Auto insurance requirements in Alaska
Almost every state requires auto insurance in order to be considered a legal driver. Drivers in Alaska must also carry proof of insurance that shows that you're carrying at least the minimum required coverage. This document — either printed or electronic — must be shown at the request of any law enforcement official.
Have a look at Alaska’s car insurance requirements below:
Alaska auto insurance exemptions
Because of its location and size, vast areas of Alaska are quite remote. In some of these areas, vehicle registration is not required, and therefore neither is car insurance. View a list of these areas.
Liability coverage in Alaska
Liability coverage is the only legally required car insurance coverage in Alaska. If you are at fault in an accident, liability pays for injury and lost wages suffered by the other driver or their passengers. It also covers damage to the other driver’s vehicle. Keep in mind that your liability coverage never pays for your injuries or damages to your vehicle.
The coverage limits are determined by each individual state and normally split into three categories. In Alaska, the minimum is listed as 50/100/25 and is explained in more detail below.
What are Alaska's state-mandated car insurance limits?
Put simply, an insurance limit is the bare minimum amount of car insurance that you can carry and still be considered legal. These limits are the most that an insurance company will pay in the event of a claim.
Liability limits are split into three distinct numbers that reflect the individual limits for bodily injury per person, per accident, and property damage per accident.
- Bodily injury coverage per person is the maximum amount a car insurance company will pay for a single person’s injuries in an accident that you cause.
- Bodily injury coverage per accident is the limit your insurer will pay for all injuries that you cause in an at-fault accident.
- Property damage per accident shows the maximum dollar amount that will be paid out for property damage you cause in an at-fault accident.
These numbers reflect the minimum limits required in Alaska but higher coverage amounts are available with most companies.
Do Alaska’s required minimums provide enough coverage?
Alaska’s required insurance limits are substantially higher than in most states. Whether or not you choose to increase those limits is contingent on what you can afford. Also, those with more assets have more to lose should an at-fault accident exceed their limits. A good rule of thumb is to increase your limits to the highest amount that you can reasonably afford. This is especially true of property damage limits, which Alaska sets at $25,000. An accident involving multiple vehicles could exhaust these limits rather quickly.
Alaska’s penalties for driving without proof of insurance
If you are found to be driving without the proper amount of insurance, you are in violation of the law and can face the following penalties:
- $500 fine for each occurrence
- Drivers license suspension between 90 days and one year (longer with each offense)
- Required SR-22 coverage
- Reinstatement fees
Alaska No Pay, No Play laws
Alaska is one of a handful of states to enforce what’s known as No Pay, No Play. This law states that those who do not carry car insurance are limited in the amount of money that they can receive in an accident in which they are not at fault. They typically cannot sue for non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
With this limiting the payout that a non-insured driver can receive, Alaska is hoping to further incentivize purchasing car insurance. However, this can be overridden if the at-fault driver was driving under the influence.
Optional car insurance coverage in Alaska
While Alaska law only requires liability coverage, most car insurance companies provide further coverage options. Below is a list of the more common types of car insurance available from most insurers:
- Collision: This covers your vehicle in the event of a collision with another car or object (except collisions with animals).
- Comprehensive: Comprehensive coverage protects your vehicle against non-collision damages, including perils like hail damage, theft, and animal damage. When comprehensive and collision coverages are purchased together, they are typically referred to as “full coverage.”
- Medical payments: Medical payments coverage (Med Pay) covers medical and funeral costs for you and your passengers up to your policy limit.
- Rental Car Reimbursement: If your vehicle is unable to be driven, this coverage pays for the cost of a rental until your car is fixed. Limits can be per day or per occurrence.
- Roadside assistance: The particulars of the coverage vary from one company to another, but roadside assistance typically helps with battery jumps, fixing flat tires, and towing along with some additional perks.
- Uninsured motorist coverage: As the name suggests, this coverage helps if you are in an accident with a motorist who does not carry liability insurance. The at-fault driver is always responsible for medical bills for you and your passengers, as well as damage to your vehicle.
Why adhering to Alaska’s car insurance requirements is important
Alaska insurance laws are in place to protect you, your assets, and other drivers. Adhering to these requirements keeps you legal and can give you the peace of mind that you won’t be held personally liable for damages or injuries that you might cause. Of course, it’s always a good idea to increase your coverage limits to an amount you can afford and to add extra coverage that can cover your own vehicle. The best way to find affordable coverage is to compare insurance quotes from different companies. The Zebra can help you find quotes from a number of top insurers so that you can find a policy to fit your needs.