Alaska Home Insurance Guide (Companies + Rates)

Alaska home insurance rates average at $80/mo, but your rates can vary based on the age of your home and where you live in the state. The most popular Alaska home insurance company is State Farm. Enter your ZIP code below to see compare State Farm and more Alaska homeowners insurance quotes for free.

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Natasha McLachlan is a writer who currently lives in Southern California. She is an alumna of California College of the Arts, where she obtained her B.A. in Writing and Literature. Her current work revolves around insurance guides and informational articles. She truly enjoys helping others learn more about everyday, practical matters through her work.

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance for 10 years. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Former Licensed Agent

UPDATED: Nov 9, 2020

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Alaska Statistics SummaryDetails
State Population731,545
Median Home Price$288,480
Homeownership Percentage65.6%
Biggest Home Insurance CompanyState Farm
Average Annual Rate$959
Direct Premiums Written Annually$171,663,000
Homeowners Insurance Incurred Losses$100,859,000
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Just hearing the name of the northernmost state conjures images of snow-capped peaks, vast wilderness, and northern lights. Nicknamed The Last Frontier, Alaska lives up to its reputation with some of the most remote, untouched lands in the world.

Those living in the rest of the United States tend to think of Alaskans as a hardy people, living in rugged settings. While there is some of that to be found in Alaska, the largest portion of the state’s population lives in the city.

The Anchorage metro area is home to more than half the population and boasts a thriving arts community, shopping, and a vibrant nightlife.

While Alaska’s remote location and periods of incredibly long days (or incredibly long nights) aren’t for everyone, there’s a lot to be said for living in The Last Frontier. Residents of Alaska have a median income that is above the national average, and these same Census Bureau reports show a poverty rate below the national average.

Whether you call Anchorage home or live in a more remote location, home insurance is important to protect your investment. Understanding and shopping for that coverage is complicated and confusing. What coverage do you need? Which company is the best? How can you save money?

You have a lot of questions, and we have a lot of answers. In this comprehensive guide to Alaska home insurance, you’ll learn everything you need to know to choose the right policy.

We can also help you out with comparing rates. Just enter your ZIP code in our quote box and get started right now.

Alaska Home Insurance Coverage and Rates

What can you expect to pay for your home insurance in Alaska, and what kind of coverage will your policy provide? In this section, we will take a look at average rates for home insurance and break down what comes with a standard policy and what add-ons are available to you.

In Alaska, you have several different policy types available to you for purchase. They include homeowners, condo owners, and renters policies.

Most standard homeowners policies include the same basics and are used across the country. Let’s take a look at what’s included.

Dwelling Coverage. This coverage protects the structure itself from a variety of risks. It’s based on the replacement cost of your home, the amount it would cost to rebuild from scratch based on today’s construction costs. It’s not related to market value or your mortgage, although your mortgage company will have a requirement for how much this amount should be.

Other Structures Coverage. This coverage protects any structure on your property that isn’t attached to the house. That includes detached garages, fences, and sheds (yes, even she-sheds, as State Farm’s funny commercial explains).

https://youtu.be/Ffs4gSJjjV4

Personal Property Coverage. This part of your policy covers all the contents of your home, from your bed to the sheets you put on it. Some personal property, such as jewelry, musical instruments, and computer equipment, have special limits. We’ll talk about that in more detail later.

Personal Liability. This coverage protects you financially if you are found liable for injuries or property damage. It will pay legitimate damages and cover legal fees if you are sued.

Additional Living Expenses (ALE). Also called loss of use, this coverage is in place to help you out if you can’t use your home during repairs on a covered loss. If there’s a fire in your house and you have to live elsewhere, it will pay for things like hotel charges and meals.

These basics may differ if you own a condo or a mobile home. In a condo, for example, you may not need to cover the outside of the structure, as a condo association takes care of that.

Average Premiums in Alaska

Let’s take a look at how Alaska stacks up when compared to the national average for home insurance rates.

Region201520162017
Alaska$982$974$959
Countrywide$1,173$1,192$1,211
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Good news for Alaska homeowners: rates are below the national average and have gone down over the past three years. Of course, the rate any one individual pays depends on various factors, but overall, Alaskans have a smaller home insurance bill than many other states.

Additional Coverage

Two major exclusions from standard home insurance policies are floods and earthquakes. Both of these are a risk in Alaska, as we’ll get into further on in this guide. To protect your home, you can choose to purchase additional coverage that protects against these two risks.

Flood insurance is typically sold as a separate policy through the National Flood Insurance Program. In some cases, your mortgage company may require that you take out a policy. This usually happens when you live in a high-risk flood zone.

In 2018, the Insurance Information Institute showed 2,411 flood insurance policies in Alaska. The video below has a little more explanation about flood insurance.

Earthquake insurance may be sold as a separate policy or an endorsement added to your homeowners policy. It covers multiple types of earth movement.

Add-Ons, Endorsements, and Riders

In addition to choosing flood and earthquake insurance, there are a lot of other things you can add to the standard home insurance policy to provide more comprehensive coverage.

What you choose to add will depend on your personal needs and budget. Not all insurance companies offer the same endorsements, but these are the most common options.

  • Sewer and Water Backup – Water damage is a complicated issue with home insurance. Many forms of water damage aren’t covered by a standard policy but can be covered with this endorsement, which differs from flood insurance.
  • Equipment Breakdown – Home insurance isn’t a warranty, but with this endorsement, you can get some of the benefits of a warranty. It will cover a variety of systems, including heating and cooling.
  • Inflation Guard/Guaranteed Replacement Cost – Your home insurance company will calculate a replacement cost amount for your home, but this endorsement will make certain you’re covered if something changes.
  • Personal Property Replacement Cost – If your policy doesn’t have this coverage, your personal property will only be covered at the depreciated, or actual cash value, rather than what it will cost to replace it.
  • Home Business – A standard home insurance policy won’t cover any business that operates on your property, so if you run a home business, you will need this endorsement.
  • Watercraft – If you own a boat, depending on the type, you can cover it under your home insurance policy.
  • Identity Theft – Identity theft can be expensive and difficult to clean up, but this endorsement will help foot the bill.
  • Personal Injury – This endorsement helps pay medical bills for people injured on your property.
  • Secondary Residence – If you own a second home, such as a cabin, you may be able to add it to your primary home policy.
  • Limited-Term Endorsements – This type of endorsement can be used to cover a temporary need, usually for construction.
  • Floaters/Riders For High-Value Items – Some items have special limits on the standard policy, and the only way to protect them is with a floater or rider based on the appraised value of each item. Items that fall into this category include:
    • Jewelry
    • Firearms
    • Fine arts
    • Computer hardware and software
    • Silverware
    • Business personal property
    • Antiques
    • Money
    • Collectibles

Alaska Exclusions

Every homeowners insurance policy has a list of exclusions or things that are not covered by the policy. Most exclusions are the same regardless of the state but do vary based on the company.

Common exclusions include:

  • Mold
  • Infestations
  • Some forms of water damage
  • Wear and tear/maintenance issues
  • Acts of war and terrorism
  • Attractive nuisances like pools and trampolines
  • Pet exclusions

It’s worth noting that pools and trampolines can often get coverage with a specific endorsement. Some companies may cover them but will charge you extra.

When it comes to pets, most insurance companies will refuse to cover specific dog breeds and exotic animals. While most will exclude any liability for those animals, some companies may refuse to write the policy at all.

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Best Alaska Home Insurance Companies

You want a company you can trust to protect your home, but how do you know which of the many choices out there will do that? Everyone has heard horror stories about claims being denied, but is there a way to know ahead of time which company will be there for you?

We’ve gathered the information you need to get a good look at the top 10 companies in Alaska and where they stand in terms of reputation.

Read on to see financial ratings, consumer surveys, and complaint ratios for the companies most Alaskans trust.

The Largest Companies’ Financial Rating

A.M. Best rates insurance companies on a letter-graded scale. These ratings represent the company’s financial stability, and that’s important to you because a financially stable company can be counted on to pay claims.

CompanyA.M. Best Rating
AllstateA+
Country FinancialA+
FarmersA
Hartford Financial ServicesA+
Horace MannA
IAT InsuranceA-
Liberty MutualA
State FarmA++
USAAA++
Western NationalA+
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All of the top 10 companies fall within A.M. Best’s top two tiers for financial stability. Those are Excellent (A-, A) and Superior (A+, A++). All of these companies have a solid financial base and should have no trouble in the foreseeable future.

Companies with Best Ratings

You may have seen J.D. Power awards proudly announced in car commercials, and that’s because it’s a well-known company with ratings that carry significant weight. J.D. Power also reviews insurance companies.

Alaska is a little different from a lot of other states in that there are smaller companies in the top 10, and those companies don’t land in J.D. Power’s rankings. In this case, Horace Mann, IAT, and Western National are all absent from the ratings.

Let’s take a look at how those that did make the list fared.

CompanyProperty Claims StudyHome Insurance StudyRenters Insurance Study
Allstate868/1000 points
3/5 Power Circle
814/1000 points
3/5 Power Circle
814/1000 points
3/4 Power Circle
Country Financial893/1000 points
4/5 Power Circle
814/1000 points
3/5 Power Circle
814/1000 points
3/5 Power Circle
Farmers880/1000 points
3/5 Power Circle
808/1000 points
3/5 Power Circle
808/1000 points
3/5 Power Circle
Hartford Financial Services888/1000 points
4/5 Power Circle
806/1000 points
3/5 Power Circle
806/1000 points
3/5 Power Circle
Liberty Mutual878/1000 points
3/5 Power Circle
792/1000 points
2/5 Power Circle
792/1000 points
2/5 Power Circle
State Farm866/1000 points
3/5 Power Circle
831/1000 points
4/5 Power Circle
831/1000 points
4/5 Power Circle
USAA901/1000 points
5/5 Power Circle
878/1000 points
5/5 Power Circle
878/1000 points
5/5 Power Circle
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First, it’s important to note that these are national ratings, so any of these companies may do better in Alaska than in other states. Overall, however, you’ll see that USAA comes out on top.

Unfortunately, USAA is only available to military members and their families, so it’s not an option if you don’t fit that profile. That’s also the reason USAA doesn’t win J.D. Power awards. It is only rated for comparison. It’s Amica Mutual, which is not a top-10 insurance company in Alaska, that takes the award in all three of these categories.

Of the top 10 companies available to the general public, State Farm has the best J.D. Power ratings.

There are two ratings for each company in each section. The first is a rating out of 1,000 available points. The second is what is known as J.D. Power’s Power Circle Rating, which is like a star rating but with circles instead.

The meaning of these ratings is as follows:

  • Five Circles – Among the best
  • Four Circles – Better than most
  • Three Circles – About average
  • Two Circles – The rest

There’s no one circle rating, so two is the lowest possible score.

Companies with Most Complaints in Alaska

We’ve looked at financial strength and J.D. Power’s surveys, so now let’s take a look at some data regarding complaints lodged against the 10 biggest companies in Alaska.

This table shows the number of complaints and the national complaint index for each company as provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

CompanyTotal Complaints in AlaskaNational Complaint Index
Allstate00.81
Country Financial00.12
Farmers00.37
Hartford Financial Services02.83
Horace Mann00.63
Liberty Mutual00.40
State Farm00.18
USAA10.31
Western National00.43
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You may have noticed that IAT Group is missing from the table above. That’s because IAT is a group that sells insurance through a variety of different companies, and as such has no rating of its own. If you’re considering IAT, be sure to find out which company will be underwriting your policy so you can research its reputation.

Most of the companies have low complaint indexes considering that anything below 1.0 is below average. The Hartford’s complaint index is surprisingly high compared to the rest, but the company has no complaints in Alaska for 2018. None of the companies except USAA have any complaints in Alaska.

Largest Home Insurance Companies in Alaska

We’ve already named the top 10 companies for home insurance in Alaska, but how much of the market does each company have? Take a look at the table below for the companies by the numbers.

CompanyDirect Premiums WrittenMarket Share %
Allstate$31,785,00018.5%
Country Financial$14,187,0008.3%
Farmers$2,297,0001.3%
Hartford Financial Services$1,402,0000.8%
Horace Mann$2,990,0001.7%
IAT Insurance$1,476,0000.9%
Liberty Mutual$16,665,0009.7%
State Farm$55,290,00032.2%
USAA$32,207,00018.8%
Western National$11,136,0006.5%
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While USAA and Allstate hold similar portions of the market, both fall behind State Farm by a wide margin. The nation’s largest insurance company (that’s State Farm) has about a third of the market in Alaska.

Number of Insurers in Alaska

There are a total of four domestic property and casualty insurance companies in Alaska. Domestic means they have their headquarters within the state.

There are 397 foreign insurers licensed in the state. That means the company’s headquarters is in a different state (not a different country as the name might imply).

That adds up to a total of 401 insurance companies licensed in the state. Since this is all property and casualty companies, it may include some companies that don’t write home insurance but do write other types of coverage.

Alaska Laws

The legalities of home insurance might not be something you’ve spent much time thinking about. Laws are complex, ever-changing, and all-around difficult to understand. This section will demystify the Alaska laws that apply to your home insurance.

Do you have to have home insurance by law? What legal responsibilities does the insurance company have? What happens if you have trouble getting insurance? The answers to these questions and more are right here. Let’s find them.

Home Insurance Laws

You are required by Alaska law to carry car insurance, but when it comes to home insurance there is no such law. You can’t get a ticket or a fine for not having home insurance.

That doesn’t mean you don’t have to carry a policy. When it comes to your home, it’s not the state that has a say, but your mortgage company. Keeping a policy in force is part of the contract you signed with the lender. Your policy will have to meet their requirements for coverage.

If you fail to keep home insurance in place, your mortgage company can step in and make you pay for what’s known as force-placed coverage.

A force-placed policy protects the mortgage company’s interest in the property and only its interests. That means there is no coverage for your investment in the property, no contents coverage, no liability coverage.

You will be charged for the policy as part of your mortgage payments, and the worst part is that it’s more expensive than standard home insurance. In other words, it just doesn’t pay to let your home insurance lapse.

High-Risk Insurance

In some situations, traditional insurance companies may turn down a home insurance application. It usually happens due to the condition or location of the home or other factors about the home that don’t meet the company’s standards. It’s often difficult to insure older homes as well, especially those in need of updates.

In most cases, a specialty home insurance company will step in to cover these homes. Most states have a program called a FAIR plan that’s available to homeowners unable to find coverage elsewhere, but Alaska has no such plan.

If you’re having trouble getting coverage, your best bet is to find an insurance agent whose specialty is high-risk homes. Most homes can be covered under some form of home policy, although not all will qualify for a standard policy.

Nonstandard home policies will not always provide the same coverage as a traditional homeowner’s special form package. Make sure you read all the fine print and know what is excluded from the policy before you buy it.

Valued Policy Law

Valued policy laws require home insurance companies to pay out the full limits of the policy in the event of a total loss, such as a fire that completely consumes the home.

Alaska does not have a valued policy law.

That means the insurance company will pay out the calculated amount for the loss, even if there’s nothing left of the home. If you have $200,000 in dwelling coverage, a valued policy law would require the insurance company to pay that full amount. In Alaska, if the company calculates a lower rebuilding cost, that is the amount it will pay.

Home Insurance Fraud in Alaska

Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime. It results in increased insurance premiums for everyone — that’s why it’s illegal.

There are several levels of fraud in Alaska’s insurance fraud laws. The severity of the crime will determine the penalty. Here’s a look at what you’ll face if convicted of insurance fraud in Alaska.

CrimeClassificationFineImprisonment
-Fraudulent Acts over $10K
-Working without a Solicitation Permit
-False Sworn Statements Regarding a Material Matter
Class B Felony$100,00010 years
-Fraudulent Acts $500K and Over
-Two Inconsistent Sworn Statements
-Wrongfully Removing a Report

Deliberate Frauds
Class C Felony$50,000Five years
-Fraudulent Acts under $500K
-Operating Without a License
-Providing Compensation to Non-Agents/Brokers
-Forgery in the Third Degree
Class A Misdemeanor$10,000One year
-Knowingly Providing False Statements on an Insurance ApplicationClass B Misdemeanor$2,00090 days
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The Alaska Division of Insurance handles all issues related to monitoring the insurance industry, including fraud.

To contact the Division of Insurance, you have a few options:

Alaska Home Safety

Alaska is a great place to live, but, like every state, there are risks. That’s why home insurance exists, after all. But which risks are minor and which are the biggest concerns?

This next section will break down the risks to your Alaska home, including crime, fires, and nature’s fury.

Property Crimes in Alaska

How likely is your home to be burglarized? This data from the FBI’s crime database will tell you the number of burglaries by city in 2018.

CityBurglary
Anchorage2,068
Bethel15
Bristol Bay Borough2
Cordova3
Craig5
Dillingham7
Fairbanks111
Haines4
Homer24
Juneau294
Kenai49
Ketchikan38
Kodiak81
Kotzebue20
Nome25
North Pole1
North Slope Borough27
Palmer12
Petersburg15
Seward10
Sitka17
Skagway1
Soldotna8
Unalaska5
Valdez11
Wasilla92
Wrangell1
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Not surprisingly given the population density, Anchorage has the highest number of burglaries. Bear in mind that these numbers are for all burglaries, so some of them are not from homes. The FBI estimates that about 67 percent of all burglaries are residential.

The old saying goes that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and that goes for home security, as well. Your home insurance company will give you a discount for protecting your home against burglary with home security measures.

Home Fires in Alaska

If a home fire is your worst nightmare, you are not alone. Fires are a frightening event and cause significant damage as well as injuries and fatalities.

The Alaska Fire Marshal reports a total of 19 fire-related deaths in the state in 2019. That’s up from the 2018 statistics we have outlined below.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration statistics, there are 155 fire departments in the state. Let’s take a look at some more fire statistics in the table below, courtesy of the Alaska Fire and Life Safety Annual Report for 2018.

Fire StatisticsTotal Number
All Structure Fires1141
Residential Fires820
Fire Fatalities11
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In 33 percent of the home fires, smoke detectors were not present. Remember, insurance companies give you a discount for smoke alarms, and they save lives. Nonoperational smoke detectors are just as bad as not having any at all, so test your detectors and replace the batteries on a regular schedule.

Catastrophic Risks in Alaska

From 2003–2013, less than 10 percent of claims in Alaska were catastrophe-related, according to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association. That doesn’t mean there’s no need for concern; several types of catastrophes are a risk in Alaska.

Flooding in Alaska

Alaska has several flood risks, one of which is unique to the state. Glacier ice dam flooding is a common occurrence.

According to the National Weather Service’s overview of flooding in Alaska, lakes that form behind glaciers and the eventual overflow can cause significant flooding. Areas prone to this include Russell Fiord, where the Hubbard Glacier is causing lakes to form that will eventually spill over and flood the Situk River.

Aside from these glacier ice dam floods, there have been several other notable floods over the years. The National Weather Service lists these at the worst in history:

  • 1967 Tanana Valley Flood
  • 1994 Koyukuk River Flood
  • 1995 South-Central Alaska Flooding
  • 2013 Yukon River Ice Jam Flooding

As you can see, the most recent major flood event was in 2013, which isn’t all that long ago. Check out footage of that flood in the video below.

Alaska is prone to a laundry list of flood risks. Some of these are much more common to the cold north, where ice jams and snowmelt cause annual issues. The full list of common risks include:

  • Flash Flooding
  • River Flooding
  • Tropical Systems and Coastal Flooding
  • Burn Scars/Debris Flows
  • Ice/Debris Jams
  • Snowmelt
  • Dam Breaks/Levee Failure

Flood risk does vary by location, and FEMA provides a searchable flood risk map where you can check on your own home. If you’re in a high-risk zone, your mortgage company will likely require you to have a flood insurance policy.

If you’re not in a high-risk zone, flood insurance is still available to you. The rates will be reduced, making it an affordable add-on to your home protection package. Since floods can happen anywhere, it’s worth considering.

Wildfires in Alaska

The cold weather doesn’t stop fires from running wild in Alaska. According to the Insurance Information Institute, 367 wildfires burned a total of 410,683 acres in 2018.

In 2019 the wildfire situation was worse, bolstered by warming temperatures; two million acres were burned. Although many fires in Alaska happen in remote locations, homes can and do burn as a result of these events.

The Alaska Division of Forestry participates in the Firewise program, which allows communities to set up Firewise sites to help monitor and prepare for wildfires.

Home insurance covers the damage done by wildfires, but, as with any catastrophic event, getting things repaired and rebuilt can be a long and difficult process.

Earthquakes in Alaska

The strongest earthquake in U.S. history happened in Alaska in March of 1964. It measured a magnitude of 9.2 and was followed by a tsunami.

The deadly quake brought geologists new insight into subduction zones and tsunamis along with the creation of the term “megathrust earthquake.” The video below explains more.

Most of the state is in a high to moderate risk area for earthquakes, according to the USGS Seismic Hazard map seen here. The subduction zone that caused the 1964 quake is still a risk to the state.

Nine of the top 10 strongest earthquakes in U.S. history took place in Alaska.

In 2019, the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Alaska Earthquake Center reported a total of 50,289 earthquakes. That’s the second-largest number of earthquakes in a single year; in 2018, the record was set at 54,424.

Remember that your home insurance doesn’t protect you from earthquakes. You need earthquake insurance to cover that sort of damage.

Extreme Weather in Alaska

It won’t surprise anyone to read that winter storms are some of the worst weather Alaskans face. While blizzards in the Midwest can be damaging and dangerous, Alaska’s winter storms take it to a whole new level. They can come off the coast and be accompanied by flooding and large chunks of ice. Damage from these storms can be serious.

Ice can also accumulate and bring down power lines and trees, causing structural damage. Storms can even bring along hurricane-force winds, causing severe damage to homes, including destroying roofs, windows, and siding.

Winter storms in the state are no joke, and it’s important to make sure your home insurance is up to date so that you don’t have to stress the cost of repairs. Home insurance does cover damage caused by storms, but you may have to pay a separate deductible depending on the type of damage.

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Homeownership in Alaska

Alaska’s housing market has been fairly stable over the past few years, and prices have stayed low, making housing affordable to more people. That said, Alaska has higher average house prices than the national average.

We’ve got more on that and the state of homeownership in the following sections, so let’s take a deeper look.

Homeownership Statistics

According to DataUSA, 65.6 percent of Alaska residents were homeowners in 2018, which is about 2 percent more than 2017. The national average for homeownership for 2018 was 63.9 percent, so that places Alaska a bit above average.

Average Home Price

DataUSA reports a median home price of $276,100 in Alaska for 2018. That’s higher than the national median of $229,700.

It’s worth noting that the Anchorage area, where much of the state’s population resides, has a higher average home price. According to the Anchorage Housing Survey Report, the average price hit $360,000 in 2018.

That number raises the overall median for the state. Housing in smaller towns and remote areas is likely much more affordable. As we’ve already noted, however, the majority of the state’s population lives in the Anchorage metro area or the few other large metro areas.

Anchorage isn’t the most expensive place to live in Alaska, though. That honor belongs to Sitka City and Borough, with an average home price of $364,381.

Mortgages in Alaska

As of 2019, the average mortgage debt in Alaska is $223,430, according to Experian. That’s above the national average of $202,284, which makes sense because the average home price is higher, as well.

Property Taxes in Alaska

The average cost of property taxes in Alaska for a home value of $250,000 is $2,975, which is above the national average of $2,700. Again, that’s likely skewed by the more expensive areas of the state, but since more people live in those areas, it’s a pretty accurate look at what you can expect to pay.

The Bottom Line

Alaska isn’t the cheapest place to own a home nor is it without risk, but the state does make up for it with natural wonders unlike any other place in the U.S. Steady home prices mean that homes are unlikely to skyrocket out of reach soon and may become more affordable.

You need homeowners insurance to protect your home and property from the risks that come with living in The Last Frontier. If you are ready to start comparing rates, let’s get started. Enter your ZIP code in the box now for free quotes.

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