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With so many car insurance companies to compare, it can seem impossible to find the best fit for your needs and budget. Our team has done the heavy lifting for you and compared the insurance quotes from some of the leading providers in Arkansas. If you’re looking for cheap auto insurance, this is the perfect place to start.
- Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Arkansas
- Best Car Insurance Companies
- Minimum Car Insurance Requirements
- Penalties for Driving Without Auto Insurance
- Arkansas Car Insurance FAQs
Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Arkansas
Finding the best car insurance rates in Arkansas can seem overwhelming. Not only do you need to evaluate policies from multiple providers, but you also need to understand the benefits of specific coverage features. Our team did the legwork for you and identified the cheapest carriers for common driver categories:
|Cheapest Insurer||Driver Category|
|Liberty Mutual||Safe Drivers|
|USAA||Drivers in the Military|
|Esurance||Drivers Who Pay Their Premiums Upfront|
|State Farm||Drivers with a DUI|
Best Car Insurance Companies in Arkansas
Our Geeks pored over reviews and complaint data to find the best auto insurance carriers in Arkansas. The following providers made the cut:
Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Arkansas
Drivers who live in Arkansas are required to carry auto insurance that meets the following minimum limits:
- Bodily Injury Liability Per Person: $25,000
- Bodily Injury Liability Per Accident: $50,000
- Property Damage Liability: $25,000
Penalties for Driving Without Auto Insurance in Arkansas
Driving while uninsured in Arkansas may result in steep fines and incarceration. The potential punishments escalate with subsequent offenses.
First-time offenders face a fine between $50 and $250. The traffic officer may also remove your license plates and replace them with a temporary bumper sticker that allows you to use your car for the next 10 days, or until you have secured proper proof of insurance. If you fail to do so, your car registration will be suspended.
Second-time offenders face a fine between $250 and $500. You may also have your license plates removed and have the same 10-day bumper sticker notice applied. Your driving privileges will be suspended, and even if you manage to produce proof of insurance within the 10 days, you will need to pay the mandatory minimum fine.
Third-time and subsequent offenders will be slapped with a Class C misdemeanor and classified as a habitual offender. You will face a fine between $500 and $1,000 and could be imprisoned for up to a year. The worst part: You cannot apply to have your registration reinstated until you have completed your jail term.
Arkansas Car Insurance FAQs
What Is the Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Act?
The Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Act states that valid proof of insurance is required to operate a car in Arkansas. Failing to comply with this law can result in serious penalties including hefty fees and incarceration. From the moment your car is registered with the Arkansas Office of Motor Vehicles, you will have your insurance status cross-referenced against the Insurance Verification & Notification Program online database.
In Arkansas, you are required to purchase both bodily injury and property damage insurance. These are third-party coverage that pays for damages sustained by other people in accidents you cause.
Bodily injury liability insurance covers the medical expenses of anyone who was not in your own vehicle at the time of the accident. This includes costs of being transported by ambulance, expenses related to any necessary surgeries, and payments for post-injury rehabilitative treatments. Property damage liability insurance pays for other drivers’ vehicle repairs or replacements after an accident that you caused.
What Are First-Party Coverage and Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Arkansas law requires all drivers to purchase liability insurance, and all licensed insurers must offer additional protection options. Two additional coverage categories you may find beneficial are first-party coverage and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
First-party coverage pays for damages and injuries incurred by the first party – you – or by a person who is driving your vehicle with your permission. This coverage will pay benefits no matter who caused the accident and will usually pay for medical and hospital bills, income disability, and accidental death.
First-party coverage is a great way to ensure your immediate expenses are paid for in the event that an accident leaves you in hospital or disabled and unable to work. It can also help your family maintain their financial security in the event of your death.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage pays for your expenses after an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. This coverage can include both bodily injury and property damage. In order to have your accident-related expenses paid for by uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance, you must be able to demonstrate that the uninsured/underinsured driver was at fault for the crash.
What Is the Arkansas Automobile Insurance Plan?
Although Arkansas law requires all drivers to carry minimum liability coverage, insurance companies in the state also have the right to refuse coverage to anyone they deem to be “high-risk” drivers. The Arkansas Automobile Insurance Plan was introduced to help high-risk drivers find coverage.
This plan enables drivers who cannot find insurance on the voluntary market to drive legally; however, you will not be able to choose your own insurance company, and you will most likely have to pay a higher premium than the average motorist.
What Is a “High-Risk Driver?”
A high-risk driver may find it tough to obtain insurance on the voluntary market. You may be considered a high-risk driving if you:
- Have been convicted of driving under the influence;
- Are a teen driver, newly licensed, or inexperienced;
- Have allowed your insurance policy to lapse; or
- Have a poor credit score.
How Does the Arkansas OMV Catch Uninsured Drivers?
Driving while uninsured in Arkansas is against the law. There are three ways the Arkansas Office of Motor Vehicles becomes aware of uninsured drivers:
- At a routine traffic stop;
- When you are involved in an accident; or
- When the state’s insurance reporting system identifies your non-compliant insurance status.
Traffic officers in Arkansas may issue you a citation if you are unable to produce a valid car insurance identification card – or the policy itself – at a roadblock. If you cause a crash without liability insurance, you will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor and have to pay for the other party’s personal injuries and property damage out of your own pocket.
The online Insurance Verification & Notification Program requires licensed insurance companies within Arkansas to disclose the status of the auto insurance policies they sell. This means if your policy has lapsed, the Office of Motor Vehicles will know about it and issue a non-compliance notice. If you do not respond to the notice with proof of insurance in 30 days, your registration will be suspended and you will be deemed uninsured.
How Do I File a Car Insurance Claim in Arkansas?
You should report any accidents to your auto insurance company as soon as possible. A representative will help you understand the steps you must take to file a claim. Here is a brief overview of the claims process:
- Report the crash to the police;
- Notify your insurance company;
- Do your best to prevent further damage to your car;
- Ask your insurance carrier for a proof of loss form; and
- If you are involved in a lawsuit after an accident, send all relevant documents to your insurance company immediately.
When Can a Car Insurance Company Cancel a Policy in Arkansas?
Car insurance companies are adept at evaluating risk and may adjust the risk profile they have assigned to your policy even when it is in effect. In some cases, they might prefer to cancel your policy rather than continue to take the risk of accruing costs.
Within the first two months of your policy, your insurance carrier may cancel your policy for nearly any reason, but after that period, your carrier may only cancel your policy if you:
- Fail to pay your premium;
- Are found to have lied about or misrepresented facts to obtain insurance;
- Have used a motor vehicle to commit a criminal act;
- Are convicted of driving recklessly three times within three months before the policy period and the end of the policy period; or
- Are found guilty of driving under the influence.
What Constitutes Car Insurance Fraud in Arkansas?
Car insurance fraud usually involves someone lying to an insurance company – either about key details in the policy application or about the circumstances of an accident. If you provide misleading information or false documentation to obtain insurance or support a claim, this would be considered fraudulent.
Most car insurance fraud cases involve drivers who:
- Stage auto accidents;
- Make false claims of injury or damages;
- Falsely report a stolen vehicle;
- Falsely claim that an accident occurred within their policy period;
- Make an insurance claim for damage that existed before the accident; or
- Lie about the insurance status of the person driving at the time of an accident.
What Is a Deductible?
Insurance policies often have a deductible, which is the amount of money you must pay out-of-pocket for your losses before the insurance company pays. Once you’ve reached the amount of the deductible, the insurer will cover the rest of your claims for the calendar year or coverage period (depending on your plan).
For example, let’s say you have collision insurance with a $900 deductible that resets each calendar year. If you file a claim for an accident causing $3,000 worth of damage, you’ll have to pay the first $900 and the insurer will pay the remaining $2,100.
Any additional claims filed within the calendar year will be covered entirely. However, claims filed beginning January 1 of the succeeding year will be subject once again to the $900 deductible.
Are High-Deductible Insurance Policies a Better Deal?
It depends. On one hand, you’ll be saving money each time you pay your premium. However, too high of a deductible could break the bank should you need to file a claim.
As a rule of thumb, it’s important to consider your monthly budget and available cash when choosing a policy. Saving money on your premiums may not be such a great deal if you’re unable to cover your deductible when you need your insurance coverage.
How Does a DWI Affect My Ability to Obtain Auto Insurance in Arkansas?
Even the cheapest car insurance companies in Arkansas will charge a premium for drivers who have been convicted of driving while intoxicated, since drivers with prior DWI offenses are considered high-risk. In fact, alcohol-impaired drivers were involved in nearly one-third of all traffic fatalities in 2010, according to the national Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
If you have a prior DWI in Arkansas, your car insurance rates may go up by 50 percent or even double.
What Is SR-22 Insurance?
In order renew your insurance coverage and driving privileges following a DWI, you’ll have to obtain an SR-22 certificate from your provider. This certificate informs the DMV that you have the necessary liability insurance coverage, even if you don’t currently don’t own your own vehicle. Not all insurance companies are willing to issue an SR-22 certificate and some will drop you after a DWI.
If you have a SR-22 coverage, then you must carry it for up to five years (depending on your specific situation). If you let it expire, your insurance company must contact the DMV (which may result in a suspension of your license).
Arkansas Car Accident Statistics
545 people were killed on Arkansas roads in 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Between 2003 and 2012, 1,769 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver in Arkansas.
In Arkansas, 43 pedestrians and 69 motorcyclists were killed in accidents in 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, while a further 60 fatal crashes involving large trucks took place in the same year.