What To Do If You’re In a Car Accident Without Insurance But Not At Fault In Alaska

Driving without insurance is a serious offense in Alaska—and if you’re in an accident while uninsured, you could lose your license.
Written by Kara Vanderbeek
Reviewed by Shannon Martin
If you’re an uninsured driver involved in a car accident in Alaska, you’ll face some serious consequences. While you can file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company if you aren’t at fault, you won’t be able to collect noneconomic damages—and you’ll receive legal and financial penalties for driving without insurance
From expensive fines to license suspensions, the consequences of driving without insurance, particularly when you’re involved in a collision, simply aren’t worth it. Luckily, the trusted
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is here with a guide to car accidents without insurance in Alaska. We’ll go through your options for claiming damages, cover all the possible penalties for driving without insurance, and show you how to get cheap
car insurance rates in Alaska
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What to do if you’re in a car accident without insurance in Alaska and not at fault

It is against the law to drive without auto insurance in the state of Alaska. If you get into an accident, you’ll be subject to some hefty legal and financial consequences. Here’s what to do if you’re in a car accident in Alaska and don’t have insurance. 
First: don’t leave the scene of the crash. While it may be your first instinct to leave the scene and avoid the trouble of not having proper insurance coverage, fleeing the scene can result in even more severe consequences. If you leave, you could receive:
  • A $500 fine and one year in prison if the accident involved property damage
  • A $10,000 fine and up to ten years in prison if the accident involved injuries
  • A felony hit and run charge and extended prison time if the accident involved a death
As such, staying at the scene is the best thing to do if you’re involved in an accident. Once it’s safe to do so, pull your vehicle over and check for injuries with everyone involved—if necessary, call 911. Also, exchange information with the other driver, such as your driver’s license, license plate number, and insurance information. Finally, be sure to take photos of the accident and collect any relevant evidence to later document the accident. This will help prove that you weren’t at fault. 
If you weren’t at fault, you can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to cover any vehicle repairs or medical bills that come out of the accident—even if you don’t have your own insurance policy. Likewise, if the other driver doesn’t have insurance, you can file a personal injury lawsuit to cover any property repairs or medical costs.
But here’s where things become tricky without a valid insurance policy: you cannot sue for non-economic damages—i.e. pain and suffering, diminished earning capacity, or other long-term impacts of the accident. In Alaska, this limit payout is referred to as “No Pay, No Play”.

Who decides fault in a car accident in Alaska?

If police are called to the scene of the accident, an officer’s report can help insurance adjusters determine fault. Nevertheless, it is up to the insurance company to assess liability, regardless of police reports or tickets. 
If you are not at fault in an accident and are uninsured, you should provide all documented evidence of the crash to the other driver’s insurance company. Photographs of the scene can be a major factor in proving that you were not at fault and in turn, not financially responsible for the other driver’s expenses.

Do you need to report a car accident in Alaska? 

Sometimes—depending on the severity of the accident. Alaska law requires an accident to be reported within 10 days under the following circumstances:
  • The accident resulted in bodily injury or death
  • The accident resulted in total property damage to an apparent extent of $2,000 or more
If a peace officer investigates the accident, a report is not required.

What if you’re at fault?

So, what happens if you are at fault in an accident while uninsured? Here’s where the consequences get serious. 
Because Alaska is a comparative negligence state, you’ll be financially responsible for your portion of the other driver’s damages, and that driver can file a lawsuit against you to recover these damages if you are without insurance. 
In addition to the cost of damages, you’ll receive a $500 insurance violation fine and a three-year license suspension.

What if you’re hit by an uninsured driver in Alaska? 

If an uninsured driver hits you, Alaska’s Financial Responsibility Law requires the other driver to pay for any associated damages. However, you’ll need to pursue the driver directly, which can be a grueling and time-consuming process.
If the other driver is unable to pay, all is not lost. There are a few other types of insurance coverages that may be able to cover the costs, including
uninsured motorist coverage
and underinsured motorist coverage. If you’re hit by a driver without valid
bodily injury liability
insurance, these types of coverage will cover the cost of your medical expenses, lost wages, and funeral expenses if needed, for you and your passengers. 
In addition, Alaska requires insurance providers to offer drivers uninsured motorist damage coverage, which pays up to $50,000 of bodily injury coverage per person. This coverage is optional and can be waived by signing a coverage selection form from your insurance provider.
In Alaska, another option is
medical payments (MedPay)
coverage, which covers the cost of medical bills within policy limits. Finally, if your policy includes
collision coverage
, you can claim any necessary vehicle repairs with your insurance company.
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), about 16.1% of Alaska drivers are uninsured—meaning that your odds of being in a collision with someone who doesn’t carry liability insurance are almost two in ten. With those odds, it’s worth guarding yourself with uninsured motorist damage coverage and collision insurance. 
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Penalties for driving without insurance in Alaska

While you may be able to claim damages after a car accident without insurance coverage if you weren’t at fault, the penalties for driving without insurance in Alaska aren’t quite as forgiving.
The Mandatory Insurance Law of Alaska requires all state-registered motorists to have motor vehicle liability insurance, with minimum coverage limits of 50/100/25. In addition, Alaska’s Financial Responsibility Law requires motorists have an acceptable form of proof of insurance while on the road. 
If these conditions are not met and you’re unable to provide proof of your insurance ID card, policy, liability certificate, or digital representation of your policy, you’ll be subject to the following penalties:
  • For a first offense: $500 fine and 90-day license suspension
  • For a second offense: $500 fine, along with a one-year license suspension
  • For a third offense: three year license suspension
The consequences become more serious if you’re caught driving without insurance after an at-fault accident. In addition to a $500 insurance violation fine, the state will suspend your driving privileges for three years
While the DMV will allow 15 days to prove that you were insured at the time of the accident, you cannot purchase insurance to apply to the accident retroactively. However, if you can provide valid
proof of insurance
, your license suspension period may be shortened or waived altogether. 
Once you have completed your suspension period and paid your fine, you will need to obtain proof of financial responsibility as necessitated by the State. 
To do so, you can request your insurer file an
SR-22 certificate
on your behalf—the SR-22 acts as a guarantee that you will maintain your insurance for three years. You’ll also need to pay a $20 license fee, retake your driver’s license test, and pay a reinstatement fee of $100, or $250 for second-time offenders.
MORE: The penalties for using fake proof of insurance

Minimum required car insurance in Alaska

So how much insurance is legally required in Alaska to avoid these legal and financial penalties? Under state law, all drivers must purchase an auto insurance policy that includes at least: 
Keep in mind that this is the minimum required insurance in Alaska. To protect yourself financially, experts recommend purchasing more than the minimum and getting a policy that includes $100,000 per person, $300,000 per accident for bodily injury liability, and $100,000 for property damage liability. 
While collision and
comprehensive coverage
isn’t required in Alaska, they can offer significant protection from collisions with other objects and non-collision related damages.

Driving without insurance can increase premiums

If the financial and legal penalties outlined above weren’t reason enough to get insurance,
getting caught driving without it
can increase your premiums. Any violations or accidents on your driving record can label you as a high-risk driver to insurers, making it difficult to find an affordable policy.

How to find cheap car insurance in Alaska

Whether you’re ready to meet the Alaska minimum requirements or protect yourself from all collision and non-collision related damages, finding the right coverage can be overwhelming and expensive.
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