Arkansas requires car insurance for every car owner. It’s essential you’re familiar with the specific requirements as well as the fines and penalties for driving without it. Here are the basics you need to know about Arkansas car insurance and driving safety.

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Average cost of car insurance in Arkansas

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) lists the average annual expenditure for car insurance in Arkansas as $703.04.

They broke this figure down to:

$380.78 is the average annual liability insurance expenditure.

$301.90 is the average annual collision insurance expenditure.

$185.45 is the average annual comprehensive insurance expenditure.

Young Drivers in Arkansas

We have found that a young driver in AR can expect to pay an average of:

  • $1225 for state minimum coverage1,
  • $2789 for basic full coverage2 and
  • $3548 for premium full coverage3.

Our study shows that if a young driver wants to upgrade from a state minimum coverage to a basic full one, he may pay an average of $1500 difference. If a young driver wants to upgrade to premium instead of a basic full coverage then the difference we found was $750.

Female Drivers in Arkansas

A 35-year-old female driver can expect to pay less of what a young driver would pay. On average women can expect to pay around:

  • $468 for state minimum coverage,
  • $1159 for basic full coverage and
  • $1530 for premium full coverage.

Our study found that for a female adult driver, Geico offered the cheapest rates for all three types of coverages. Our methodology4 is explained below.

Senior Drivers in Arkansas

In our case study, we used a 68-year-old male driver with 45 years of driving experience. AR provides these average premiums for a senior driver:

  • $484 for state minimum coverage,
  • $1171 for basic full coverage and
  • $1525 for premium full coverage.

A senior can pay as little as $24 per month on car insurance with state minimum coverage in cities like Camden and Warren. For basic full and premium full coverages, Fort Smith with a population of 86,209 (2010, latest data5) offers the cheapest monthly rates at $67 and $94 respectively.

Minimum car insurance requirements

Liability insurance is the minimum form of insurance required in Arkansas. It helps you pay for damages or injuries in a car accident that you caused.

Arkansas requires all drivers to carry liability insurance that covers, at a minimum, $25,000/$50,000 for bodily injury/death per accident and $25,000 for property damage per accident.

Many drivers decide to add additional coverage to their car insurance plan. Options available in Arkansas include collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, uninsured motorist coverage, and underinsured motorist coverage.

No-fault car insurance, also known as personal injury protection, is also available in Arkansas. It helps protect you financially, no matter who caused the accident. For example, you’ll still receive benefits even if you’re deemed responsible for the accident.

Violations and penalties 

Be prepared to face serious penalties if you get caught driving without the minimum required liability insurance in Arkansas.

You’ll receive a $50 to $250 fine the first time you’re caught driving without car insurance. Your registration will be suspended until you pay the fine, buy the necessary insurance, and pay a $20 registration reinstatement fee.

On your second offense, be prepared to pay a $250 to $500 fine. Your registration will once again be suspended until you pay the fine, buy the necessary insurance, and pay a $20 reinstatement fee.

The third offense is much more serious. You’ll be hit with a $500 to $1,000 fine and possible jail time of up to one year. Your registration will also be suspended until you pay the fine, do the jail time (if applicable), buy the necessary insurance, and pay a $20 reinstatement fee.

Arkansas takes their car insurance laws seriously. The Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) performs monthly checks on all registered cars to verify their owner has the proper car insurance.

Driving safety in Arkansas

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists the percentage of drivers and front-seat passengers that wear seatbelts in Arkansas as 72%. This can be compared to the national average of 86%.

The National Highway Safety Administration further assesses driving safety in the state with a study related to alcohol impaired driving fatalities. Out of 470 total driving fatalities, 29% of them, or 136, were caused by alcohol impaired driving.

470 total driving fatalities puts the total vehicle occupant death rate in Arkansas at 13.8 per 100,000 residents, according to another study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Final thoughts

If you live in Arkansas, you’re required by law to have at least liability insurance for all vehicles registered in the state. It’s often a smart idea to invest in more robust coverage such as collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, or even no-fault coverage.

0
licensed drivers in Arkansas, 2014
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privately insured vehicles in Arkansas

Source: StatistaInsurance Information Institute

1State minimum coverage includes the minimum liability insurance limits required in your state but excludes the following:
  • No Collision and Comprehensive Coverage
  • No Towing Coverage
  • No Rental Car Coverage
  • No Full Glass Coverage
2Basic full coverage includes:
  • $50,000 Bodily Injury Liability Per Person/$100,000 Per Accident
  • $25,000 Property Damage Liability
  • $50,000 Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage Per Person/$100,000 Per Accident
  • $25,000 Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage
  • $750 Deductible Collision And Comprehensive Coverage
  • $50 Towing Coverage
  • No Rental Reimbursement Coverage
  • No Full Glass Coverage
3Premium full coverage includes:
  • $250,000 Bodily Injury Liability Per Person / $500,000 Per Accident
  • $100,000 Property Damage Liability
  • $250,000 Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage Per Person / $500,000 Per Accident
  • $100,000 Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage
  • $250 Deductible Comprehensive Coverage And No Deductible Collision Coverage
  • $75 Towing Coverage
  • $30/day Rental Reimbursement, Max Of $900
  • Full Glass Coverage
4Methodology: To achieve accurate results we obtained estimates for 10 cities in the state: 5 of the largest cities and 5 randomly picked smaller cities. For each city, we collected premiums for 3 levels of coverage: state minimum coverage, basic full coverage and premium full coverage. We used 3 different driver profiles for the case studies. For the young driver profile we used a 20-year-old single male or female with 1 year driving experience. Second, the profile fit that of a 35-year-old married female with 12 years of driving experience. The last profile we used in our studies is a male senior driver who was 68-year-old with 45 years of driving experience. The vehicle we used for all three driver profiles was a 2012 Honda Accord EX.
5Latest data: The U.S. census is conducted every 10 years as per requirement of the United States Constitution. The 23rd edition and the latest data is the 2010 United States Census. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_United_States_Census
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