Known as “The Last Frontier”, Alaska is both the largest and least densely populated state in the country. Situated in the far north and separated from the United States mainland by Canada, Alaska is full of scenic wonders and makes for some amazing driving scenery. Speaking of driving – let’s take a look at Alaska’s auto insurance, how it works, and what you’ll need to know to get started with driving Alaska’s highways.
Alaska Auto Insurance Laws
In Alaska, the state liability coverage minimums are:
- Bodily Injury – $50,000 per person
- Bodily Injury – $100,000 per accident
- Property Damage – $25,000 per accident
Optional coverage options in Alaska:
- Comprehensive Coverage
- Collision Coverage
- Medical Payments Coverage
- Rental Car Reimbursement Coverage
- Roadside Assistance Coverage
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage
There are a few key points that drivers who are new to Alaska’s auto insurance system must know. First, Alaska (like many states) follows what is known as the “tort” system. This means that whenever there is an accident, one of the drivers is going to be determined to have caused the accident, and is labeled the “at fault” party. This person and their insurance will be responsible for paying out claims and dealing with any lawsuits. While this does mean your insurance premiums likely won’t rise if you don’t cause accidents – it does leave one exposed if they happen to be in an accident caused by an uninsured driver.
The Alaskan government has determined that all drivers must have auto insurance coverage in a couple of different areas to be considered legally allowed to drive. Bodily Injury Liability insurance is the policy that covers medical treatment and related costs for the other parties in an accident where you are found to be at fault. For instance, if the at fault party rear-ends the car in front of them causing the driver to get whiplash, the at fault party’s Bodily Injury Liability insurance will cover their treatment, lost wages, and other financial claims from the accident. The minimum amount of this insurance that Alaskans must have is $50,000 per person in a single accident and $100,000 for all parties in a single accident.
The other Alaska auto insurance policy that is legally mandatory is called Property Damage Liability insurance. This type of insurance covers claims for property damage against the at fault driver when they cause an accident. For example, if a driver swerved to avoid an obstacle in the road and hit a parked car, the driver’s Property Damage Liability insurance will cover the repair and body work costs for the parked car. The minimum amount of coverage here is $25,000.
Insurance Rates In Alaska
Auto insurance premiums in Alaska are very affordable, coming in right around the national average. In June of this year, Alaska auto insurance rates averaged $1443, which is just a couple of dollars higher than the $1439 national median. At an annual average rate of $2095, drivers in Anchorage pay quite a bit more for their auto insurance; this is typical for most metropolitan areas in the country. Drivers in Juneau pay about $1450 per year for their auto insurance. With all things considered, auto insurance is priced very reasonably for Alaskan drivers.
Accidents and Theft
In regards to crash statistics, the news is both good and bad for Alaskan drivers. In 2007 (the most recent year for which official crash data is available) there were a total of 10,578 crashes reported on Alaska’s roads. This represents a decrease of over 1200 total crashes in just a year, as there were 11,728 crashes reported in 2006. The bad news is that while the total number of crashes decreased, there was an increase in fatalities resulting from these crashes. 2006 saw just 74 fatalities, and that number jumped to 82 in 2007. If the accident fatality totals continue to trend upward, it could mean higher Alaska auto insurance rates. With luck, these numbers have already declined.
As one could well imagine, the risk of auto theft is somewhat limited for Alaska residents. There are few ways for criminal elements to move enough stolen automobiles out of Alaska to make it a profitable venture, so total auto theft numbers remain low. In 2009, Alaska residents reported 1689 incidences of auto theft, which was slightly up from 2008’s total of 1630 stolen vehicles. These numbers are down more than 35% since 2001, and are likely to continue to trend downwards as time goes on and vehicle owners continue to be more careful about protecting their automobiles.
4AutoInsuranceQuote.com is proud to help Alaskans track down the best possible rates for auto insurance. Our handy search tool will help you compare car insurance rates from multiple insurance companies, and allow you to find out more about how to save on your insurance.
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Alaska Auto Insurance Agents
- Anchor Point
- Big Lake
- Eagle River
- Eielson AFB
- Fritz Creek
- North Pole
- Port Lions
- Two Rivers
Additional State of Alaska Insurance Information
- Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles – Official Alaska department of administration website.
- Alaska Division of Insurance – From the department of commerce, community, and economic development.
- Mandatory Insurance – From the Alaska division of motor vehicles website.
- Alaska Highway Safety Laws – Key laws from the GHSA.