Purchasing a home is one of the most important investments you will make, and so it follows suit that you need a robust plan to protect it. There are a couple of must-haves your homeowners insurance policy should provide you with: transparent and full coverage, friendly insurance agents, and an alliance with an insurance company that’s in good financial standing.

Shopping around for coverage often feels way more complicated than it needs to be. Making sure you’re getting exactly the coverage you need, without throwing money out the window, is what we’re all about.

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The Best Homeowners Insurance in Alaska

Freshome’s Recommended Homeowners Insurance Companies in Alaska: State FarmSafecoAllstateTravelers InsuranceCountry FinancialUmialik Insurance Company

First, some bad news. Many of the more prominent U.S. insurance companies do not provide coverage in Alaska, namely Amica and Progressive (though the latter does provide some sub-insurer coverage for RV’s and ORV’s through USAA). However, this is only problematic if you are moving from the continental 48 and hope to bring your current coverage up to Alaska with you.

In our search to find the best coverage, we gathered quotes from the top three insurance companies that served Alaska homeowners: State Farm, Allstate, and Safeco, a Liberty Mutual company. Because of Alaska’s sizeable active and retired military population, USAA is a popular insurance company as well; however, for the sake of addressing the coverage needs of the most people possible, we did not gather a quote from this provider in our research.

We found a home in Anchorage that was 2,083 square feet, three beds, and two baths with a security system installed. Using these home specifications across all three providers, we received the following monthly quotes: $82 at State Farm, $101 at Safeco, and $125 at Allstate. (Remember: Your quotes will probably be much different — just use ours as a ballpark estimate.)

Beyond gathering quotes, we also looked at additional providers in Alaska and investigated their JD Power rating as well as other financial strength ratings to find a solid assortment of providers that met a specific criteria of high satisfaction and excellent financial solvency. Those with a JD Power Overall Satisfaction of three stars or more and an A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating of a B+ or higher are mentioned, along with their financial strength rating from another rating service.

With this stringent quality requirement, we’ve been able to weed out the best of the best when it comes to financial solvency and customer service.

What You Should Know Before Getting a Quote

Now that you are aware of the companies that provide the best homeowners insurance in Alaska, it’s time to gather some quotes. Determining what kind of policy you should get — and brushing up on how homeowners insurance even works — are the next big steps.

Homeowners insurance is a comprehensive policy that provides financial assistance for the repair or replacement of the physical damage of your home, for the medical payments of others, and for personal liability. Sometimes it may feel difficult to find the best policies to safeguard your home, but with enough time, research, and patience, you can rest assured that the pieces will fall into place.

Compare Homeowners Insurance Rates in Alaska

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Determining the amount of coverage you need is an important step in finding the best policy for your needs. It’s your responsibility to make sure the coverage amount you provide is adequate both at the time of application and during the renewal process.

So how do you determine the proper amount of coverage? There are actually quite a few steps you need to take:

Find Out the Replacement Cost of Your Home

A common mistake when determining the replacement cost of your home is assuming the market value is all you need. The replacement cost may actually be different, since it’s the local government’s assessment of the value of the property itself. This value is determined by taking into consideration the construction materials used, the total square feet of the building, the number and types of rooms, the type and style of garage or carport, and any special features of the home.

Fortunately, insurance companies have established formulas that take into consideration all the factors listed above to give you a recommendation very close to the actual appraised value. This means you don’t have to have an appraiser come to your property and charge you an appraiser’s fee. But if you have a recent appraisal on-hand, this will save you and your agent a lot of time when figuring out your quote.

Once the value of the property has been determined, it is important to review it periodically in order to keep up with inflation or any improvements made to the structure. Some companies may offer an automatic adjustment to anticipate the adjusted coverage you may need.

Think About Unexpected Disasters

Any number of weather-related damages can occur when you least expect it. Considering all possible threats to your home may be a little overwhelming, but it is a necessary burden. Consider the risk of flooding when near a water source, the weight of snow in the middle of winter on top of your roof, or the threat of that ancient spruce finally giving up and crashing down on your garage.

Policies generally offer flood coverage and earthquake coverage for an extra cost. These additional coverages may require certain criteria be met before they will offer it. Other times lenders may require the additional coverage if your property is located in an area where there is a high likelihood that these events will affect your home.

As Toni Roberts, a real estate agent for Dwell Realty explained, “Be prepared and calculate the worst-case scenario. You may never need that much coverage, but you will never regret being covered should disaster strike.”

Consider Personal Property, Medical Payments, and Additional Coverages

In addition to the actual residence your family calls home, there are a slew of other coverages you need to consider when purchasing homeowners insurance.

If there are any additional permanent structures on your property, look into purchasing Other Structures coverage. Consider purchasing an increased limit on Personal Property coverage, should the current limit not be sufficient. Typical insurance policies cover at least $1,000 of non-liability-assessed Medical Payments for those injured on your property, and at least $100,000 of Personal Liability coverage if you were determined to be responsible for any injuries. These limits may be increased for an added cost if, again, you feel it is insufficient.

Shop Around and be Prepared

Once you have an idea of the policy you will need as well as additional coverages you will want to discuss with your agent, the next step is to seek out quotes from a variety of companies you think will be the best.

“Do shop around,” said Roberts. “Just because you have always used one company doesn’t mean there isn’t a better deal out there.”

You can visit or call a local agent or broker, call a company’s toll-free number, or visit a company’s website to obtain a quote. Once you have contact information, it’s best to bring all the necessary documents and information to the table to get the most out of your interaction.

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Gather Property Information

Have a copy of the current appraisal of your home. If you do not have a current appraisal, the insurance company can calculate it with the following information:

  • Street address of the property
  • Year the home was built
  • Number of living units (single family, duplex, etc.)
  • Type of construction material used (brick, frame, log)
  • Type of foundation
  • Number of square feet of living space
  • Number of rooms
  • Age of the roof
  • Age of the heating, plumbing, and electrical systems

Check out Community Fire Protection

You will need to provide the distance from the nearest fire department and nearest fire hydrant. If your community is protected by a subscription fire service, you’ll need to provide the name of that company.

Note Prior Insurance

Any current or past homeowners insurance policies you had will need to be listed for the agent, including the name of the company and the dates you were insured. It’s good to note that any uninsured properties that you’ve owned for several years may be harder to insure than one you just purchased, so timing may be of the essence.

Consider Loss History

You may be asked to disclose any property losses in the past, which the insurance company takes into consideration when you apply for coverage.

Get a Hold of you Credit Information

Sometimes, providing your credit history, including bankruptcy, judgments, or credit problems, will be required to calculate your “insurance score,” which may alter your eventual quote. An insurer’s choice to select you (or not) as a candidate for coverage — or alter your rate for coverage based on your credit information — is protected by Alaska law, though there are some limitations.

Why are Alaska’s rates so average?

According to Trusted Choice, the average annual premium cost of homeowners insurance in Alaska is $942, while the national average is $1,034 per year. Alaska ranks as 25th highest in the country, right smack in the middle.

Though Alaska is generally regarded as a state with extreme snow inclement weather for the majority of the year, it may be surprising to learn that Alaska does not have any catastrophe-level instances that affect property. In fact, while national property damage due to weather breaches the $5.5 billion mark, only $1.4 million was attributed to weather damages in Alaska.

In 2015, wildfires burned over 5 million acres of Alaska terrain, accounting for 5/6th of all acreage consumed by wildfires across the nation that year. Taking care of your property in a way that helps prevent the spread of fire, and remodeling your home with fire-resistant materials, will help alleviate some of the threat.

Additionally, Alaska has a significantly lower crime rate than the rest of the country, reporting only 2,916 thefts. Across the nation, more than 37,000 thefts were reported, according to Trusted Choice.

When it comes to theft, having a local security system in your home can not only help protect your possessions but also give you a discount on your annual homeowners insurance premium.

FAQs

What are common coverage gaps?

If you intend on operating a business on your property or providing home day care services in your home, look to see if your policy provides additional liability coverage for these special circumstances. Some companies may extend liability coverage, while others may only cover personal property for items used in your business.

Another relatively new coverage to consider is Identity Theft Expense coverage, which provides reimbursement of expenses used to recover from identity theft. Expenses that may be covered include long-distance telephone calls to creditors, notary service costs, and the cost of making copies of documents.

What about flood insurance?

Flood insurance is available as a separate policy providing coverage for the direct physical losses caused by flood, flood-related erosion, abnormal tidal surges, and mudslides.

Typically your flood insurance will be provided by the National Flood Insurance Program through a partnership with private companies. If you are unsure of whether or not you might need this coverage, your insurance agent should be able to determine what flood zone applies to your property and suggest the best coverage for your needs.

How can I reduce my premium?

There are several ways to reduce your premium. Increasing your deductible, adding safety features such as smoke detectors, burglar alarms, and heavy-duty locks, or updating the roof and mechanical systems in your home can lead to reduced premiums.

The most common way to save money is to bundle insurance coverage, such as home and auto, within one company. Providers are always offering new discounts to their programs as well, so the best strategy may be to sit down and discuss all possibilities with an insurance agent.

Take Action

You should now have all the tools you’ll need to find the best coverage with the best homeowners insurance company to fit your needs. When you’re ready to start gathering quotes, remember to determine the assessed value of your home and personal property, consider unexpected threats to your home in order to be sure you’re covered, and find ways to protect or modernize your home in order to reduce premium costs. Not all companies are the same, so shop around and take your time. The best strategy will be to speak to a number of agents in an honest and open manner to find the best coverage you will need. Good luck and congratulations on your new home!

Freshome’s Recommended Homeowners Insurance Companies in Alaska: State FarmSafecoAllstateTravelers InsuranceCountry FinancialUmialik Insurance Company

Compare Homeowners Insurance Rates in Alaska

To quickly find and compare rates in your area, enter your ZIP code below.

Enter Your ZIP Code: