost on average $1,434.
Car insurance laws in Alaska
Alaska mandates that you carry a minimum amount of liability coverage, which is broken down into three parts, often written as 50/100/25:
- $50,000 per person, per accident, liability for bodily injury or death
- $100,000 total per accident liability for bodily injury or death
- $25,000 for property damage
Liability insurance in Alaska
What the liability limits mean is that if one person in the other car is injured in an at-fault accident and you carry the minimum liability, your insurer will pay up to $50,000 for their medical costs. If more than one person is injured, the insurer will pay up to a total of $100,000.
The property damage is used to pay for repairs or replacement if you damage another car in an at-fault accident, or other property such as a mailbox or fence.
Note that this liability coverage is for the other car and those in it, not your car, yourself or your passengers. If you are in an at-fault accident and want coverage, you will need to purchase optional collision and comprehensive coverage and medical payments coverage.
Although the Alaska auto insurance requirements are fairly high compared with other states, they may not be enough if you are in a serious accident. Medical costs can be high in Alaska, and you could use up the minimum coverage quickly. If you can afford to do so, it is a good idea to purchase more than the minimum, such as 100/300/50.
Is Alaska a no-fault state?
Alaska is not a no-fault state. In a no-fault state, insurers pay out on claims for their policyholders no matter who is at fault. No-fault laws are designed to limit the number of claims, especially smaller ones, that arrive in the courts following an accident. In a no-fault state, you would be required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage to pay for medical bills if necessary.
Alaska does not follow this system, so you are not required to carry any type of insurance that could pay out on a claim if you or your passengers are injured in an accident. Such coverage is optional, but highly recommended. It can save you from significant out-of-pocket expenses in the event of an at-fault accident — which can happen to anyone, no matter how safe a driver they are.
Penalties for driving without insurance in Alaska
Drivers who fail to carry proof of insurance with them when on the road will be fined $500 and may find their license suspected. The suspension can last from 90 days to one year depending on the driver’s prior infractions.
To get your license reinstated you may be required to obtain an SR-22. This form proves that you have the financial means to pay for damages, and it must be certified by your insurer. There may also be fees due when your license is reinstated.
Additional auto insurance coverage options in Alaska
Although Alaska auto insurance requirements are high compared to other states, they may not be enough to cover you completely if you were in a serious accident. Insurers offer a number of optional insurance types that will provide financial protection for you in the event of an accident or other mishap:
- Collision: Liability insurance does not extend to your own vehicle. Collision coverage, however, will pay for damage to your car in an at-fault accident.
- Comprehensive: Comprehensive pays for damage caused by non-collision sources, such as theft, vandalism or natural events. If a tree falls on your car in a windstorm, for example, your comprehensive coverage will pay for damages.
- Medical payments: This helps pay for your injuries in an at-fault accident, or injuries suffered by a passenger in your car or by a pedestrian who is injured in an accident you cause.
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage: More than 15% of Alaska drivers do not have insurance policies, either because they live in a remote area or because they are driving illegally. This coverage will pay for injuries and damage if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver. It will also help pay for claims when the other driver’s insurance is not sufficient to pay all the bills associated with an accident.
- Gap coverage: When your car is totaled and you file a claim with your insurer, you will be given a check for the car’s depreciated value. This coverage will pay the difference between the totaled car’s depreciated value and what you still owe on it.
Frequently asked questions
What is the best car insurance company in Alaska?
There are a number of car insurance companies that are writing insurance policies in Alaska for reasonable rates. Shop around to see who can offer you the best customer service and lowest price for your own situation.
What is the cheapest car insurance in Alaska?
Finding the cheapest car insurance rates in Alaska can take a little work because the company that gives your neighbor the lowest rates may not do the same for you. Call several insurers or get online quotes from their websites to find out who has the lowest prices for your circumstances. You can also check our Cheapest Car Insurance in Alaska 2021 page for more information.
Are Alaska’s minimum requirements enough for me?
Alaska insurance law calls for a 50/100/25 minimum requirement, which is fairly high. In a serious accident, however, you might end up with out-of-pocket costs. It is a good idea to purchase as much liability insurance as you can, since medical costs can go sky-high very quickly, and $25,000 for property damage might not be enough if you were to total a large SUV, truck, or luxury car. A better option would be to purchase 100/300/50 coverage, which is common for Alaska drivers.