Arkansas law requires all drivers to protect themselves from financial burden caused by accidents. The best way to comply with Arkansas car insurance law is by purchasing car insurance. Continue reading this article to know more about Arkansas car insurance rules, rates, discounts, plans and other requirements.
Car Insurance Requirements
To comply with Arkansas car insurance requirements, you must purchase liability insurance to help you cover the cost of property damage and injuries caused to others as a result of accidents caused by you. Following are the minimum required limits for liability car insurance:
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person, per accident
- $50,000 for total injury if multiple people are injured per accident
- $25,000 for property damage per accident.
Optional Car Insurance
Arkansas liability insurance will only offer you limited coverage. You need other additional car insurances. These optional car insurances will help protect you further in case of an accident. These optional types of insurance coverages include:
- Collision – Insurance that helps pay for damages to your car in the event of traffic accident
- Comprehensive – Insurance coverage that helps you cover damages to your car if you are involved in any type of accident
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist.
NOTE: While Arkansas law does not require comprehensive and collision coverages, these two insurance coverages are required by your bank or lease company if you are financing your car through a loan or lease agreement.
Personal Injury Protection
You may also consider Personal injury protection (PIP) or no-fault insurance. PIP will help cover the certain costs resulting from a car accident regardless of who was at fault. In Arkansas, car insurance companies offer different PIP coverages. You can therefore decide to purchase the following types of PIP to help protect you further:
- Medical payments coverage – Covers injury-related medical costs
- Lost wages coverage – Coves wages that you may lose when accident occurs
- Death benefits coverage – Covers funeral and death-related expenses as a result of car accident.
You may choose not to purchase any Personal Injury Protection coverage, but you must do so in writing.
Proof of Insurance
Arkansas car insurance law requires you to provide proof of insurance when you are asked to do so by the Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) or by a traffic officer. Proof of insurance mostly is an insurance ID card issued by your car insurance company.
Department of Finance and Administration use an electronic database to monitor and verify the status of your car insurance when you register your car. They also use this system when they are doing monthly checks of all registered vehicles. If there is no insurance information for your car in this database, you will receive a notification letter asking you to comply with Arkansas car insurance requirements. When you receive this letter, you must provide proof of insurance to DFA. If you fail to do so within the stated deadline, then your car registration will be suspended. For more information about the Department of Finance and Administration Insurance’s verification program, contact (501) 682-7932.
Traffic offices will ask you to provide proof of insurance as a part of routine car insurance check. If you have an insurance policy but you fail to provide proof of it, you will face a $25 fine or issued a citation.
SR-1 and SR-21
Form SR-1, which is a Motor Vehicle Accident Report must be filed if you cause an accident that results in:
- More than $1,000 in property damage to any person
- Death to any person
- Injury to any person.
Violations and Penalties
If you are found to be driving without car insurance, you will face the following penalties:
- Suspension of your vehicle registration.
To have your car registration reinstated after suspension, you must:
- Pay a reinstatement fee
- Purchase the minimum required Arkansas car insurance
- Provide proof of insurance to the DFA.
Arkansas Automobile Insurance Plan
All drivers regardless of the status of their driving record are guaranteed access to car insurance. However, individual car insurance providers may refuse to insure your vehicle if they feel that you pose a great risk while driving. If you are being denied for coverage by individual car insurance providers, you can apply for it through Arkansas Automobile Insurance Plan. All Arkansas car insurance companies must participate in this plan and give insurance coverage through this plan.
Cancellation of an Insurance Policy
During the first 60 days of purchasing a car insurance policy, your insurance carrier may cancel your policy for any reason. After the first 60 days, your insurance provider may only cancel your policy because of the following reasons:
- If you fail to pay your premiums
- If you obtain the insurance through fraud
- Homicide as a result of using that vehicle
- If you are convicted more than 3 times for over speeding or reckless driving before the policy period and at the end of the insurance coverage.
Your car insurance provider must give a notice of 10 days if they are cancelling your policy because of premium nonpayment and a 20 days notice if they are canceling your policy because of other reasons.
Your car insurance provider may decide not to renew your policy upon its expiration. But they must provide you at least 30 days notice before the expected renewal date.
Determining Your Car Insurance Rates
These are some of the factors that many companies use to determine your Arkansas car insurance premium:
- Your driving record
- The make and model of your car
- Your age
- Your credit history.
Arkansas Car Insurance Discounts
It is always advisable to ask your car insurance provider if they offer the following car insurance discounts:
- Multiple policies
- Safety features (airbags)
- Multiple cars
- Paid-in-full status
- Good student status
- Good driver status.
These discounts can help you save huge sums of money. But remember the best way to get cheap insurance is to maintain a clean driving record.
Most Stolen Cars in Arkansas
If your car is always a candidate for theft, you are more likely to pay higher car insurance rates. This is the 2013 list of the most stolen cars in Arkansas according to www.nicb.org:
- Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
- Honda Accord.
- Ford Pickup (Fill Size)
- Dodge Pickup (Full Size)
- Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
- GMC Pickup (Full Size)
- Chevrolet Impala
- Honda Civic and Toyota Camry
- Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee.