Natural Disasters and Insurance in Alaska
Protecting your home with the best home insurance coverage is crucial to living in the Frontier State. The top natural disasters in Alaska are earthquakes, flooding, volcanoes, tsunamis, wildfires, and landslides. Here are some frequent natural disasters in Alaska:
Being a mountainous region, Alaska is always on alert for earthquakes. The strongest earthquake ever recorded in Alaska was in 1964 at Prince William Sound, 74 miles southeast of Anchorage, at magnitude 9.2, rocking Alaska's mainland. More than 1,200 miles away, Seattle's Space Needle even wobbled from this quake.
Though it's been many years since Alaska's last massive earthquake, residents should always be prepared for the unknown. In 2019 alone, Alaska had 98 earthquakes with a magnitude of 2.5 or higher, seven of which were measured at a magnitude of 4.5 or higher.
Special home insurance coverage may be needed to ensure you have protection from earthquake damage in Alaska. The typical home insurance policy protects against specific damages; earthquake protection is usually a separate package. Check with your home insurance agent to see what your policy covers.
Since Alaska is home to over 40 active volcanoes, it's crucial to know whether volcanic events could happen in your area. While most home insurance policies cover property loss caused by volcanic eruption and fire or explosion resulting from eruptions, they do not usually cover damage from land tremors, landslides, or other earth movements. In this case, supplemental earthquake insurance may be needed. It's essential to check with your home insurance company to find out if you're covered.
Alaska is the home to natural wooded areas. Wildfires are a threat not only to our property but also to our lives. While wildfire insurance is generally covered under the comprehensive portion of most home insurance policies, the price could be higher if you live in an area prone to annual wildfires. Talk to your local agent about your general area and what's covered in a standard homeowners insurance policy in Alaska.