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Workers' Compensation Requirements for Employer

Employer’s Guide to the Workers’ Compensation Act (PDF)

Requirements for Employers

The Alaska Workers' Compensation Act requires each employer having one or more employees in Alaska to obtain workers' compensation insurance, unless the employer has been approved as a self-insurer by the Alaska Workers’ Compensation Board.

DOLWD Podcast

Jason Caputo talks with Rhonda Gerharz, Workers Compensation Chief Investigator for the Special Investigations Unit about employer requirements under the Alaska Workers' Compensation Act and why compliance is important to protecting both employer and workers.

Business Owners and Entity/Agency Officials as Employees

Effective August 1, 2019, the following business owners/executives are exempt from having to insure themselves for workers’ compensation liability:

  • Sole proprietor of a sole proprietorship;
  • Partners in a partnership;
  • Members of a limited liability company with a minimum 10% ownership interest;
  • Executive officers of municipal, religious, and legally registered nonprofit corporations are not considered to be employees unless the corporation specifically elects to cover them; and
  • Executive officers of for-profit corporations with a minimum 10% ownership interest.

All entities listed above must still maintain workers’ compensation coverage for employees, including family members and friends.


There are few exceptions to those who must be covered under a workers' compensation policy. There are no exemptions for types of businesses. All exemptions are based on type of work performed by individuals. Generally speaking, those include:

  • Part-time baby-sitters;
  • Cleaning persons (non-commercial);
  • Harvest help and similar part-time/transient help (call division to discuss specific situations);
  • Sports officials for amateur events;
  • Contract entertainers;
  • Commercial fishers as defined in AS 16.05.940;
  • Taxicab drivers under specific contractual arrangements;
  • A participant in the Alaska temporary assistance program engaged in work activities required under AS 47.27.035;
  • Professional hockey team players and coaches if those persons are covered under a health care insurance plan;
  • Qualified real estate licensee under specific contractual arrangements; and
  • Persons defined as transportation network company drivers.

Other Special Provisions Set Out in Statute

  • High school students in work-study programs are covered under the Act as employees of the state;
  • Volunteer emergency medical technicians are covered under the Act as employees of the state;
  • Special public safety officers appointed by the Commissioner of Public Safety are covered under the Act as employees of the state;
  • Members of state boards and commissions are covered under the Act as employees of the state;
  • Volunteer fire fighters are covered under the act as employees of the local fire department;
  • Individuals engaged in civil defense or in disaster relief functions in Alaska are covered under the Act as employees of the state; and
  • Individual members of the Alaska State Defense Force who have been called into active duty, per AS 26.05.070, are covered under the Act as employees of the State.

How to Obtain Workers’ Compensation Coverage in Alaska

In Alaska, workers' compensation insurance is provided either by the voluntary commercial market or the involuntary commercial market. Alaska does not have a state fund for workers' compensation insurance. Employers should contact their insurance agent or broker for assistance in acquiring a workers' compensation policy for their business. If a person is unable to obtain coverage from a commercial carrier, they may purchase insurance through Alaska's Assigned Risk Pool, which is administered by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI). NCCI may be contacted at 800-622-4123 and found online at:

No Reciprocity in Alaska

Alaska does not have reciprocity agreements with any other states or countries. All employers must insure their exposure under the Act. This includes an out-of-state employer with employees working in Alaska, whether those employees are principally located in Alaska or outside this state. Under AS 23.30.025(a), an insurer issuing a policy of insurance covering benefits under the Act must be an admitted insurer in Alaska, licensed by the Alaska Division of Insurance, which administers AS 21, Alaska’s insurance code. For questions regarding insurance licensing, rates, or policies, please contact the Division of Insurance at (907) 465-2515.

Please contact the Workers’ Compensation Special Investigations Unit at 907-269-4002 should you have any additional questions about an employer’s workers’ compensation coverage requirements under the Act.