More on Home Insurance
More on Home Insurance
Guide to homeowners insurance in The Last Frontier State.
Published September 25, 2020
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Homeowners insurance is essential financial protection for the 64% of Alaska residents who own a home, and not just because it’s required by mortgage lenders. A home insurance policy provides protection for your house, personal property, and assets in the event of the unexpected.
The average cost of homeowners insurance in Alaska is $959, but homeowners insurance policy premiums can differ greatly from home to home. Your rates will be directly impacted by your home’s condition and style of build, its location, your credit and claims history, and your policy deductible amount. Rates also vary from company to company for the same level of coverage, which is why it’s so important to compare policies from different companies.
To help simplify your shopping experience, Policygenius reviewed the five best homeowners insurance companies in Alaska. We also compared the average cost of different amounts of homeowners insurance coverage and created a guide with considerations for Alaska homeowners to keep in mind when shopping for insurance.
The average cost of homeowners insurance in Alaska is $959, according to the NAIC
When deciding on policy coverage, Alaska residents should consider the state’s earthquakes and extreme winter temperatures
A great homeowners insurance company is financially stable, has dependable customer service, affordable coverage, flexible policy options, and high quality discounts.
Farmers is a good choice if you’re an Alaskan homeowner looking for an affordable price point. Farmers is known for their personalized and flexible homeowners insurance policy options, offering a few different coverage packages: a lower cost option with standard coverage, a slightly more expensive but comprehensive option, and a higher cost option with the entire suite of coverage endorsements and enhanced coverage limits.
Read our full review of Farmers here
If you’re an Alaska homeowner looking to save on your premiums, Allstate may be your best bet. Allstate offers affordable coverage with a wide range of discounts and savings opportunities. Allstate’s various discounts range from everything from being over 55, having storm-resistant shutters, paying through automatic payments, and multipolicy discounts.
Read our full review of Allstate here
Buying your first home can be overwhelming. First-time homeowners may find State Farm to be the most helpful experience. State Farm has a useful website with educational resources, a quick and easy quoting process, and a mobile app where you can quickly pay your bill and file claims.
Read our full review of State Farm here.
One important indicator of an insurance company’s ability to pay out claims in an effective and timely manner is their financial stability, and Travelers is among the highest-rated insurers in that area. With an A++ rating with A.M. Best, Travelers has the highest score a company can receive with the insurance company credit rating agency. Travelers also has high marks with Standard & Poors, which measures long-term financial stability, as well as Moody’s, which measures what the expected losses would be if a company were to go into default.
Read our full review of Travelers here
Alaskan veterans or current members of the military looking for homeowners insurance may want to consider USAA. USAA only sells policies to current and former members of the military and their families and is consistently rated at the top of its class by A.M. Best with an A++ financial strength rating. USAA also offers a variety of discounts from good payment history discounts to multi-policy discounts.
USAA will also reimburse you the cost of your uniform without a deductible if it is damaged or stolen in an event that your policy covers.
Read our full review of USAA here
Here’s a look at the 10 most popular insurers in Alaska by market share, along with each company’s respective rating with A.M. Best, J.D. Power, and Policygenius.
|Company||A.M. Best Rating||J.D. Power Score||Policygenius rating|
|Country Financial||A+||3/5||Not rated|
|Horace Mann||A||Not rated||Not rated|
|IAT Insurance||A-||Not rated||Not rated|
|Liberty Mutual||A||2/5||Not rated|
|The Hartford||A+||3/5||Not rated|
|Western National Insurance Group||A+||Not rated||Not rated|
The average cost of homeowners insurance in Alaska will also differ considerably based on the amount of insurance you have for your home. Below are the average homeowners insurance rates in Alaska for five different levels of coverage, according to the most recent data from the NAIC.
|Coverage Amount||Average Cost|
|Greater than $500,000||$ 1,644|
Although known for its natural beauty, Alaska can also experience severe weather, with one of the most common natural hazards being extreme cold temperatures and winter storms from October to March. Homeowners insurance covers repairs if the weight of snow and ice causes your roof to fall through or damages your foundation, but residents should try to keep their roofs clear of ice dams and excessive snow.
Alaska has always been at risk for wildfires, but climate change has increased the amount of fires Alaskans experience in the summer months, with around 684 fires burning over 2.5 million acres in 2019. Homeowners insurance does cover fire damage, but if you live in a fire-prone area you may want to consider purchasing a replacement cost homeowners policy so your home is fully covered regardless of its price.
The most common natural hazard in Alaska are earthquakes, which occur once every 2.5 days on average, according to the NOAA. A standard homeowners insurance policy does not cover earthquakes, so Alaska homeowners may want to consider purchasing an earthquake insurance policy in addition to their homeowners policy. Earthquakes cause The Last Frontier State $2.6 million per year in annualized property losses. If an earthquake causes a mudslide or severe mudflow that damages your home, earthquake insurance may cover that damage as well.
No, homeowners insurance does not cover flooding, tsunamis, or landslides in Alaska or any of the other 49 states. Alaskans are at severe risk for flooding, with floods costing $10.3 million per year in annualized property losses. Because Alaska is at such high risk of flooding, tsunamis, and landslides, residents may want to consider supplementing that gap in coverage by purchasing a flood insurance policy.
Flood insurance can typically be purchased through the same insurance company that insures your home. Most flood policies are sold by private companies but administered by the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). An NFIP flood policy can cover up to $250,00 for the structure of your home and up to $100,000 for personal belongings.
The Alaska Division of Insurance is a valuable resource both for Alaska homeowners purchasing coverage for the first time or for those who are already insured. The ADOI website has helpful information about what to prioritize when selecting your coverage, preparing for natural disasters, and filing complaints.
Homeowners insurance companies can cancel your insurance for a number of reasons — maybe the insurance company no longer offers coverage where you live, or maybe they determined your home was too risky to insure after a recent inspection.
Unlike other states, Alaska doesn’t offer Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) Plan. If you’re unable to get homeowners insurance with a standard carrier, look into coverage with a surplus or excess lines insurer. Surplus carriers specialize in risks that are typically rejected by traditional insurance companies.
A couple of downsides to getting coverage through a surplus carrier is it’s typically expensive and the companies aren’t admitted with the state, meaning they aren’t subject to the same rules and regulations as traditional insurance companies. But surplus lines coverage is a solid option if you’re an Alaska resident looking for last minute coverage.
Not where you live? We've got you covered, check out our guide to homeowners insurance in your state
Kara McGinley is an insurance editor at Policygenius, specializing in home, auto and renters insurance. She previously worked as a freelance writer and copywriter, and has been writing about insurance since 2019. Kara is an expert at making complicated topics like property insurance simple to understand. Her work can be found in Teen Vogue, The Culture Crush, and more.
Kara has a B.A. in English from East Carolina University.
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