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Driving in the Natural State

Arkansas is a nature lover’s paradise, with varied terrain, abundant parks, scenic trails, and popular hot springs. If you want to explore all the state has to offer, you’ll need to do so by car, as there isn’t a well-developed network of public transportation. And if you’re out driving on the roads of Arkansas, you’re required by law to carry auto insurance.

Before deciding on an insurance policy, it’s important to comparison shop to find the best coverage at the best rates. We can help you do that. We provide unbiased, carrier-neutral information to make insurance shopping as painless as possible. Just keep in mind that many factors affect your premiums, including your claims and credit history, your driving record, coverage limits and selections, and your location; your marital status, age, and the make and model of your car also come into play.

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Arkansas Auto Insurance Rates

Wondering where to begin your car insurance journey? We’ve taken some of the guesswork out of the process by providing a list of top insurers in your state below (see the full list).

  1. Shelter
  2. State Farm
  3. The Hartford

Not all car insurance companies are the same. Make sure you pay attention to rates, the number of rejected claims, and overall customer satisfaction scores when comparing companies.

Use the list of cities below to compare your local rates. If your city isn’t on the list, skip it and start comparing rates instantly!


Legalities 101

As is the case everywhere in the US, car insurance is an important legal matter in Arkansas. But carrying proper insurance does more than keep your license from being suspended. It provides financial security and protection against lost wages, medical bills, and other expenses. You never know what you might encounter on the road.

Arkansas Driving Safety

While Arkansas doesn’t have the worst safety statistics in the country, it doesn’t have the best either. Distracted driving, driving under the influence, failure to use seat belts, and other factors all contribute to the number of accidents and fatalities in the state each year. Even if you’re the safest driver on the road, you can still become involved in an accident with someone who isn’t.

Below are some key state driving stats. See the Arkansas 2014 Traffic Crash Statistics for additional information.

Arkansas Driving Safety Stats

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Total crashes reported in 2014
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Fatalities due to motor vehicle accidents
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Percent of alcohol-related traffic fatalities

Driving Green

Eco-friendly driving laws in Arkansas and around the nation are evolving much more quickly than laws in other areas. As Arkansas continues its shift toward environmentally friendly practices, the laws may continue to change. Of course, even green drivers must obey the state’s traffic laws.

There are currently several benefits to going green in Arkansas. Some of them include:

  • IRS Tax Credits

    The IRS provides significant tax breaks for citizens purchasing eco-friendly vehicles, including hybrids and plug-in hybrids, electric cars, alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs), and biodiesel vehicles. Speak to your tax consultant or accountant about this issue before filing your taxes.

  • Arkansas Insurance Discounts

    Some insurance companies operating in Arkansas offer discounts to owners or operators of green cars. For business owners who insure multiple eco-friendly vehicles or entire fleets, these discounts can save a substantial amount of money.

  • Arkansas Special Fuel User’s Permit

    Owners of vehicles that run on liquefied natural gas (LNG) or liquefied petroleum gas (propane) must apply for and receive a special fuel user’s permit through the state Dept. of Finance and Administration. If you’re interested in applying, you can do so online.

Car Insurance Laws

Being a Minimalist

Every vehicle owner in Arkansas must carry liability coverage in the amounts of $25,000 per person for bodily injury, $50,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $25,000 to cover damage to another’s property. Liability insurance pays for claims when an accident is your fault. You have the option of choosing higher limits than the minimum required by law.

Important optional coverages include uninsured motorist insurance, which covers you and your vehicle if you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured driver and the accident is his or her fault, and personal injury protection (PIP), which helps with lost wages and medical expenses.

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$ 25,000
Bodily injury coverage per person

Maximum payment for serious or permanent injury or death to a single person

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$ 50,000
Bodily injury coverage per accident

Coverage for multiple people injured in a single accident

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$ 25,000
Property damage per accident

Maximum payment for all damaged property in an accident caused by you

Maximizing Your Return on Investment

Although Arkansas does not require full coverage (collision and comprehensive), most vehicle finance lenders do require this level of coverage. If you elect not to purchase full coverage, your lender may purchase it on your behalf and charge you for it. This is typically a much more expensive way to go than purchasing the insurance yourself.

Optional coverage in Arkansas

  • Auto Loan/Lease (or "gap")
  • Collision
  • Comprehensive
  • Uninsured Motorist
  • Medical Payments
  • Lost Wages
  • Death Benefits
  • Car Break Ins
  • Customized Parts and Equipment
  • Emergency Road Service
  • Rental Coverage
  • Personal Umbrella
  • Towing and Labor
  • Travel Expenses

Optional coverages typically don’t cost a lot, and they offer extra financial protection and peace of mind. Some exclusions will apply.

Our article 10 Things to Consider when Shopping for a New Auto Insurance Policy can help make you a smarter shopper.

Arkansas car insurance companies

State Farm
The Hartford
American Family
Auto-Owners Insurance
Liberty Mutual
Farm Bureau Mutual

*This list is based on consumer ratings of the Central U.S. Region in the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Auto Insurance Study. Ratings are based on five customer service areas: policy offerings, price, interaction, claims, billing. USAA is only open to U.S. military personnel and their families and is therefore not included in the rankings.

Car Safety for Arkansas Kids

Arkansas Car Seat Regulations

Arkansas has laws mandating use of child restraint systems for children under the age of 15. These laws are based on a combination of weight and age.

Infants up to at least 1 year of age or up to 20 pounds must ride in a rear-facing seat approved for use in infants. At over 20 pounds, and from ages 1 to 6 (or 60 pounds), children should be placed in a forward-facing seat, convertible seat, or booster seat. Children ages 6 to 15 years should ride with a shoulder/lap seat belt combination.

Failure to follow these laws may result in a fine of up to $100. Children should always ride in the back seat when possible to prevent injuries that can result from a deploying airbag.

Leaving Children Unattended in a Vehicle

Arkansas is prone to high temperatures during the summer months. For this and other reasons, including a higher risk of kidnapping and accidental injury, children should never be left unsupervised in a vehicle. The interior of a vehicle can become dangerously—even fatally—hot fairly quickly, posing a serious risk to children, as well as animals.

The state does not have any specific laws regarding leaving children unattended, but if you do leave your child inadequately supervised in a potentially dangerous situation, or if your child becomes injured or dies while left unattended, you may face child neglect or other charges.

Anyone who sees an endangered child or pet left alone in a vehicle, especially if the temperatures outside are very warm or cold, is urged to call 911 and provide the location of the vehicle.

Car Insurance FAQ

Is my credit score a factor when obtaining car insurance in Arkansas?

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.

Does Arkansas offer a good-driver discount?

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:

  • Accident-Free
  • Defensive Driving Course Completion
  • Anti-Lock Brake
  • Passive Restraint
  • Anti-Theft Device
  • Good Student
  • Multi-Car
  • Multiple Line
  • Home Ownership
  • Vehicle Safety

Does Arkansas allow the use of digital insurance cards?

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.

What happens if my coverage lapses?

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.

What are Arkansas 's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) percentage limits under the state's driving under the influence (DUI) laws?

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.

What are the chemical test refusal penalties in Arkansas?

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.

What are the consequences of being convicted of a DUI?

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.

Does Arkansas offer driver improvement courses to reduce my insurance premium?

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.

Is there any way I can reduce the cost of my Arkansas car insurance?

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.

What is uninsured motorist coverage and is it required in Arkansas?

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.

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