Arkansas Car Insurance Guide

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Much like any other state in the United States, Arkansas requires drivers to have their cars insured. Since Arkansas is known as one of the most dangerous states that a person can drive in, insurance and quotes on premiums tend to be higher as compared to other states.

This is a big price to pay for the great scenery and mild weather. But despite the high prices you will likely need to pay for insurance premiums; some cheap insurance can be found when you know where to look. An Arkansas car insurance quote is a good first place to look for the required coverage you need at a price that’s easier on your wallet.

Therefore you have two choices you can either get a quote above instantly, or you can keep reading to learn more about Arkansas car insurance requirements, laws, rates and companies.

Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements In Arkansas

Liability auto insurance is mandatory in the state of Arkansas. As a result of laws passed in 1987 and 1999 you’ll need at least the following coverage for your vehicle:

  • $25,000 BI liability insurance for bodily injury (BI) or death of one person in any one accident;
  • $50,000 BI liability insurance for bodily injury or death of two or more persons in any one accident;
  • $25,000 PD liability insurance for damage to or destruction of the property of others.

In addition to the coverage mentioned above you will automatically be offered Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage when you attempt to purchase an Arkansas vehicle insurance policy. PIP coverage is offered in three parts as follows:

  • Medical Payments: For doctor bills, ambulance, tests, etc.
  • Lost Wages: Will pay your wage or salary while injured (certain restrictions apply)
  • Death Benefits: Provided to your next of kin if required.

You can choose any or all of the types of PIP coverage above and/or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. However, unlike mandatory liability insurance, PIP coverage and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage are not mandatory. They are offered by default on your policy but you can opt-out, if you so choose, by writing a letter to your insurance company. Nevertheless, you are strongly advised not to do so.

In fact you really should not only buy higher limit liability insurance, but also all three forms of PIP coverage, Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, collision and comprehensive coverage too. Driving with only the minimum required insurance coverage is perfectly legal, but may leave you dangerously under protected in the event of an accident.

Arkansas State Auto Insurance Laws

As mentioned above, only liability insurance coverage is mandatory in the state. There is a good reason why it is required. Arkansas is among the majority of states that use the at-fault principle of auto insurance. Basically this means you are held financially responsible for the accidents you cause. Thus, liability insurance acts as protection for you.

Since January 1 1998, Arkansas has had an Insurance Verification and Notification Network that verifies that cars registered in the state have proper insurance coverage. It matches vehicle identification numbers (VINs) with insurance policies held by licensed Arkansas insurers. You can learn more about the program from the Insurance Verification & Notification Network procedures Manual.

One other law people wonder about is the legality of an insurance company cancelling their insurance. Arkansas makes it very difficult for insurance companies to cancel a policy after it has been in effect for 60 days. It can only do so for one of the following reasons:

  1. Not paying your premium (10 days written notice required to cancel);
  2. Lying, misrepresenting yourself, or giving false information when applying for insurance (20 days written notice required to cancel);
  3. Being convicted of vehicular homicide (20 days written notice required to cancel);
  4. 3 or more convictions for speeding/reckless driving (20 days written notice required to cancel);
  5. DWI conviction (20 days written notice required to cancel);

Moreover, you insurer must give you 30 days written notice if they intend not to renew your policy at the expiration date. You should also be sure to always carry proof of insurance when operating your vehicle because you may be required to show it to a law enforcement officer.

Arkansas Car Insurance Companies

There are many choices for insurance companies in Arkansas. If you are looking for a complete list you could use the Arkansas Insurance Department Company Search page. The only problem is that there may be too many too choose from.

A simple alternative is to get instant car insurance quotes from our site. You can find forms at the top and bottom of this page which you can use to get more information about insurers close to you. Before purchasing a policy you should always check to see how many complaints a company has.

Finally, if you’d prefer to deal with only the biggest and most reputable auto insurers you can visit the websites of following companies who are all members of the Insurance Information Institute.

Allstate Insurance Group

Bituminous Insurance Companies

Chubb Group Of Insurance Companies

Farmers Group, Inc.

GEICO

The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc.

The Hartford Financial Services Group

Harleysville Insurance

Kemper Corporation (formerly Unitrin)

Liberty Mutual Group

MetLife Auto & Home

Michigan Millers Mutual Insurance Company

Nationwide

OneBeacon Insurance Group

Safeco Corporation

State Auto Mutual Group

State Farm

Travelers

USAA

Zurich North America

If you ever have a complaint with your insurance company you should know you do have options. The Insurance Department has page that explains how you can file a complaint against you insurance company.

Average Arkansas Auto Insurance Rates

If you want accurate rate information for your particular circumstances and vehicle without getting a quote, you should visit the Department of Insurance’s Auto Insurance Cost Comparison Tool. It provides the most complete information about rates you can find without actually filing in a quote form.

Similarly, you can learn more about how much each company has changed it’s rates compared to last year from the Property & Casualty Insurance Survey. It provides even more detail about each insurance company, but not be that helpful for your particular circumstances.

So how do premium rates in Arkansas compare to the rest of the US? The Insurance Information Institute claimed that the state was the 38th most expensive (or 13th cheapest) in the whole country for 2008. Average premium rates were $653 that year compared to the US average of $789.

In terms of people buying insurance online, CarInsurance.com has also found the state to be below the national average. Their online only index shows the average quoted price of a policy as being $1,236 per year in 2011 versus $1,441 in the rest of the US. So the good news is if you live in Arkansas, all other things being equal, you’ll pay less for insurance.

Arkansas Car Accident Statistics

Based on statistics for 2009 from the Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) we can say unequivocally that Arkansas is not among the safest states to drive in.

In 2009, there were 62,808 crashes that resulted in 592 fatalities, 262 of which were alcohol and/or drug related. This meant that the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) was 1.76 for the state. The US average is just 1.14. In real world terms, this means you have over a 50% greater chance of being involved in and/or dying from a fatal car accident in Arkansas compared to the rest of the US.

Unlike some other dangerous states the danger is relatively evenly spread out over the various counties in the state. The following were the 5 worst according to the NHTSA but were no means the only problem areas: Pulaski County, Washington County, Craighead County, Benton County, and Saline County.

As a result of these figures it makes even more sense to buy proper insurance coverage for you, your family and your car. Please drive safely, the last thing the state needs are more dangerous drivers.

Your Arkansas Car Insurance Quote Options – Agent Vs Online

You can easily get an insurance quote from insurance agents. You can choose independent agencies that can give you quotes from a variety of insurance companies. On the other hand, you can choose proprietary agencies that usually represent an individual insurance company.

Whatever you choose, make sure that the insurance company you get is suitable for your car and your budget. Independent agents can give you a variety of companies that you can choose from, but proprietary agents can give you more detailed information regarding the company and the insurance policy that you would want to get for your car.

You can also check Arkansas car insurance online to get instant Arkansas auto insurance quotes for your car. There are a lot of websites that usually give quotes from more than one company at any given time (check out ours for instance). From those sites, you can then go to the linked car insurance websites to get more information about the Arkansas car insurance policy that you need for your car.

It is also likely that you can get a discounted policy by looking online.

An Arkansas car insurance quote might not mention it, but you may be able to reduce your insurance premiums by taking advantage of certain discount programs. Two popular ones in Arkansas are the College Graduate Discount and the Defensive Driver Discount for those 55 and over. You should also be sure to ask about other programs as insurance companies don’t always like to advertise them.

In the end, getting an Arkansas car insurance quote can be beneficial for you and your car, provided that you do your research thoroughly. Getting car insurance might seem like a hassle for some, but when looking at the big picture, it actually does more good for you and your car’s safety.

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Insurance Guides For Arkansas Cities

Little Rock

More Information

Arkansas Insurance Department

Arkansas The Office of Motor Vehicles

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