Like most other states, car insurance in Arkansas is a legal requirement if you own a registered vehicle. It does not matter how often you drive, what type of car you drive or how old your vehicle is. Driving uninsured comes with steep consequences, like fines and license suspension.
Car insurance protects your legal and financial responsibilities if you cause an accident. Arkansas car insurance laws are different from the laws in other states, so it is important to understand the unique requirements you have to meet.
Here are some stats to know about drivers and accidents in Arkansas:
- Between 2014-2018, there were 2,622 traffic fatalities in the state
- During the same period, there were 141 alcohol-related crash fatalities
- More than 19% of Arkansas drivers do not have insurance
Car insurance laws in Arkansas
Every driver in Arkansas must carry a minimum amount of car insurance in order to legally operate their vehicle. Arkansas minimum car insurance is abbreviated as 25/50/25, which includes personal liability insurance. Here are the coverage limits included with a minimum coverage insurance policy:
- $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person
- $50,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per accident
- $25,000 in property damage liability coverage per accident
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage must also be offered by car insurance companies in Arkansas, but can be declined by the policyholder.
If you cause an accident, bodily injury liability coverage will pay for the other driver’s medical expenses, while property damage liability coverage will pay for the other driver’s car repairs if there is damage. It is important to note that a minimum coverage policy in Arkansas does not provide any protection for your own vehicle.
Arkansas also requires your insurance company to offer you personal injury protection insurance (PIP) and requires that if you do not want to carry it you must reject the offer in writing.
Liability insurance in Arkansas
Arkansas auto insurance requirements include liability insurance, which can be found in a minimum coverage policy. However, a minimum coverage policy in Arkansas may not be enough to cover an at-fault accident.
If you hit another driver and your car insurance policy does not cover the full extent of the damages, you would be responsible for paying the difference out-of-pocket. Plus, liability-only coverage does not provide any protection for your own vehicle. Because of that, insurance companies recommend that most drivers increase their coverage limits or upgrade to a full coverage policy, which includes collision and comprehensive coverage.
Is Arkansas a no-fault state?
Arkansas is not considered a no-fault state. In a no-fault state, a driver’s insurance company will automatically cover their medical expenses after an accident, regardless of who was at fault. In a fault state, like Arkansas, the at-fault driver’s insurance pays for the other driver’s hospital bills.
Penalties for driving without insurance in Arkansas
Driving without car insurance in Arkansas is against the law. If you get stopped by law enforcement and are found to be driving uninsured, you will receive a fine and your license could get suspended. In order to reinstate your driving privileges, you must purchase SR-22 insurance and pay a license reinstatement fee.
In 2020, Arkansas passed a new law that allows law enforcement officers to see real-time insurance data when they run a license plate. If the database shows that the driver’s policy has lapsed, they automatically receive a $100 fine. If the driver does not provide updated proof of insurance within a certain timeframe, their registration will be permanently suspended until they purchase coverage and pay the fine.
Additional auto insurance coverage options in Arkansas
Arkansas car insurance laws require every driver to carry at least a minimum coverage insurance policy. However, many drivers choose to get more coverage in the form of endorsements for added protection. Here are some of the car insurance endorsements that can be beneficial for drivers in Arkansas:
- Gap insurance: If you lease or finance your car, gap insurance can come in handy. In the event that your car gets totaled, gap insurance helps pay the difference between your car’s diminished value and the outstanding loan balance.
- Roadside assistance: Roadside assistance pays for minor vehicle repairs and services, like towing (up to a certain distance), fuel delivery, battery replacement and flat tire changes.
- Accident forgiveness: With accident forgiveness, your car insurance premium will not increase after your first crash. Keep in mind that most car insurance companies have limits on the damages that qualify for accident forgiveness.
- New car replacement: New car replacement coverage will reimburse you for the cost of a similar year make and model if your existing vehicle gets totaled in a covered loss.
Frequently asked questions
What is the best car insurance company in Arkansas?
The best car insurance company in Arkansas is different for every driver. Among the top rated on Bankrate’s list for insurance providers in the state are Auto-Owners, Geico and State Farm. However, experts recommend shopping around and comparing providers using your personal criteria to find the best match for your needs.
What is the cheapest car insurance in Arkansas?
Based on sample rate quotes, the cheapest car insurance companies in Arkansas are USAA, Southern Farm Bureau, Farmers, State Farm and Geico. You may also be able to lower your car insurance premium by taking advantage of discounts, bundling your policies, paying your annual premium in full and improving your credit score.
How much does car insurance cost in Arkansas?
In Arkansas, the average cost of car insurance is $1,914 per year for a full coverage policy and $470 per year for a minimum coverage policy. However, keep in mind that car insurance rates are personalized based on factors like your ZIP code, age, credit score and driving record. The cheapest provider for you may not be the cheapest provider for your neighbor.
Can you switch car insurance companies in Arkansas?
Yes, you can switch car insurance companies at any time, and most providers do not charge a cancellation fee. Switching car insurance companies may be a good option if you feel like you are overpaying or if you need certain types of coverage that your existing insurer does not offer.