Arkansas Car Insurance Guide

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Arkansas law requires that drivers carry adequate auto insurance coverage on all registered vehicles and keep proof of insurance inside all vehicles. Here's a closer look at car insurance coverages, minimum insurance requirements for personal vehicles and motorcycles, and Arkansas driving laws.

Personal Auto Insurance

Auto insurance offers financial protection if you're involved in an accident. A car insurance policy is a contract between you and your auto insurance company. You, as the policyholder, agree to pay the premium, and the insurance company agrees to pay for your losses according to your specific policy.

All registered personal vehicles in the State of Arkansas must be covered by minimum auto insurance, which comprises bodily injury and property damage coverage.

Arkansas Driving Laws

Did you know an estimated 16% of Arkansas drivers may be uninsured? A new state law went into effect Jan. 1, 2020 to curb that statistic, requiring all drivers in the State of Arkansas to carry vehicle insurance. The law applies only to motorcycles and motor vehicles.

The law resulted in a new insurance verification system that allows Arkansas law enforcement officials to immediately check the insurance status of drivers and whether insurance has recently been purchased or has lapsed. As soon as the system is alerted to a lapse in coverage, a letter is sent to the vehicle owner notifying them of the lapse and the assessment of a $100 penalty. Read more under Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in Arkansas.

Arkansas Minimum Car Insurance Requirements

In Arkansas, all drivers must carry liability coverage that adheres to the state's minimum car insurance requirements. These are:

  • $25,000 bodily injury liability coverage for bodily injury or death per person per accident
  • $50,000 bodily injury liability coverage for bodily injury or death to any two or more persons per accident
  • $25,000 property damage liability coverage for property damage caused by an auto accident

Arkansas auto insurers are also required to offer drivers uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) and personal injury protection insurance (PIP). You must be offered the opportunity to purchase these coverages when you apply for car insurance in Arkansas, but you have the right to reject them.

UM/UIM can protect you financially if you're involved in a hit-and-run or an accident with an at-fault driver who either doesn't have liability insurance or enough of it to cover your losses. PIP can pay for your medical expenses after a car accident, regardless of who is at-fault. (Keep reading about UM/UIM and PIP below.)

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in Arkansas

Arkansas drivers must carry proof of insurance to own and operate a vehicle in the state. The penalties for driving without insurance in Arkansas range from monetary fines to jail time.

As soon as the State's online insurance verification system is alerted to a lapse in coverage, a letter is automatically sent to the vehicle owner notifying them that their vehicle registration has been suspended. To terminate the suspension and restore driving privileges, you must pay the $100 fine and provide proof of current insurance as confirmed by the verification system.

A second offense could result in a fine of $250 to $500, plus license plate removal and a 10-day sticker. If you present proof of insurance within 10 days, your registration will not be suspended, but you will still have to pay the fine. If you do not present proof of a policy renewal or SR-22 submission within 10 days, you will lose your driving privileges and must pay a $20 reinstatement fee.

Under Arkansas driving laws, a third offense or any subsequent offenses for driving without insurance could result in a $500 to $1,000 fine, imprisonment for one year, or both. After a second offense, proof of insurance within 10 days will not exempt you from the fine. Additionally, you cannot reinstate your driving privileges until you’ve completed your jail term.

Penalties for Driving with a Suspended License in Arkansas

In Arkansas, driving a vehicle without a license or with a suspended license is a misdemeanor. The penalty is up to a $500 fine and/or imprisonment for two days to up to six months.

Driving with a suspended license can result in a longer suspension, and driving with a revoked license can prohibit you from applying for a new license.

Car Insurance Coverage Terms & Definitions

What’s in a car insurance policy? Get to know these common car insurance coverages and terms, and you’ll have a better understanding of what your policy covers:

SR-22 Insurance in Arkansas

Did you know an SR-22 isn’t your actual auto insurance? An SR-22 is a document/record your auto insurance company files with the state (usually in electronic form) certifying that you have an up to date auto insurance policy that complies with Arkansas’ minimum liability requirements.

“SR” stands for “safety responsibility.” It's usually required for drivers who have:

  • Been convicted of a DUI or DWI
  • Failed to maintain auto insurance coverage in the past
  • Committed serious driving violations

Non-Standard Car Insurance

Drivers who have a history of accidents, traffic citations, below-average credit, or DUI/DWI convictions are considered “high risk” by some insurance companies. High-risk auto insurance, or non-standard auto insurance, helps protect these drivers.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Under Arkansas law, insurance companies must offer drivers uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) at the time of purchase. It will be provided to you unless you actively decline the coverage in writing.

Whereas liability coverage helps pay for the other person's expenses, UM/UIM coverage helps pay for your expenses, such as medical bills, legal fees, and lost wages, that resulted from an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver.

Arkansas is an at-fault state, meaning the person responsible for an accident is responsible for compensating the injuries and damages they caused. However, if the at-fault driver in your incident does not have insurance, you could be on your own.

UM/UIM coverage will increase your premium, but can protect you if you are involved in a hit-and-run or an accident with an uninsured or underinsured at-fault driver.

Click here to learn more about uninsured motorist coverage.

Personal Injury Protection

Arkansas law requires that all automobile liability policies include personal injury protection coverage (PIP). It will be provided to you unless you actively decline the coverage in writing.

PIP is designed to help cover medical expenses, lost wages, and even funeral expenses you or your passenger incurs as a result of an auto accident, regardless of who caused it.

Click here to learn more about personal injury protection.

Shop Affordable Car Insurance in Arkansas

Car insurance rates in Arkansas are determined by a few different factors, which include:

  • Vehicle type
  • How much you drive
  • Your driving record
  • Your age
  • Your ZIP code
  • The amount of coverage you want

Shop for affordable insurance for cars, commercial vehicles, and motorcycles with Direct Auto. Customize your payments by choosing your down payment amount, monthly payment amount, and payment due date. We also offer these car insurance discounts and more:*

  • Military discount
  • Safe driver discount
  • Senior citizen discount
  • Multi-car discount
  • Mileage discount

Arkansas Motorcycle Insurance Laws

In Arkansas, motorcyclists are required by law to carry motorcycle insurance. The minimum insurance requirements for motorcycles are the same as the requirements for personal vehicles:

  • $25,000 bodily injury liability coverage for bodily injury or death per person per accident
  • $50,000 bodily injury liability coverage for bodily injury or death to any two or more persons per accident
  • $25,000 property damage liability coverage for property damage caused by an auto accident

It’s important to know that in some states, not all motorcycle policies cover passengers. Motorcycle guest passenger liability coverage (GPL) must be purchased to cover passengers. GPL can help cover passengers is you are at fault for any accident.

Remember to follow safety precautions when riding a motorcycle, which includes wearing proper safety gear and practicing safe driving techniques. Check out our motorcycle safety tips for more information.

More Information

If you still have questions, want to learn about other Arkansas auto insurance options, or would like to get an affordable auto insurance quote, contact Direct Auto Insurance online or over the phone at 1-877-GO DIRECT (1-877-463-4732), or visit one of our Arkansas office locations.

Arkansas Insurance Resources

*Rates, discounts and savings vary.

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