Auto insurance requirements in Arkansas
Drivers in Arkansas are required to carry a certain amount of car insurance in order to legally get behind the wheel. Proof of insurance must also be carried at all times while driving. This proof of coverage can be physical or electronic but must be shown at the request of law enforcement officials. Find below details on the car insurance coverage required by the state of Arkansas, as well as a run-down of what this insurance covers.
Liability insurance coverage in Arkansas
Arkansas law requires that all drivers carry liability coverage. This coverage pays out if you injure another driver or their passengers. It also covers their lost wages as well as damage to the other driver’s vehicle. The amount of liability coverage that you carry can typically be increased from the state-required minimums by most insurance carriers.
It’s crucial to remember your liability coverage will never pay for your injuries or damages to your vehicle or other property. For that, you should look into some of the optional insurance coverages available in Arkansas.
What are state-mandated car insurance limits in Arkansas?
In insurance, the term limit refers to the total amount that an insurer will pay out in a covered claim. Arkansas coverage limits are determined by the state and are normally shown with three numbers — 25/50/25 — known as split limits. The numbers represent the individual categories: bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident, and property damage. See the breakdown of each of these types of liability and what they cover below.
- Bodily injury coverage per person is the maximum dollar amount your insurer will pay to cover the injuries of a single person you injure in a car accident.
- Bodily injury coverage per accident refers to the total amount your insurer will pay for everyone that you injure in a car accident.
- Property damage per accident is how much your insurer will cover for another person’s property damaged in an accident caused by you.
These numbers reflect the minimum limits required in Arkansas, though higher coverage amounts are available with most companies.
Do Arkansas’ required insurance minimums provide enough coverage?
Arkansas's minimum car insurance limits are more robust than some states. Still, if you want to fully protect yourself and your assets, it’s always a good idea to increase your liability limits. If you were to seriously injure someone in a car accident, the $25,000 limit could be exhausted quite quickly. This is especially true if you injure multiple people. Also, the $25,000 in property damage doesn’t quite cover the average cost of a new vehicle, leaving you at risk.
Remember that the above circumstances are only what covers other parties for which you cause injury or property damage. If you total your own vehicle in an accident, liability insurance pays nothing for your own losses. For this, you would need to add extra coverage.
Arkansas’s penalties for driving without proof of insurance
Car insurance is required by law in Arkansas. If you are found to be driving without insurance, you can expect the following penalties to apply:
Optional car insurance coverage in Arkansas
Arkansas only requires liability coverage to be a legal driver. However, there are a number of different types of coverage you can add for further protection. Here is a list of some of the more common coverage types.
Collision: If you collide with another car or even a stationary object, this coverage will step in to help with damages to your vehicle.
Loan/Lease Payoff: This coverage is interchangeable with gap coverage and helps cover the difference in what you owe on a car and what the car is actually worth should it be totaled. Your vehicle’s depreciation is factored in to determine the difference in your vehicle’s actual cash value and what you still owe on the loan.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP): This coverage steps in to cover you or members of your household regardless of who is at fault in an accident. It is comprised of three individual parts: medical payments, lost wages, and death benefits.
Rental Car Reimbursement: Limits will vary by company, but this coverage goes toward the costs of a rental car if your own vehicle is unable to be driven.
Roadside Assistance: Companies that offer roadside coverage differ in what they offer, but common perils covered under this include flat tires, dead batteries, and in some cases, car lock-outs.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury: If you are involved in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have insurance — or just carries the bare minimums — these coverages can step in to help cover your injuries if the at-fault party cannot pay.
Uninsured Motorist Property Damage: This form of uninsured coverage works similarly to the bodily injury coverage, though it protects your vehicle or other property damaged by an uninsured driver.
Why adhering to Arkansas’ car insurance requirements is important
On top of being required by law, keeping the appropriate amount of car insurance coverage protects you and your assets in the event of an at-fault car accident. This can save you a great deal of money in the long run. Adding coverage to protect your own vehicle or passengers can also come in handy after an accident. If you are concerned about the cost of insurance coverage in Arkansas, don’t fear.
The Zebra can help you compare quotes from a number of top insurance companies to help you find the policy that’s right for your individual needs and at a price you can afford.