Thanks to arctic temperatures that can drop to 80 degrees below zero, months of snow and ice covered byways, vast networks of unpaved roads, and the adventurous inclinations of Alaskans themselves, few states in the U.S. are tougher on vehicles than Alaska. The Alaskan Highway alone has been responsible for the untimely end of more vehicles than most big city interstates in the lower 48. Add to that the laws established by the Alaska Division of Insurance regarding required automobile insurance coverage (and the consequences of not abiding by them), and it's imperative that residents of the Frontier State know their p's and q's when it comes to procuring automobile insurance in the Great White North.
Alaska Auto Insurance Coverage is the Law
Whether you're already shopping around for Alaska auto insurance quotes, or the long winter just has you wondering if you can get better rates with a new provider, there are a few things every Alaskan should know about automobile insurance before they sign any papers. First and foremost, the state of Alaska requires each and every vehicle to be insured, without exception. Known as a Tort State in insurance circles, Alaska requires its residents to cover their vehicles with a minimum Bodily Liability Coverage of $50,000 per individual and $100,000 per accident, as well as $25,000 in Property Damage Coverage. In layman's terms, that means that if you're in an accident that's determined to be your fault, your insurance company will pay up to $50,000 to cover your own medical expenses, up to $100,000 for the medical expenses of all involved, and up to $25,000 to repair any resulting property damage (including damage to other vehicles).
Alaska Auto Insurance Costs (Including the Cost of Going Without)
What is that basic coverage going to cost you? According to data gathered by the independent Insurance Information Institute (III), the average annual rate for carrying the minimum required auto insurance in Alaska is $973, though that rate is by no means set in stone. The Alaska Division of Insurance makes it clear how variable those rates can be, citing quotes that range from $587 a year for a 72 year old man in Juneau, to $1,352 for a 19 year old woman in Anchorage. And while those figures aren't exactly a drop in the bucket (the national average is $795 per annum), it's quite a bit better than the alternative. Trying to dodge Alaska's mandatory insurance laws is no laughing matter. Simply failing to provide proof of insurance, whether you're insured or not, can get your car impounded inside Anchorage city limits, and if you're found to be operating an uninsured vehicle, plan on having your license revoked for up to 6 months, no matter where you live in AK. In short, rolling the dice on being uninsured in Alaska isn't worth the risk. Whether your motivations are avoiding the long arm of the law, or just responsibly insuring your vehicle, it's well worth your time, and money, to search out the best Alaska auto insurance quotes possible if you're driving a car on Alaska's roadways.
A Few Alaska Auto Insurance Extras to Consider
Beyond the liability and property damage coverage required by the state of Alaska, there are several optional coverages that should be on your radar. For starters, it's not a bad idea to consider upping your liability coverage if you have the means. The nearest medical facilities in the Frontier State can literally be hundreds of miles away, making even simple transportation costs exorbitant in the event of a serious auto accident. Add to that the ever rising costs of health care (and health insurance premiums, which have risen by more than 50% over the last decade according to the office of Alaska Senator Mark Begich) and it's more important than ever to make sure you're protected financially should the worst happen. In fact, according to the insurance giant Allstate, most Alaskans carry Bodily Liability Coverage of $100,000/$300,000, with an additional $50,000/$100,000 of Uninsured Motorist Coverage tacked on, in the interest of playing it safe. Finally, if you're as worried about protecting your car as you are about being able to cover your medical bills, you'll probably want to think about throwing Collision and/or Comprehensive Coverage into the mix as well.
How to Get the Best Alaska Insurance Quotes
Truth be told, it's tough to put a firm number on what auto insurance is going to cost you in Alaska, no matter what national studies and annual averages suggest. Additional coverage like Rental Reimbursement, Towing, and Medical Payments will raise your rates if you opt for them, while good driver discounts, insuring multiple vehicles, and doubling up on auto and home insurance can all earn you a break in your rates. Finally, be aware that things such as age, gender, marital status, type of vehicle, driver history, and even your credit history can influence Alaska auto insurance quotes. The only sure bet in finding the best auto insurance quotes is shopping around. Whether you go it alone, or use a quote finding service like NetQuote .com to do the work for you, the only way to ensure you're getting the best deal on Alaska auto insurance is to search far and wide to obtain the best rates for you and yours.