What You Need to Know About Alaska Insurance
You probably own a home, a car, a snowmobile and maybe an ATV as an Alaska resident. You might also be a business owner. Whatever you own and whatever you do, you will need the right Alaska insurance program to protect yourself, your family and your assets.
A member of the Trusted Choice® network can work with you to address all your insurance needs, whether business or professional. Contact an independent agent to obtain the Alaska insurance quotes that meet your coverage needs.
The Independent Channel for Alaska Insurance
There are tons of options when it comes to insurance providers. Big-name brands have lots of airspace on TV and radio, but also have a lot of ads in media that you've probably seen before. You might assume that because these companies have big budgets to advertise, their insurance products are the best.
There are actually two kinds of insurance agents:
- Captive agents work for large insurance companies. They are called "captive" because they can only sell insurance products from the company they work for.
- Independent agents have the ability to work with several insurance companies and sell their customers a variety of products, not just one. They help consumers compare coverage and prices before making a purchase.
The independent channel is an ideal place to buy insurance. Independent agents are knowledgeable, unbiased, and looking out for their customers. They also live right in your neighborhood and understand the risks you face. Alaska insurance is easy to find when you know where to look.
Buying Alaska Auto Insurance
The State of Alaska requires that all registered cars carry liability limits of $50,000 per person; $100,000 per accident for bodily injury; and $25,000 for property damage. In some areas of Alaska, registration is not required so neither is insurance. The one exception is that if a driver has received 6 points or more within the last five years. Then the driver must carry insurance. In any case, you will want to carry considerably higher liability limits to adequately protect yourself. In addition to liability insurance, a complete automobile insurance policy will provide this protection:
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in case someone who is liable to you has inadequate limits
- Medical payments to protect persons injured in your car, even if you are not liable
- Collision coverage
- Comprehensive coverage for losses other than collision, like vandalism or theft
- Optional coverage for such things as towing, roadside assistance and emergency car rental
Obtaining Alaska Homeowners Insurance
All people insure their homes, but many do not carry enough coverage. A standard homeowners policy will pay for the full replacement cost of your home if an incident results in its destruction. However, you may not have enough coverage to take advantage of this feature. Here are the coverages you can expect with your homeowners policy:
- Coverage for the dwelling itself, which includes any attached garages and storage facilities
- Coverage on other buildings or other structures on the same premises
- Coverage on your personal property located in the home or on the grounds
- Additional living expenses that result from an insured loss
- Liability coverage for claims for injury or damage suffered by others in connection with your property.
- Medical payments in case someone is hurt on your property, even if you are not at fault
All policies have conditions and exclusions. You should read your policy to be sure you do not have an uncovered exposure. Some of the exclusions of which most policyholders are not aware include the following:
- A homeowners policy will not cover flood damage.
- A homeowners policy will not cover earthquake damage.
- High-valued contents like jewelry, furs, fine art, silverware, stamp collections and coin collections are subject to limitations.
Setting Up a Business Insurance Program
Designing a business insurance program requires you to consider many alternatives. The basic coverages that you should consider for your business are the following:
- Coverage on real property, assuming you own the building where your business is located
- Coverage on the contents in your building
- Coverage on other contents that might be off the premises, like goods in transit, mobile equipment and property in storage
- Coverage for your lost income and extra expenses arising from an insured loss
- General liability to cover your premises and activities
- Vehicle liability for exposure arising from an at-fault accident
- Comprehensive and collision coverage on your owned vehicles
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
- Professional liability coverage if you have an errors or omissions exposure
- Workers compensation to cover work-related injuries
- Umbrella coverage to increase your liability limits
- Life, health and disability coverage if you want to offer them in your benefits plan
- Company-owned life insurance to pay for things like key person coverage and to fund a buy-sell agreement
These are just the basic coverages every business should consider. You would have to handle other exposures separately.
Buying Life Insurance in Alaska
If you are seeking a life insurance quote, you probably have one of three reasons:
- You might want personal life insurance to protect your family should something happen to you.
- You might want to add life insurance as an option in your company benefits program.
- You might need to fund a business perpetuation plan or cover the life of a key employee.
Life insurance is complex. You might need term insurance, whole life insurance, universal life insurance, individual coverage or group coverage.
Shopping for Health Insurance in Alaska
With the forthcoming Affordable Care Act (ACA), many things are changing in the health insurance marketplace. You are probably in one of the following situations:
- If you obtain your health coverage through your employer, you will probably keep that coverage, although the cost or benefits may change.
- If you do not have employer-provided coverage, then you are eligible to obtain coverage through Alaska's health insurance exchange starting October 1, 2013. Go to www.healthinsurance.org for more information.
- Your third alternative is to shop for coverage on the open market.
Just remember, if you have no coverage as of January 1, 2014, or if your coverage does not meet the minimum requirements of the ACA, you will be subject to a fine.
Getting Snowmobile Insurance in Alaska
In Alaska, you must register your snowmobiles, but you are not required to insure them. There are times and places in Alaska when a snowmobile is the only means of transportation. In the far north, it is not just a toy, but also a necessity. Even though insurance is not required, you would be foolish to use your snowmobile without having adequate insurance protection. A typical snowmobile insurance policy will cover the following:
- Liability protection in case you are in an at-fault accident
- Medical payments if someone is hurt on your snowmobile, even though you are not at fault
- Physical damage coverage on the snowmobile itself for damage or theft
- Optional coverages like towing and special equipment
There are some things you can do to lower your risk of loss or injury:
- Take an approved snowmobile safety course. You will probably get a credit on your insurance premium for taking the course.
- Wear a helmet at all times.
- Do not let children operate a snowmobile unless you train them to do so.
Buying Alaska Insurance
Everyone buys insurance, but not everyone buys the same coverage. To have the coverage and protection you need and peace of mind, work with professional agents who understand the market and your requirements.
If you deal with a member of the Trusted Choice network, you will have a partner who will work on your behalf to obtain the right Alaska insurance at the lowest possible cost. Contact an agent today for a sensible plan that meets your needs and budget.