Alaska, the “Land of the Midnight Sun,” with its vast landscapes and untamed wilderness, is the ultimate destination for motorcycle enthusiasts.
As the largest state in the United States, it offers a unique riding experience unlike any other.
To legally operate your motorcycle in Alaska, you must obtain insurance coverage that meets the state’s minimum requirements.
These requirements ensure that you’re financially responsible for any damages, injuries, or accidents while out riding.
Alaska Motorcycle Insurance Minimum Requirements
To satisfy Alaska’s motorcycle insurance requirements, your policy must include the following coverage limits:
- $50,000 bodily injury per person
- $100,000 bodily injury for a single accident
- $25,000 property damage liability
This 50/100/25 policy provides the minimum coverage required by law.
However, you may consider purchasing additional coverage for extra protection and peace of mind.
Note: Coverage minimums may be subject to future change. For the most updated information on minimum motorcycle insurance requirements – check with DOA Alaska.
Motorcycles Legally Defined in Alaska
Alaska mandates that motorcycles and motor-driven cycles meet specific criteria to be legally operated.
According to Alaska Statute § 28.90.990, a “motorcycle” is defined as any motor vehicle with a seat or saddle for the use of the rider, designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, and weighing less than 1,500 pounds.
A “two-wheeled vehicle” is defined as any motor vehicle with two wheels in contact with the ground, but weighing more than 1,500 pounds.
It is important to note that in Alaska, all motor vehicles, including motorcycles and two-wheeled vehicles, must comply with the state’s laws and regulations regarding registration, licensing, and insurance.
Non-car vehicles requiring insurance in Alaska include:
- Motorcycles – All motorcycles, including those with three wheels or more, must be insured in Alaska.
- Scooters – Scooters with engines that are larger than 50cc are considered motorcycles in Alaska and are subject to the same insurance requirements.
- Off-road vehicles – Off-road vehicles such as ATVs (all-terrain vehicles) and UTVs (utility task vehicles) must also be insured if they are used on public lands in Alaska.
- Snowmobiles – Snowmobiles used on public lands in Alaska are also required to have liability insurance coverage.
Additional Motorcycle Insurance in Alaska
While Alaska’s minimum insurance requirements for motorcyclists are designed to provide basic coverage for liability in the event of an accident, there are additional types of insurance that may be worth considering to further protect you and your motorcycle.
Here are some recommended insurance options for motorcyclists in Alaska:
- Comprehensive coverage: Comprehensive coverage can help cover the costs of damage to your motorcycle caused by events such as theft, vandalism, or weather-related incidents like floods or hailstorms. Given Alaska’s harsh weather conditions, comprehensive coverage can be particularly valuable for motorcyclists in the state.
- Collision coverage: Collision coverage can help cover the costs of repairing or replacing your motorcycle if you’re involved in an accident, regardless of who is at fault. Given the increased risk of accidents on Alaska’s roads due to factors such as weather and wildlife, collision coverage can provide added peace of mind for motorcyclists.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage can help protect you if you’re involved in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the damages. This type of coverage can help pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages resulting from the accident.
- Medical payments coverage: Medical payments coverage can help cover the costs of medical expenses for you and your passengers in the event of an accident, regardless of who is at fault. This can include expenses such as ambulance rides, hospital stays, and surgeries.
Additional coverage beyond the minimum requirements may result in higher premiums.
However, the added protection and peace of mind may be worth the investment, particularly for those who frequently ride in hazardous conditions and/or on busy roads with high traffic density.
Proof of Insurance & Penalties
In Alaska, motorcyclists are required to carry proof of insurance or financial responsibility with them at all times while operating their motorcycle.
Proof of insurance can be in the form of an insurance card, policy document, or other written proof of insurance provided by the insurer.
If a motorcyclist is stopped by law enforcement and is unable to provide proof of insurance or financial responsibility, they may face penalties including fines, license suspension, and even impoundment of the motorcycle.
Penalties for driving without insurance in Alaska can include:
- A fine of up to $500 for a first offense, and up to $1,000 for subsequent offenses within three years.
- Suspension of the driver’s license and registration for up to 90 days for a first offense, and up to one year for subsequent offenses within three years.
- Impoundment of the motorcycle for up to 60 days for a first offense, and up to six months for subsequent offenses within three years.
Common Motorcycle Laws in Alaska
It is recommended to familiarize yourself with riding laws in Alaska before taking out your bike. Consult a legal expert if you need additional information.
- Helmet laws: Alaska requires all riders and passengers under the age of 18 to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle. However, regardless of age, it’s highly recommended that all motorcyclists wear a helmet for safety.
- Headlight laws: Motorcycles must have at least one headlight that is illuminated while in operation, according to Alaska law.
- Lane splitting is illegal: Lane splitting, which is the act of riding between lanes of traffic, is illegal in Alaska. Motorcyclists must follow the same traffic laws as other vehicles.
- Exhaust noise limits: Alaska has specific laws governing the noise level of motorcycle exhaust systems. Motorcycles must not exceed a maximum noise level of 92 decibels while in operation.
- Periodic inspections: In Alaska, motorcycles are subject to periodic safety inspections. The inspections ensure that the motorcycle meets certain safety standards and is in proper working condition.
FAQs: Motorcycle Insurance in Alaska
Included below are some commonly asked questions about motorcycle insurance in Alaska that may be worth reading before you purchase insurance.
What are the penalties for riding without motorcycle insurance in Alaska?
Riding without the required insurance coverage ($50,000 in liability, $100,000 in accident/bodily injury, $25,000 per accident for property damage) – can result in a suspended driver’s license, hefty fines, and even impoundment.
For this reason, it is never recommended to ride without motorcycle insurance in Alaska.
Do I need to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle in Alaska?
Alaska law mandates that all riders and passengers under the age of 18 must wear a helmet – in addition to passengers, those taking a road test, and those with instruction permits (regardless of age).
- Individuals under 18 years of age
- Passengers (of any age)
- Those taking a road test (any age)
- Individuals with only an instruction permit (any age)
However, it’s highly recommended that all motorcyclists, regardless of age, wear a helmet for their safety.
Are there any unique considerations for insuring a motorcycle in Alaska?
Alaska’s harsh weather conditions and the increased likelihood of encountering wildlife on the road may make comprehensive and collision coverage more appealing.
These coverage options can help cover the costs of repairing or replacing your motorcycle due to weather-related damage or a collision with an animal.
Do I need to register my motorcycle in Alaska?
Yes, all motorcycles must be registered with the Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
You’ll need to provide proof of insurance during the registration process.
What factors affect motorcycle insurance rates in Alaska?
Several factors can influence your insurance premiums, such as your age, driving history, the type of motorcycle you own, and where you live in Alaska.
Typically, urban areas with higher traffic density and increased risk of accidents can lead to higher insurance rates.
Are there any exceptions to motorcycle insurance laws in Alaska?
According to the DOA Alaska:
“Insurance is not required in areas where registration is not required. However, a driver that has received a ticket for a violation of 6 points or more within the last 5 years must have liability insurance.”
Finding a good insurer in Alaska for your bike
Although finding a motorcycle insurer in Alaska may be more challenging due to the smaller number of riders, it’s essential to research and compare policies to find the best coverage.
Use online tools, such as entering your zip code and clicking “Start!” to generate a list of providers offering the best policies and deals in Alaska.
These providers are familiar with the state’s requirements and can help you decide whether additional coverage is a smart choice for your unique needs.