From Seward to Fairbanks, Anchorage to Tok, Valdez to Delta Junction Alaska has thousands of miles of roadways. They range in length from the 23-mile paved stretch of the Denali to the 1,390 miles of the Alaska Highway. On any given day, they’re used by nearly half a million licensed drivers. Alaska’s drivers are involved in thousands of traffic accidents every day, including many that result in serious injury or death. Wherever you live and drive in The Last Frontier, carrying adequate car insurance is both a legal requirement and commonsense protection. This is your guide to Alaska’s basic vehicle insurance requirements and laws.
Alaska is unique among the 50 states in regard to motor vehicle insurance. In many of Alaska’s remote areas, neither vehicle registration nor insurance is required. You can find a complete list of exempt areas here. There is an exception to the exemption that requires you to carry minimum liability insurance if have received a ticket for a violation of six or more points within the past five years. If you do not live in an exempt area, you must carry the minimum amount of vehicle insurance listed below or face penalties. Under Alaska’s tort system, you may also be liable for actual damages (expenses associated with property damage and medical costs), economic damages (lost wages and earning capacity) and emotional and physical pain and suffering.
The bare minimum car insurance requirement for Alaska drivers is:
$50,000 bodily injury per person per accident
$100,000 bodily injury for all persons per accident
$25,000 property damage liability
Alaska law requires that insurers offer you the option to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in limits at least equal to the liability policy limits. You may opt to purchase additional coverage up to the allowable limits. You may also opt to reject the coverage, but must do so in writing. Alaska does not require you to purchase additional personal or Collision and Comprehensive coverage. However, if you own property or other valuable assets, supplementing the minimum requirements can help you protect yourself from monetary loss.
Penalties for Failure to Carry Alaska Auto Insurance
Alaska law requires that you carry proof of Alaska auto insurance at all times when driving a motor vehicle and show it if a law enforcement officer or any other authorized representative of the Department of Public Safety. Failure for a first offenses may mean a 90-day suspension of your driver’s license. A second offense can bring a one-year suspension. It will also result in six points on your driving record. Within the municipality of Anchorage, your vehicle can be impounded. You may be able to obtain a limited license for work purposes during a suspension, but the application will involve a $100 fee, as will reinstatement of your license when the suspension is lifted.
Alaska Car Insurance Premiums
Vehicle insurance premiums are regulated by the Alaska Division of Insurance. Insurance companies are allowed to charge premiums and award discounts based on a number of factors that can include:
The type of car you are insuring
How much you drive
Your driving record
Your marital status
Your geographic location
How long you’ve been driving
Whether or not you use your car for business
Alaska also allows insurers to consider your credit history to determine your premium.
How to Get the Cheapest Alaska Car Insurance Policy
You may be able to lower the cost of your premiums in the following ways:
Ask about available discounts for good driving habits, anti-theft devices, multiple cars on one policy, bundling your car insurance with your homeowners or renters policy, automatic or online payments and driving a hybrid or electric car
Compare quotes from a variety of providers on this website
Eliminate unnecessary coverage
Check to see if you qualify for any low-cost auto insurance program your state may offer
New Alaska Driving Laws
Laws regarding driving and car insurance can change frequently. It is your responsibility to stay current about the legal requirements in Alaska. The following laws have recently been enacted in Alaska and may affect your insurance coverage decisions.
Alaska has a financial responsibility law that means, in addition to carry the mandatory minimum insurance coverage, you must also work with your insurance provider and any other parties involved in an accident to settle and pay all claims if you were the driver at fault. The Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles will enforce this requirement by suspending your license until all claim are settled, paid, taken to trial or otherwise resolved.
There is a ban on texting while operating a motor vehicle for all drivers.