Yes, your credit score is one factor when determining your car insurance rates. Some insurance companies believe that information found in a credit report helps predict which customers are most likely to file insurance claims, and that those customers should pay more for their policies. Everything from your length of credit history to your past payment history and number of open credit lines can be used to create your “insurance score” that affects your premium.
Arkansas isn’t cheap when it comes to auto insurance, but shopping around and qualifying for discounts can save you a lot on your premium. Compare discounts offered by each carrier you’re considering, but good-driver discounts are typically offered by all insurance companies. A few other possible discounts include:
- Teen Driver
- Distant Student
- Alternative Fuel
- Defensive Driver
- Good Student
- Anti-Lock Brake
- Anti-Theft Device
- Multiple Line
- Passive Restraint
- Vehicle Safety
According to the Property Casualty Insurance Association of America, almost all states now allow drivers to show electronic proof of coverage, including Arkansas. Before you rely on this method of showing proof of coverage, though, confirm that your insurance carrier provides official digital auto insurance cards.
In Arkansas, you’re required to show proof of insurance whenever stopped by a law enforcement officer. Plus, the state maintains a database that is automatically updated whenever changes are made to your insurance status or vehicle registration. If your coverage has lapsed for any reason, you may face driver’s license and registration suspension and be charged fines. Penalties become more severe for subsequent offenses.
It is against the law for anyone to operate a motor vehicle in Arkansas with the following BAC percentages:
- .08%+ at 21 years old or older
- .04%+ for commercial vehicle drivers
- .02%+ at under 21 years old
Driver fitness is also negatively affected by illegal, prescription, and over-the-counter drugs. If your driving is impaired while under the influence of one of these substances, you will face harsh penalties.
Applying for a driver’s license in Arkansas means agreeing to comply with the state’s Implied Consent Law. It states that a law enforcement officer can test you for alcohol and/or drugs during a traffic stop if you’re suspected of driving under the influence. If you refuse this test, your license will be automatically suspended for 180 days; subsequent offenses result in longer suspensions.
If convicted of a DUI in Arkansas, you face criminal charges, driver’s license suspension, and financial penalties. The length of your license suspension depends on the number of offenses, with a first DUI receiving a suspension of 6 months, a second within a 5-year period receiving a suspension of 2 years, a third within 5 years resulting in a 30-month suspension, and permanent license revocation following a fourth within 5 years.
Driver improvement courses may be ordered following violations, and they can also be taken to keep points off your license and prevent an increase in your insurance premium. Topics covered in these courses include safe driving techniques, sharing the road with other motorists, and Arkansas traffic rules and violations.
Taking a defensive driving course, choosing higher deductibles, and avoiding lapses in coverage are good first steps at reducing the cost of your Arkansas auto insurance. Additionally, keep an eye on your credit score, sign up for all possible discounts on your policy, and pay upfront instead of in monthly installments. Of course, shopping around and comparing rates is one of the best and easiest ways to save money on your insurance policy.
Arkansas does not require uninsured motorist coverage, but this insurance is an optional and recommended policy addition. Uninsured motorist coverage helps pay for property damage or injuries resulting from an accident caused by a motorist driving without coverage.