Alaska Car Insurance Requirements
Car insurance requirements for Alaskan drivers are somewhat different than what are required in the country’s other 49 states. Much of this is due to the extreme remote nature of most of the state and weather that plays a large role in how often automobiles are used.
Consider the fact that nearly half of the residents of Alaska live in and around Anchorage. And in a state with only about 725,000 full-time residents, their largest city is dwarfed by places like New York, Dallas, and Atlanta. As for the remaining 350,000+ residents, they are scattered throughout a state that is twice the size of Texas.
The remoteness of vast portions of Alaska has led the state legislature to create a very unique compulsory auto insurance law. The law states that “the owner of a motor vehicle subject to registration have a liability insurance policy in effect that complies with the statute.” The key to the law is the phrase “subject to registration.”
The law recognizes literally hundreds of small towns, villages, and remote areas where vehicle registration is not required; areas like Adak, Edna Bay, and Lake Minchumina. Because cars don’t have to be registered in these places, auto insurance is also not required. In places like Anchorage and Juneau, both registration and insurance are required.
Liability Limits in Alaska
Car owners living in areas where registration and insurance are required are also subject to liability limits of 50/100/25. These three numbers represent tens of thousands of dollars of coverage to pay for bodily injuries, deaths, and property damage.
In addition, all three numbers represent dollar amounts on a per-accident basis. That means if you had three accidents in a single year, the total amount your insurance company would pay could be as high as $375,000. Liability limits for car insurance are not set annually like they are for health insurance.
Penalties for Insurance Violations
Drivers found guilty of operating an uninsured motor vehicle outside of one of the excepted regions face fines and possible license and registration suspensions. Furthermore, drivers must furnish proof of insurance and inspection whenever police officers request it. Failure to do so can result in additional fines.
On a final note, car owners who live in one of the excepted regions may lose their insurance exemption if they’re found guilty of violations with a combined point value of six or more. In such a case that driver would be forced to purchase a liability policy and maintain it until his record is clean. He would be subject to the same penalties other Alaskans face for insurance violations.