Posted June 25th, 2019 by Amy Danise
If you own property in Alaska, you want to make sure it’s properly protected with the right kinds of insurance. In some areas of Alaska, this can mean a good homeowners insurance policy along with both earthquake insurance and flood insurance.
Alaska has more earthquakes than any other part of the U.S. In fact, Alaska has 11% of the world’s recorded earthquakes, according to the Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety Commission.
Since the second-largest recorded earthquake ever shook Alaska in 1964, many newer buildings can withstand shaking better, and some older buildings have been reinforced. Still, the Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety Commission notes that best practices for reducing damage from earthquakes and tsunamis have not been used consistently in high-risk regions of Alaska.
You can see recent earthquakes in Alaska in this map from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Recommended insurance policies for Alaskans who want complete protection are:
- Alaska homeowners insurance: Home insurance covers problems such as fire, explosions, lightning, freezing, hail and theft.
- Earthquake insurance: Homeowners insurance generally doesn’t cover earthquake damage. You’ll need an earthquake insurance policy.
- Flood insurance: Alaskans can be at risk for tsunamis caused by earthquakes. Damage from tidal water like this is not covered by homeowners insurance. You’ll need flood insurance.
What does Alaska homeowners insurance cover?
A typical homeowners insurance policy in Alaska has six main coverage types:
- Dwelling (house) for a house damaged or destroyed by a problem covered by the policy.
- Personal property (all your stuff) pays for belongings (such as clothes and furniture) that are stolen, damaged or destroyed.
- Other structures pays for damaged or destroyed buildings and structures not attached to the house, such as garages, sheds and fences.
- Loss of use (additional living expenses) pays for additional costs such as hotel and restaurant bills if you can’t live at home due to damage covered by the policy.
- Personal liability pays if you are legally responsible for injury or property damage to someone else, and pays legal defense costs.
- Medical payments to others pays medical bills for people hurt on your property.
How much is Alaska home insurance?
The average yearly Alaska homeowners insurance premium is $974 for a common policy, called an HO-3, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. That’s less than the nationwide average of $1,192 -- but remember home insurance generally won’t cover quakes or tsunamis.
Alaska earthquake insurance prices
Unfortunately, Alaska has some of the highest prices for earthquake insurance because of all the seismic activity and likelihood of damaging quakes, according to Trusted Choice, a trade group for insurance agents. Prices for earthquake insurance use these factors:
- House location.
- Age of home.
- Value of home.
- Building materials used.
- The value of your belongings.
- Coverage levels you choose.
- Deductible amount you choose.
How do I get flood insurance in Alaska?
Tsunami-related flooding can be a destructive result of an earthquake, but earthquake insurance doesn’t cover flooding or tidal water damage. In Alaska, you can buy flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
10 largest Alaska homeowners insurance companies
|Rank in Alaska||Company||Market share % in the state|
|6||Western National Insurance||
|Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence, based on homeowners multiple peril insurance market share in 2018.|
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