An Arkansas hit-and-run accident is serious regardless of whether you are the offender or the victim. In fact, hit-and-runs are one of the reasons insurance is mandatory in most states, including Arkansas. Bankrate’s research may help you better understand the stance that Arkansas takes on hit-and-runs, what these accidents could do to your insurance and how to react if you are involved in an accident where the other driver flees the scene.
Hit-and-runs in Arkansas
AAA report found that 11% of all accidents in the U.S. are hit-and-runs. Additionally, the report shows that the rate of fatalities caused by hit-and-runs is increasing, with 2,049 deaths recorded nationwide in 2016. In Arkansas, 143 deaths from hit-and-runs were recorded between 2006 and 2016.
Arkansas hit-and-run laws
According to Arkansas hit-and-run law (title 27, subtitle 4, chapter 53, subchapter 1), leaving the scene of an accident is illegal. In fact, the hit-and-run Arkansas statute considers it a class D felony. As such, offenders may be sentenced up to six years in jail, have their license revoked and be ordered to pay a fine of up to $10,000.
How hit-and-runs impact car insurance rates in Arkansas
Hit-and-run claims generally increase insurance rates. In Arkansas, the average annual rate increase on a full coverage policy is 71%, quite a bit more than the average increase of 37% that drivers see after standard claims. However, while full coverage in Arkansas costs more than the national average price of car insurance before a hit-and-run claim, the average increase after a hit-and-run in the Land of Opportunity is less than the national average.
If you are the at-fault driver in a hit-and-run accident, a judge may order you to file an SR-22 with the state. This form will prove that you are carrying at least the state minimum coverage limits.
Average annual full coverage premiums:
|Before a hit-and-run||After a hit-and-run||After a standard accident|
5 things to do after a hit-and-run in Arkansas
If you have been the victim of a hit-and-run in Arkansas, you may want to follow these steps:
- Call 911 if anyone is hurt: Your health is the most important thing after an accident. Before you do anything else, ascertain the health and well-being of yourself, your passengers and anyone else involved. If anyone needs medical attention, call 911.
- Move your car to a safe place: If you can drive your car, move it to a nearby shoulder or parking lot. It is usually unnecessary to remain rooted at the exact spot of the accident, and it’s generally safer for you and your car to remove yourself from the flow of traffic.
- File a police report: Calling the police can help you record as many details as you can remember. The officer will likely ask you for your best description of the other party, including the type of vehicle they were driving and what direction they went.
- Take pictures of any damage: At the scene of the accident, take pictures of all damage that occured. Only do this once your car is safely removed from the flow of traffic. Do not take pictures of your damaged vehicle while it is on the road if it is still safe to drive.
- File a claim with your insurance provider: If you decide to file a claim on your own policy for your damages or medical expenses, you’ll need to contact your car insurance company. When you call, give the agent all information and evidence you have, which might include a police report and any pictures you took at the scene.
Will insurance cover a hit-and-run?
Arkansas hit-and-run insurance does not exist, but the following types of coverage may come into play after a hit-and-run in Arkansas.
- Collision: Regardless of who was at fault, this coverage could pay for the repairs to your car after it is involved in a collision accident, including a hit-and-run.
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury: This coverage is not required in Arkansas (although it is required to be offered to you), but it is available. Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage could help pay for your medical expenses if you are hit by an uninsured driver.
- Uninsured motorist property damage: Arkansas is one of a handful of states that offers uninsured motorist property damage coverage. The coverage is designed to pay for damage to your property, which is typically your car but can apply to other kinds of property as well. It is optional, and if you have it there is a standard $200 deductible. However, this coverage could be used for your vehicle damages if you are the victim of a hit-and-run, as motorists who flee the scene are assumed to be uninsured in Arkansas.
- Personal injury protection (PIP): Just like uninsured motorist coverage, PIP is not a required coverage but must be offered with every policy. In Arkansas, PIP has three sections: medical, lost wages and death benefits. Essentially, PIP is designed to cover your injuries, and those of your passengers, regardless of fault and up to your policy limit. This coverage can also help cover lost wages and other qualifying expenses that might result from being injured.
Frequently asked questions
Is there a hit-and-run deductible?
Because hit-and-run insurance isn’t a type of car insurance or a specific policy, there is no specific hit-and-run deductible. However, there may be a deductible on the coverage that you use for a hit-and-run. For example, if you file a collision claim for your vehicle, you may need to pay your collision deductible, and if you use your uninsured motorist property damage coverage, the standard $200 deductible will likely apply.
What is the best car insurance company for drivers with hit-and-runs?
Even for drivers with less-than-stellar driving records, the best car insurance company will vary. Every driver brings a unique set of circumstances to their search for car insurance. One strategy to find the best company for your needs is to get quotes from several different carriers so you can compare.
Is car insurance required in Arkansas?
Yes, Arkansas does have minimum car insurance requirements. However, some drivers still choose to drive without insurance, regardless of the fact that it is illegal and can result in severe penalties. Drivers who flee the scene of an accident may do so for a number of reasons, and not carrying car insurance can be one of them.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:
- $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $50,000 property damage liability per accident
- $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
- $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
- $500 collision deductible
- $500 comprehensive deductible
To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.
These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.
Incident: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base), at-fault accident, single speeding ticket, single DUI conviction and lapse in coverage.