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Anchorage, Alaska Car Insurance

Recent record snowfalls have brought the moose population near Anchorage further into the city than usual. Since the moose prefer to forage during the early morning or late dusk, they can be very difficult to see when you are driving. Because of their size, hitting a single moose can destroy a typical passenger car. Anchorage residents need to keep a careful eye out for moose on the road, or they could face increases in their car insurance rates due to the necessary repairs or replacement of their vehicles.

Moose Prefer Easier Paths

It is natural for the moose to seek out the paths of least resistance. Especially when there is deep snow on the ground, the moose will try to stick to the trails and roads that have been cleared away by humans. Any time there is a deep snowfall, you should be aware that there will be more moose on or near the road than usual. As food becomes more scarce during the later winter months, the moose will become even bolder as they search for food closer to town. The deeper into winter you get, the more moose you can see on the roads.

Hitting a Moose can cause Serious Damage

When you strike a moose with a regular car, the car's bumper usually slams into the moose's thin legs. The momentum from the collision tends to send the larger, heavier torso of the moose over the hood of the car and into the windshield. At certain speeds, running into a moose can kill a driver. Less serious accidents will still leave large dents in your hood and bumper, and you will probably need to replace your windshield. The damage caused by hitting a moose is similar to the damage caused by hitting another car, which means that your insurance rates will be affected as if you had been involved in a typical accident.

Drive Cautiously When Low Visibility

Anchorage residents need to pay attention to the time of year and be prepared to find moose on the road during large snowfalls or later in the winter. It is best to use your high beams when you drive at night so that you can see a moose before it is too late to stop. Although the moose are more likely to roam in the morning or evening, they can step into the road at any time of the day or night. Be aware of your surroundings and increase your visibility as much as possible.

Patience is the Key

If you do find yourself faced with a moose in the road, do not try to swerve around it. Moose are highly unpredictable, and your car's quick change of direction could cause the moose to leap into your path again. The best thing you can do is turn on your flashers to warn other drivers that you have stopped, and then just wait for the moose to move off the roadway.

If you would like to learn more about insurance costs in Anchorage, enter your zip code into the form at the top of this page.

Anchorage is by far the largest city in Alaska having about 279,000 people and serving as the anchor for around 360,000 people. In fact, almost forty percent of the residents of the entire state live in the Anchorage metropolitan area. The city serves as the state's primary transportation hub and is the focus of most industry in the state. The petrochemical industry, drawn by Alaska's oil and natural gas reserves is centered here. Anchorage has weathered the economic crisis reasonably well and continued to register regular growth. The two major military facilities Elmendorf Air Force Base and Fort Richardson also play a key role in the city's economy.

Not surprisingly, Anchorage also has the highest number of motor vehicles on the roads and the largest number of traffic accidents. In 2007, Anchorage had 5,412 traffic accidents, almost seven times as many as the next worst city for traffic accidents (Fairbanks). Of these twenty-seven of the accidents resulted in fatalities, and one hundred and forty three resulted in major injuries. This makes Anchorage easily the most dangerous city to drive in throughout Alaska. In fact, no other city comes even close to these numbers and this is something that the insurance companies will take into account when determining the appropriate premiums.

Alaska is similar to many other western states in that it does not specifically mandate that driver must have insurance per se. Instead, drivers can post a bond for a fixed amount of money or insure themselves, but these arrangements have to be reviewed and approved by the Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles. Generally speaking, these alternative arrangements require the driver to lay aside thousands of dollars, so most people can only meet the financial responsibility requirements by purchasing insurance. The bonds or self-insurance options are usually only available to the very wealthy.

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