Small and medium businesses are an important class of employers in Alaska. They provide jobs, services, and products essential to the Alaska economy and the well-being of its population. If in the course of employment, workers get injured then Alaska law requires employers to pay disability benefits and medical costs. Alaska law requires Workers’ Compensation self-insurance or proof of commercial insurance for any employer with one or more employees unless excepted by rule.

Protection for Employees and Employers

Workplace and other injuries in the course of employment occur despite best efforts to avoid them. Some jobs have higher risk factors for injury or serious injury. The Alaska Worker Compensation laws are the exclusive remedy for illnesses, diseases, and injuries that arise from or occur in the course of employment. This system guarantees disability and medical payments for employees and limits the employer’s liability. The worker’s compensation system bars employees from taking civil actions for damages except in cases of intentional misconduct or intentional conduct that exceeds the scope of the employer’s role.

Who Must Have Coverage?

The Alaska Workers’ Compensation Act requires commercial workers ‘compensation insurance for any employer having one or more employees in Alaska. There is an exception from the commercial insurance requirement for self-insured employers.

Some employers are exempt from workers compensation requirements, and they include the below-listed types or categories.

  • Sole proprietors with one ( the proprietor) employee
  • Officers for a non-profit ( can opt out)
  • Officers for a for-profit ( can opt-in)
  • Casual labor
  • Babysitters
  • Hockey team and athletic staff if covered by health insurance

Things to Remember When Buying Workers Comp in Alaska

The costs of workers’ compensation insurance follow the codes that classify the workers. High-risk occupations require higher insurance costs due to the risk factor. The codes reflect detailed research on historical information concerning occupations, activities, and workplace injuries, illnesses, and deaths. The National Council for Insurance Compensation (NCIC) sets the codes and determines rates. For example, an employer that has a staff of five librarians is likely to have much lower rates than an employer that runs a lumber business with power-saw operators.

How much does worker’s comp insurance cost?

Alaska is among the highest rates for workers’ compensation insurance. Several sources place it in the $2.50- $2.99 grouping. Some sources specify an average of $2.74 per $100 of payroll for the state in 2015.

The Workers Compensation System

Injured workers can submit claims for benefits and medical expenses. The insurance or self-insurance pays the medical benefits and disability pay up to the maximum for weekly income. The system resolves disputes over coverage and payments by administrative review, then by referral to the Workers Compensation Review Board. Further appeals can go the Appeals board. A claimant must use all the state labor department resources before taking a case to court. Employers can cover their responsibilities in one of three ways under Alaska Law.

They can purchase commercial workers compensation insurance; they can get certification as self-insurers, or they can purchase insurance from the assigned risk pool.

  • 1

    Commercial insurance is the best way to get coverage at affordable rates.

  • 2

    Risk Assignment Pool is the remaining method to purchase insurance for forms that do not qualify for commercial insurance.

  • 3

    Self-Insurance is a valid option. Alaska laws permit employers to self-insure if they meet the below-listed criteria.

  • Demonstrate financial capacity to meet the obligations of worker’s compensation law.
  • Provide claims facility either within its staff or by contract to qualified independent resident adjusters with the power to effect settlement of claims within the state of Alaska.
  • Must have been in business in Alaska for five years preceding the application.
  • Must have a safety and loss control program.
  • Must have an aggregate of 100 or more employees independently or in combination with a parent or subsidiary.
  • Must demonstrate a net worth of $10,000,000 or more.

Self-insurance requires fully audited financial information and a commitment to pay for excess liability through an insurance binder that would take effect in the event of claims that exceed the ability to pay.

Alaska Key Resources

There are public and private places for worker’s comp or more information.

  • Employers can get full and complete information on the requirements for coverage, exemptions, fees, and costs from the State of Alaska government, private insurers, and the National Council on Compensation Insurance(NCIC).
  • Private commercial insurance companies, brokers, and agents.
  • Risk Pool Assignments- National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCIC) assigns employers to insurers based on risk. Employers must show that they cannot get coverage through regular commercial carriers. Risk pool assignments do not provide a choice of carrier for the assigned employer.
  • Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Workers’ Compensation Division at the below-listed office locations.

    3301 Eagle Street Suite 304
    Anchorage, Alaska
    (907) 269-4980


    675 Seventh Avenue Station K
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    (907) 451-2889


    1111 W. Eighth Street Room 305
    P.O. Box 115512
    Juneau, Alaska
    (907) 465-2790

Factors that Impact Coverage

Some general factors affect coverage such as the size of the business, the annual business volume, workforce size, the number of ears in business, and its presence in Alaska. Among the employer-specific factors that affect coverage and rates are the employer’s history of workplace safety, injuries, and the types of occupations employed.

Some Additional Helpful Tips

When buying workers comp in Alaska, Employers must remember that all states, like Alaska, require specific levels of worker compensation coverage. If your employees work in other states or jurisdictions, then they must have coverage that meets the rules of those locations.

Rates may rise from year to year depending on your experience as an employer with workplace or work-related illnesses or injuries. Employers can benefit from maintaining a well-designed safety and loss control program by keeping insurance costs low.


Workers compensation coverage is the law in Alaska. Unless you are exempt or self-insured, you must have workers comp insurance coverage from a commercial company directly or through the assigned risk pool. Alaska does not have employer pool coverage provisions. Workers compensation is the remedy for injury and illness arising out of employment, and it reduces the employer’s potential liability while guaranteeing prompt payment of benefits to njured employees and their families.


  • The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development

  • National Council on Compensation Insurance