Unfortunately for Arkansas drivers, the state ranks above average for auto insurance rates, coming in at number 13 for 2017. Rates average about $100 more than the national average. That does not mean every driver has to pay those high rates – they can vary quite a bit depending on the person and where you live. Shopping around is the best way to beat Arkansas’ higher than average rates.
The Basics of Auto Insurance Arkansas
Arkansas law sets out basic limits for car insurance that all drivers must meet in order to be on the road legally. The minimum amount of insurance you must carry in the state is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per incident to pay for bodily injury in an accident where you are found at fault. You must also carry at least $25,000 in liability coverage for damage to property resulting from an accident where you are at fault.
These limits are about average when compare to other states, with the property damage limit being on the higher side.
While no other coverage is required by law, there are two other options that must be included in an insurance policy unless you reject them in writing. These are uninsured motorist coverage and personal injury protection. Insurance companies have to offer each driver both of these, and unless the policyholder signs the waiver on them, must add them to the policy.
Additionally, drivers must meet the requirements of any loan or lease on the vehicle. Most lenders require both comprehensive coverage and collision coverage, and they may also have specific limits on deductibles. It is important to know what these requirements are before you purchase an insurance policy.
Specifics of Arkansas Auto Insurance
Arkansas car insurance is very similar to most other states, with no particular specifics of concern.
It is important to know, however, that Arkansas uses a tort system when it comes to how car insurance companies pay out on claims. This means that fault is determined in an accident, and the driver who is found to be at fault is held responsible for injuries and damage. If you are at fault, your car insurance company will pay out up to the limits of your policy, and if damages exceed those limits you can be held personally responsible. Arkansas law allows lawsuits against drivers found at fault in an accident.
In a tort system, it is very important to consider increasing your liability limits above the legal minimums, which will run out quickly if you are involved in an accident that is more than a minor fender bender.
All of our top picks for car insurance in Arkansas had to first meet our standards for customer service and claims handling before anything else. That means that we looked at the most highly-rated car insurance companies in the state based on customer reviews as well as rankings from consumer research sources. Car insurance is only as good as the service you receive from the company when you really need them – so all of our top picks had to have a solid reputation for taking care of claims fairly and quickly.
All of our top picks also had to offer good value, with rates that are competitive and affordable for the coverage offered. We base the value offered by any company not just on low premiums, but on what you get for that premium. That means insurance companies that have good rates for coverage beyond the basics and back that coverage with a good reputation.
All of our top picks in Arkansas offer coverage throughout the state. In order to make sure the choices are accessible to all drivers in Arkansas, we selected only companies that are open to the general public and have no requirements for eligibility. USAA, for example, usually ranks very well, but is only open to military members and their families. We do recommend USAA to those that qualify.
Our Top Picks
These companies offer a great combination of price, service, and coverage to Arkansas drivers.
Ranking in the top three insurance companies in the region according to J.D. Power’s annual survey, GEICO offers excellent customer service to Arkansas drivers. They are the second largest car insurance company in the nation, and they are continuing to grow for good reason.
They are also one of the least expensive car insurance companies in the state, offering great rates across the board, even for younger drivers. That adds up to one of the best values for your car insurance dollar of any company operating in Arkansas.
Shelter Insurance took the top spot and the J.D. Power award in the 2017 rankings for the region, earning top marks for overall customer satisfaction. They are a growing company with roots in farming communities, and an understanding of their needs, but also offer great coverage for city dwellers.
Shelter’s rates are not always the lowest, but they do provide a good value. They are a solid choice for anyone looking to bundle auto and home insurance in one place, and their rates are competitive. Combined with a strong reputation, this company offers solid value.
Auto-Owners has a stellar record according to the J.D. Power; they rank not only among the top car insurance companies in the region but also as one of the best for claims satisfaction on a national level where they came in second for 2017.
They are not the least expensive insurance company out there, but if the best service and a comprehensive policy are more important to you than price, and you’re willing to pay a little more to ensure it, this company is a solid pick. That is not to say they are expensive; Auto-Owners is competitive in terms of rates as well.
Shopping for Car Insurance in Arkansas
The state legal minimum for car insurance in Arkansas is enough to get you on the road, but it is very important to give serious thought to carry higher limits. Before you start getting quotes for car insurance, consider what level of coverage you really need and whether the risk of being faced with a major lawsuit is worth saving a few dollars on your insurance. In most cases, raising liability limits do not actually increase your rates by much; even if you do not think you can afford it, get the quotes to compare to see what it would really cost to carry more coverage and more peace of mind.
The key to shopping for car insurance successfully is to make sure that every quote you receive includes the same limits and the same coverage. Be clear when requesting quotes about everything you want, including your liability limits, deductibles, and any extras. This ensures you will not see any quotes that are artificially low because they are missing some of the coverage you need.
Arkansas has some great car insurance options that are beyond the biggest names in the business, so make sure you do not miss out on the right choice for you. Enlist the help of a local independent agent to get quotes from some of the smaller companies you might miss out on otherwise.
The Bottom Line
Arkansas drivers have a great selection of insurance companies to choose from, both large and small. Taking the time to shop around for the best value can help any driver to pay less and get more out of their insurance.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.