Key takeaways

  • Alaska has minimum mandatory insurance requirements for its state drivers, though the laws are not enforced in all regions of the state.
  • Failing to provide proof of insurance can result in a range of penalties including a $500 fine and possible suspension of your license.
  • Alaska is an at-fault state, meaning a driver determined to be responsible for an accident is required to pay for any damage that comes from the incident.

Alaska is one of the least connected states in the country in regards to its relatively small road system — the Alaska Highway — for a state of its size. This is because Alaska has regions that are unsettled and not easily accessed by roads, and some roads go long periods without receiving maintenance or updates. Because of this, Alaska car insurance laws are enforced differently than they are in most other states.

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While insurance is required in most regions, some areas do not require drivers to maintain coverage. Despite this, it is recommended that all drivers maintain coverage that meets Alaska’s auto insurance requirements in case of an accident so as to provide financial protection.

Minimum insurance required in Alaska

Alaska has a Mandatory Insurance Law which requires drivers of motor vehicles to carry a minimum level of auto liability insurance when operating their vehicle in specific parts of the state, depending on where the car is registered.

Alaska’s Mandatory Insurance Law sets the minimum level for auto liability insurance at the following:

  • $50,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $25,000 property damage liability per accident

In addition to maintaining a minimum level of coverage, Alaska car insurance laws also mandate that drivers keep proof of insurance with them while on the road. The state’s Financial Responsibility Law establishes penalties for drivers who are unable to provide proof of insurance.

Some regions in Alaska don’t require drivers to register their vehicles. In these areas, insurance is not required.

Penalties for driving without insurance in Alaska

Failure to provide proof of insurance

Failure to provide proof of liability insurance to an Alaska law enforcement officer may result in a citation. Penalties vary and the violation may also result in the impounding of your vehicle.

First offense

If you are caught driving without the requisite insurance under Alaska’s mandatory requirements, you may be subject to a $500 fine. For a first offense, your driver’s license may be suspended for up to 90 days.

Second offense

If a driver is issued a second citation for driving without insurance within 10 years of the first, the license suspension may increase up to one year. Penalties will likely be at least $500 as well. Penalties and suspensions can get more severe with subsequent violations.

Curing a violation with an SR-22

An SR-22 is not an insurance policy. In Alaska, as in other states, an SR-22 is a state-sanctioned certificate verifying financial responsibility. If your license has been suspended for failure to carry the required insurance, you will need to obtain and hold an SR-22 for up to three years. This can typically remove the suspension.

Getting into an accident without insurance

If you are involved in a car accident in Alaska that results in physical injury, death or property damage of over $500, you are required to show proof of insurance. Details of your insurance must be provided to the Alaska Department of Motor Vehicles within 15 days of the accident and must be provided by every driver involved in the incident regardless of who is at fault. Typically, the responding officer at the scene of the accident should provide forms for drivers to fill out and submit, but those forms can also be picked up from any DMV office.

If a driver fails to provide proof of insurance within 15 days, the DMV will suspend their license for a minimum of 90 days and can last up to a full year. The suspension is solely for driving without providing proof of insurance and is not reflective of whether or not the driver is at fault for the accident. Additional penalties may arise if the driver is deemed at fault. In some cases, drivers are able to apply for limited driving rights for things like work requirements if necessary.

While the loss of a license can be a significant penalty for drivers, the larger cost for an uninsured driver stems from responsibility for an accident. If you are responsible for a collision that causes physical injury or damage to a person or their vehicle and do not have insurance, you may be on the hook for paying for the cost of their repairs. Alaska is an “at-fault” state, which means the driver deemed responsible for the accident can be held personally liable for bodily injury and property damage caused by the crash. Depending upon the severity of injury and long-term ramifications, these damages can lead to significant financial loss and potential bankruptcy.

Alaska’s online insurance verification system

In 2018, Alaska introduced a limited online car insurance verification system. The purpose of the system is to provide information regarding a driver’s compliance with the state statute, AS 28.22.031 – Method of Proof of Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance, which requires, among other things, proof of insurance within 15 days following an accident.

Frequently asked questions

    • Driving without insurance is costly in its own right. Compounding the issue by providing false information to a law officer or your insurance company can make the situation much worse. Lying to an officer in Alaska can also result in hefty fines and suspensions. You may also discover that your car insurance company has denied a claim or canceled your policy if they learn that you provided false information in your application.
    • Car insurance in Alaska is relatively inexpensive compared to other states, averaging $2,330 a year for full coverage and $542 a year for minimum coverage, according to Bankrate’s 2024 study of quoted annual premiums from Quadrant Information Services. This is lower than the national average, which is $2,542 for full coverage and $740 for minimum coverage per year, on average. Premiums will vary for every driver based on  a number of personal factors that affect a driver’s rate. This can include driving history, age, location and car make and model. It is recommended that you shop around and compare quotes from the best car insurance companies.
    • An “at-fault” state, unlike a “no-fault” state, mandates that the individual deemed responsible for causing an accident is held financially accountable for injuries and damages resulting from that incident. This contrasts with “no-fault” states, where insurers typically cover their own insured’s injuries and may later seek reimbursement from the at-fault party or their insurance company. Regarding the question of whether Alaska is a no-fault state, it is not; Alaska operates as an “at-fault” state. This means that in Alaska, the person determined to be at fault in an accident is usually required to bear the costs associated with the damages.
    • When contemplating whether to inform your car insurance company about minor accidents, it’s typically wise to err on the side of caution. Even if the incident seems minor, unforeseen complications could arise later. For instance, the other party involved might claim a serious injury months or even years after the accident. In such cases, if you haven’t notified your insurer promptly, it might be less inclined to accept the claim due to the delay in reporting. Reporting the incident when it happens can help ensure that your insurer has all the necessary information, which could be crucial for protecting your interests in the long run.