Auto insurance rates can rise or fall by hundreds of dollars depending on the company you shop from. That’s why exploring many options is the best way to score cheap car insurance in Alaska.
NerdWallet looked at rates from the three biggest insurers in the state — Geico, Progressive and State Farm — and ranked them from cheapest to most expensive for these common driver types:
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Cheapest for good drivers
For drivers with no DUIs, at-fault crashes or moving violations.
The average price for good drivers among the three biggest insurers in Alaska was $1,245 per year. State Farm had the cheapest average price overall at $901 per year, which translates to roughly $75 a month. Geico was the next most affordable choice, and then rates spiked with Progressive.
Cheapest for young drivers
For drivers in their early 20s.
Drivers in their early 20s can often buy less coverage than older drivers; they generally don’t have as much savings at risk should they cause an accident and get sued. We looked at rates for young drivers carrying the minimum legal insurance limits and found relatively cheap car insurance in Alaska.
Geico paced the field with best deal at $465 per year. That’s $436 less than the lowest price we found for 30-year-old good drivers carrying higher insurance limits.
Cheapest for drivers with one at-fault crash
Causing a car accident usually results in higher car insurance rates when you renew your policy. This may be a good time to shop around, as some companies offer more forgiving prices than others if you have a blemished driving record.
For example, we found more than a $1,600 difference between the cheapest option, State Farm, and the third-cheapest, Progressive. Even if you have caused an accident, it’s wise to compare several rates and avoid settling for the first price you get.
Cheapest for drivers with poor credit
For drivers placed in the “poor credit” tier.
Insurers can use applicants’ credit-based insurance score to help determine the likelihood that they’ll make future claims. Companies often charge higher rates for drivers with poor credit than most other groups. Based on our findings, Alaskans with credit issues will likely face even steeper prices than drivers who have caused an accident.
Geico had the lowest average price for drivers with poor credit at $1,465 per year. That’s about $560 more than the cheapest deal we found for drivers of the same age with good credit, and about $400 higher than the best rate for drivers who’d caused an accident.
Cheapest for retired drivers
For drivers in their mid- to late 60s who no longer use their car for commuting.
Retirees can often score savings on car insurance simply due to cutting out the commute and driving less than others. We looked at rates for older drivers who traveled half as many annual miles as the other groups.
State Farm had the cheapest price at $718 per year, or roughly $60 a month. For comparison, the lowest price for our 30-year-old good drivers, who commute daily, was $183 a year higher.
Cheapest for drivers with a military connection
If you’re an active member of the military or a veteran — or have an immediate family member who is — you’ll likely get a very good price with USAA, an option that isn’t available to the general public. USAA had the cheapest average rate for every driver category listed above.
Minimum car insurance requirements in Alaska
Alaska car insurance policies must include liability insurance, which covers others’ property damage and injuries if you cause a crash.
Here are the minimum liability insurance limits you must select in Alaska:
- $50,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $100,000 bodily injury liability per crash
- $25,000 property damage liability per crash
If you live in an area in Alaska where vehicle registrations aren’t required, car insurance is optional. You can find a list of those areas through Alaska’s state website.
Note that those who’ve tallied six or more violation points on their record within the last five years need liability insurance regardless of where they live.
Even if car insurance isn’t required for you, it’s usually a wise purchase. After all, if you cause a crash and don’t have coverage, you could end up having to pay for others’ injury treatment and property damage out of pocket.
You may also want to consider adding other common options such as collision and comprehensive coverage and uninsured motorist coverage.
For more details on how your coverage options and limits work, visit NerdWallet’s guide to minimum car insurance requirements by state.
Alternative car insurance for high-risk drivers
If you’re denied car insurance on the voluntary market — because of past crashes or violations, a gap in your insurance or other reasons — you can apply for a policy through the Alaska Automobile Insurance Plan.
For more help getting cheap car insurance in Alaska, try NerdWallet’s car insurance comparison tool.
Here’s a summary of where you’ll find the cheapest insurance, by category:
Cheapest car insurance in Alaska
|Good drivers||State Farm|
|Drivers with one at-fault crash||State Farm|
|Drivers with poor credit||Geico|
|Retired drivers||State Farm|
For most categories, NerdWallet averaged rates for 30-year-old men and women in 10 ZIP codes and with the following coverage limits:
- $100,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person
- $300,000 bodily injury liability coverage per crash
- $50,000 property damage liability coverage per crash
- $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person
- $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per crash
- Collision coverage with $1,000 deductible
- Comprehensive coverage with $1,000 deductible
We used a 2013 Toyota Camry in all cases. Our sample retired driver was age 67 and drove 50% fewer annual miles than motorists in other groups. Our sample young driver was age 22 and carried the minimum required coverage levels. These are sample rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.
Alex Glenn is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updated June 19, 2017.