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Car Insurance in Arkansas
Car Insurance in Arkansas
Arkansas law requires you to be financially protected in case of costly incidents that may come with owning a car.
The best way to comply with these laws is by carrying car insurance. Read more to learn all about Arkansas car insurance requirements, rules, rates, and discounts.
Car Insurance Requirements
To fulfill Arkansas car insurance requirements, you must have liability auto insurance to help pay for injuries or property damage to another person resulting from a car accident you cause.
Your liability car insurance must have the following minimum limits:
- $25,000 for bodily injury, per person.
- $50,000 for total bodily injury per accident, if multiple people were injured in said accident.
- $25,000 for property damage, per accident.
Optional Car Insurance
While Arkansas car insurance laws require you to have liability auto insurance, there are several optional coverages to help further protect you financially.
Most AR car insurance companies offer the following optional types of coverage for purchase:
- Collision – Helps cover damages to your car resulting from traffic accidents.
- Comprehensive – Helps cover non-collision-related damages to your car, such as those resulting from inclement weather, theft, or fire.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist – Helps pay for injuries or property damage resulting from an accident caused by an uninsured driver or a driver whose insurance is insufficient to cover your costs.
NOTE: While AR law does not require collision and comprehensive coverages, the lender of your financed car may require you to purchase these coverage types. If you do not buy collision and comprehensive coverages, your lender may purchase these coverages for you and charge you for it. This is generally much more expensive than purchasing the insurance yourself.
Personal Injury Protection
Personal injury protection (PIP), often referred to as no-fault insurance, may also be purchased in Arkansas.
PIP will help you with certain costs resulting from a car accident, no matter who caused it.
In AR, car insurance companies are required to offer you different PIP coverage types. You have the option of purchasing one or more of the following:
- Medical payments coverage – To help pay for injury-related expenses.
- Lost wages coverage – To help with any wages you may lose as a result of a car accident.
- Death benefits coverage – To help pay for funeral and death-related costs resulting from a car accident.
You may choose not to purchase any PIP coverage, but you must do so in writing.
Proof of Insurance
Arkansas law requires you to provide proof of insurance upon request by the Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) or by a police officer during a traffic stop.
The most common form of proof of insurance is the insurance ID card issued to you by your car insurance carrier.
The DFA uses an electronic database to verify your car insurance status:
- When you register your car.
- During monthly checks of all registered vehicles.
If the database does not show that you're currently meeting the Arkansas car insurance requirements, you must provide your proof of insurance, or you will not be able to register your car.
Additionally, the DFA Office of Motor Vehicle does a monthly check of all registered cars. If the database shows no record of your car insurance, you may be asked to provide your proof of insurance to update the database.
For more information, call the DFA Insurance Verification Program at (501) 682-7932.
Officers will ask for your proof of insurance as part of any routine traffic stop.
If you are not able to provide your proof of insurance, but you do have an insurance policy that meets AR requirements, you will be issued a citation and $25 a fine.
If you are driving without current insurance, you'll face harsher penalties (see “Violations and Penalties" below).
SR-1 and SR-21
An Arkansas Motor Vehicle Accident Report (Form SR-1) must be filed if you are involved in a car accident resulting in:
- More than $1,000 in property damage to any person.
- Injury to any person.
- Death to any person.
Additionally, you must provide proof of financial responsibility. An SR-21 proof of liability is attached to the Arkansas Motor Vehicle Accident Report (Form SR-1) and must be completed by your car insurance company proving that you did have the minimum required car insurance when the accident occurred.
Violations and Penalties
If you are found to be driving with no car insurance, either through the DFA's monthly checks or during a traffic stop, you face the following penalties:
- Suspension of your vehicle registration.
To have your registration reinstated after a car insurance violation, you must:
- Buy at least the minimum required Arkansas car insurance.
- Provide the DFA with your proof of insurance.
- Pay a reinstatement fee.
Arkansas Automobile Insurance Plan
While all drivers must be insured, Arkansas auto insurance companies have the right to refuse coverage to those they find to be “high-risk" drivers.
If you are having trouble finding a car insurance carrier, you may apply for insurance through the Arkansas Automobile Insurance Plan.
You can apply to the plan through any car insurance agent licensed to do business in Arkansas. However, once your application is processed, you may be assigned to a different car insurance company.
All Arkansas car insurance companies must participate in the plan. The amount of drivers assigned to a company through the plan is dependent on how many customers that company voluntarily covers.
Cancellation of an Insurance Policy
Within the first 60 days of your policy, your car insurance company may cancel your policy for nearly any reason.
After the first 60 days, your car insurance policy may only be canceled for the following reasons:
- Not paying your premium.
- Obtaining car insurance through fraud or misrepresentation.
- Homicide resulting from use of a motor vehicle.
- 3 convictions of speeding and/or reckless driving within 3 months before the policy period and the end of the policy period.
- DUI conviction.
Car insurance companies must only give you notice of 10 days when canceling your car insurance because of premium nonpayment.
Your car insurance company must give you notice of 20 days before cancellation with any of the other valid reasons for cancellation.
Your insurance company can choose not to renew your policy at its expiration date; but if it does, it must give you a written notice at least 30 days before the expected renewal date.
Determining Your Car Insurance Rates
Several factors go into determining your AR car insurance premium. When shopping for auto insurance, consider that the following are commonly factored into your rates:
- Your car's:
- Your credit history.
- The deductible (the out-of-pocket amount you are responsible for towards a claim).
- The higher your deductible, the lower your premium.
- Your age.
- Your driving record.
Car Insurance Discounts in Arkansas
One of the best ways to obtain low-cost car insurance is by taking advantage of discounts.
Several Arkansas car insurance companies offer the following discounts for:
- Having a good driving record.
- Being a good student (generally, a B average will get you a discount).
- Having multiple cars on your policy.
- Owning a home.
While discounts are a great way to save on car insurance, your best bet is to maintain a driving record that reflects safe and violation-free driving.
Most Stolen Cars in Arkansas
You can expect to pay higher rates for your car insurance if you own a car that is a popular target for theft.
The following is a list of 2013's most stolen cars in Arkansas according to www.nicb.org:
- Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size).
- Ford Pickup (Fill Size).
- Honda Accord.
- Dodge Pickup (Full Size).
- GMC Pickup (Full Size).
- Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size).
- Chevrolet Impala.
- Honda Civic.
- Toyota Camry.
- Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee.
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