Alaska is a beautiful place, and many landlords wish to purchase properties here and rent them to others. It's a great way to enhance their real estate investment portfolios, but they have to consider the potential risks that come with renting. In fact, Alaska can be a dangerous place, with wildfires, flooding, and earthquakes.
Your goal is to protect your investment. The best way to do that is to get a homeowners insurance policy. However, many people wonder: Is homeowners insurance required? Alaska has no rules in place for homeowners insurance, but most mortgage lenders will want you to have it to protect your property and assets.
There are many coverage options and providers in Alaska. Therefore, it's crucial to find the best cheap home insurance available. It's often hard to do that, and that's why we made this guide!
We researched the best homeowners insurance providers in Alaska to help you search for appropriate coverage options. Likewise, this guide offers tips for choosing home insurance!
Understanding Alaska Homeowners Insurance
Landlords, property managers, and homeowners want to safeguard their investments, and understanding home insurance in Alaska is the first step. It will be your safety net against unexpected problems and will protect your assets and property.
Average Home Insurance Costs in Alaska
It's hard to tell you what the average annual cost will be for homeowners insurance in Alaska because there are many variables.
In fact, we looked at average annual rates for different dwelling coverage amounts with $300,000 or $100,000 in liability coverage.
Typically, homeowners insurance rates vary based on the factors specific to your needs. These include the house's location, age, type, size, policy coverage limits, types of coverage listed, and deductibles. A change in one or two of those things could decrease or increase the cost of your premiums!
However, the annual average cost for a dwelling coverage of $250,000 in Alaska will run about $1,056, which is below the national average ($1,428/year). We think the rate is lower because of the natural disasters Alaska is prone to get, which aren't covered by the basic policy.
Homeowners Insurance vs. Landlord Insurance
Landlords and property managers should determine the differences between landlord insurance and homeowners insurance.
Typically, homeowners insurance caters to a person's personal belongings and the home's structure. This might not be enough for rental properties.
Alternatively, landlord insurance is special coverage for landlords and property managers. It will often extend protection to the structure, liability from tenant incidents, and potential rental income loss.
It's also important to remember that insurance policies have specific conditions and terms. You must disclose how you will use the property to the insurer to avoid policy cancellation, denied claims, and other problems.
When should you use homeowners insurance? Here are a few scenarios where it might be beneficial:
Certain policies offer coverage options for home-sharing situations. This means you're renting a portion of the primary residence. For example, you rent a bedroom to a tenant.
However, each company is different, so you must go through the policy carefully. Likewise, you may want liability coverage for tenants and their guests.
You might be living in the property but decide to rent it out. However, you can't do that immediately because you must convert the space into a rental property. During that transitional period, you can get home insurance.
When you live at the property but plan to temporarily move and rent it to another, you might want to have homeowners insurance during the absence. It's wise to talk to your insurance provider about this to make sure you have appropriate coverage.
If your property is vacant and not being rented, you may wish to maintain homeowners insurance. This will protect your personal belongings and property when you aren't there. However, make sure to tell the insurer about the vacancy because this could affect coverage options and limits.
How to Choose an Alaska Homeowners Insurance Company
When shopping around for the best home insurance company, it's crucial to find one with high financial strength and good customer service. Likewise, it should offer many coverage options at affordable prices.
Typically, standard homeowners insurance policies will generally include:
- Dwelling Coverage - This will pay to replace or repair the damage to your home's actual structure and extends to the outbuildings (tool shed, detached garage, and deck).
- Loss of Use - If you can't live in the house during replacements or repairs, this coverage will reimburse you for restaurant meals, hotel stays, and related expenses.
- Liability Coverage - This offers protection if someone gets hurt on your property or has their personal property damaged.
- Personal Belongings Coverage - This will pay to replace or repair damaged personal items, including clothes, electronics, appliances, and furnishings. However, if you have expensive items, you may need a separate scheduled personal property policy to cover them.
Unique Policy Needs for Alaska Homeowners Insurance
Alaskans typically know the risks associated with cold temperatures and storms. However, you should consider the possibility of wildfires, earthquakes, flooding, and volcanic activity.
When shopping for homeowners insurance in Alaska, read the policy carefully to understand what is and isn't covered. Let's go over a few of the unique options available:
Generally, Alaska sees flooding because of coastal storm surges, snowmelt, river ice jams, and heavy precipitation. Most homeowners insurance policies won't cover that. Therefore, you'll have to buy flood insurance separately. It's usually available through the National Flood Insurance Program.
Check flood maps of the property's location to see how at-risk you are. Then, consider flood insurance for more peace of mind.
Freezing Temperatures and Winter Storms
Alaska is known for its freezing temperatures, long winters, icy conditions, and heavy snowfalls. Therefore, you should be aware of the types of damage that might bring to your home. This can include structural damage because of the weight of the snow or water damage caused by frozen pipes.
Typically, the home insurance company will cover winter-related damages, but you might need extra coverage.
Wildfires aren't as common in Alaska, but the severity and risk of them might increase significantly because of climate change. Home insurance generally covers fire damage, including wildfires, but you should make sure.
Did you know that Alaska sees seismic activity frequently? Earthquakes can be of a high magnitude, which poses a risk to your house. A standard homeowners insurance policy might not cover earthquake damages, so you might want to purchase additional coverage.
Earthquake insurance generally features a separate deductible, which is about 10 percent of your policy's coverage. Therefore, if you've got $200,000 in coverage, you'd have to pay $20,000 before the insurance pays out.
There are more than 130 volcanoes in Alaska, and it sees tons of volcanic activity. Luckily, your homeowners insurance policy should cover this. Likewise, Alaskan volcanoes are generally remote, so ash fallout is the biggest concern.
Other Factors to Consider When Assessing Alaska Homeowners Insurance Companies
We've covered the specific issues relating to Alaska as a whole, but check out our step-by-step guide below to make a more informed decision about appropriate homeowners insurance companies:
- Your Requirements - It's important to think of the property's value, the coverage amounts you need, and the unique risks associated with Alaska. Then, check into additional coverage.
- Research Options - Explore each company's website, read the reviews, and learn about its industry reputation. You want a brand that will process your claims quickly and provide excellent customer service.
- Compare Rates - Check the standard policies to ensure they cover the risks you worry about. Likewise, you might focus on additional endorsements for specific requirements.
- Focus on Cost - Get quotes from at least three companies. The cheapest home insurance might not give you enough protection, so you should be balancing cost with reputation and coverage.
Best Home Insurance Companies in Alaska
Are you ready to experience the home insurance options available in Alaska? Here are the top five companies:
Allstate is an excellent home insurance company. Customers can choose their policies based on their specific needs. Let's learn more about the coverage and options:
Coverage and Features
If you choose Allstate for home insurance, you'll get liability coverage, personal property replacement cost options, and dwelling coverage. Likewise, it covers medical payments for anyone injured on the property, including household members and guests.
You can choose extra protection, which includes things like:
- Flood Coverage - Allstate covers most water damage from washing machine problems and burst pipes. However, flooding from rivers and oceans isn't covered, so you'll have to buy a separate policy.
- HostAdvantage - Allstate is one of the first home insurance companies offering home-sharing insurance. This will protect you from theft or damage when renting the property to others.
- Personal Umbrella Policy - Though standard coverage does include liability insurance, it might not be enough. This will protect you from a lawsuit if a visitor is injured on the property. You may consider purchasing additional coverage for your homeowners policy.
You'll save money by bundling home and auto insurance. Plus, you can get many other discounts, including:
- Paying your bill on time and paying in full
- New home buyer discount
- Discount for switching to Allstate from another company
- Loyalty discounts for staying with the brand
- Early signing discount, for when you get a new policy before the existing one expires
- Discounts for home alarm systems and other protection options
- Discounts for being claim-free (having no claims within a specified period)
2. State Farm
State Farm provides many different insurance products, including home insurance, renters insurance, rental property insurance, and protection for condos. You will definitely find the right policy to meet your needs.
Coverage and Features
With State Farm, you can receive these home insurance options:
- Dwelling coverage
- Protection for other structures
- Medical expenses
- Personal property
- Personal liability coverage
- ALE (Additional Living Expenses)
You may also customize your policy with various optional coverage limits, such as:
- Inflation guard
- Valuable possessions protection
- Law and ordinance coverage to rebuild/repair your home after any covered loss
- Coverage for fraud, cyber events, and identity theft losses
- Identity restoration coverage
Likewise, State Farm offers ways to save money by bundling your home and auto insurance together. You can also enjoy these discounts:
- Discounts for updating the home's utilities
- Discounts for going many years without filing a claim
- Discounts for installing automatic sprinklers
- Discounts for installing impact-resistant roofing
- Discounts for home monitoring systems, including smoke alarms and security alarms
The Chubb Corporation has been around since 1882 and is now a global business operating in 54 different countries. It offers many products, and homeowners insurance in Alaska is one of them.
Coverage and Features
Chubb offers home insurance, which includes coverage for personal property and your home. Likewise, there are policies to cover fire damage, smoke, vandalism, theft, and bad weather. Guest personal liability and medical coverage are included, as well as loss-of-use protection.
Plus, Chubb's Masterpiece option includes coverage for water backup problems from interior sewers and drains.
There are many add-ons available, but you should contact an agent to determine what's right for you. These include:
- Valuable Articles - If you have antiques, jewelry, artwork, or other big items, you can get this insurance.
- Flood Insurance - This covers up to $15 million.
- Earthquake Coverage - You can easily recover from and prepare for an earthquake.
You'll find many discounts available from Chubb, such as:
- Discounts for backup generators
- Discounts for being claim-free for three or more years
- Discounts for having a sprinkler system, home security system, fire-resistant construction, fire alarm, and more
- Discounts on renovated or newly built dwellings
- Discounts for bundling life insurance, car insurance, and homeowners insurance
4. Liberty Mutual
If you need homeowners insurance in Alaska, you might consider Liberty Mutual. It has many insurance products and can help you save money.
Coverage and Features
Though not the cheapest home insurance, you will get coverage for:
- The dwelling
- Other structures
- Medical coverage
- Personal property
- ALE (Additional Living Expenses)
- Liability protection
Optional coverage limits can include:
- Flood insurance
- Hurricane coverage
- Earthquake coverage
- Replacement cost for your belongings
- Personal property coverage
- Umbrella coverage
- Blanket jewelry coverage
- Inflation protection
The discounts include:
- Paperless policy discount
- New roof discount
- Preferred payment discount
- New or renovated home discount
- Early shopper discount
- Claims-free discount
- Multipolicy discount
Progressive was founded in 1937 and offers many options for homeowners insurance coverage. Let's learn more about it:
Coverage and Features
With home insurance in Alaska from Progressive, you'll get coverage for:
- Loss of use
- Personal belongings
- Dwellings and other structures
- Medical payments
- Personal liability
There are additional coverage options, but you'll have to talk to an agent.
It's possible to get discounts on your home insurance by paying the premium for a full year, bundling policies, and more.
Other Notable Alaska Home Insurance Companies
If you want the cheapest home insurance companies, the ones listed above can be great. However, here are a few more to consider:
- Country Financial
- USAA (only available to current or previous Military members)
You've put a lot of money into your rental property, and you want to protect it. Though Alaska homeowners insurance isn't required, you should consider it. Overall, it could secure your investment and offer peace of mind.
It's challenging to navigate home insurance in Alaska. Therefore, you must ensure that everything meets your needs. Don't just focus on the standard policies if you're a landlord or a property manager.