Arkansas auto insurance is no laughing matter. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission (NHTSC), Arkansas ranks far below the national average when it comes to traffic fatality rates and other important safety categories. More specifically, in 2008 there were 703 reported traffic fatalities in the State of Arkansas, averaging out to 25 deaths per year for every 100,000 drivers on Arkansas roads. To put that into perspective, that number is nearly double the national average at 14 deaths per 100,000 drivers, and close to four times the rate of the safest state in the U.S., which clocks in at 7 deaths per 100,000. Add to those revelations statistics compiled by the American Society for Public Preservation which claim that Arkansas has more litter and debris on its roads, highways, and byways than any other state in the nation, and it's clear that protecting yourself and others with adequate Arkansas auto insurance is a no brainer in The Land of Opportunity.
Understanding Arkansas Auto Insurance Laws
Regardless of the risks you take when you venture out onto Arkansas roads and highways, the state of Arkansas does require you to carry insurance coverage on every car that you own. Specifically, the Arkansas Department of Insurance mandates that every vehicle in the State of Arkansas is covered by a minimum Bodily Liability coverage of $25,000/$50,000, and Property Damage Coverage of $25,000. In everyday language, that means that if you're found to be at fault in an automobile accident, your insurance coverage will pay medical expenses of up to $25,000 for any injuries that you sustain, and up to $50,000 for injuries incurred by others. As for that extra $25,000 dollars in Property Damage Coverage, it pays for the repair costs of the vehicle you ran into, as well as any other property damage attributed to the accident.
Arkansas Auto Insurance Quotes: What to Expect When it Comes to Cost
That being the case, what does basic auto insurance coverage cost in Arkansas? According to a recent study by the Insurance Information Institute (III), residents of Arkansas can expect to pay average annual premiums of $660 to cover their most basic auto insurance needs. Considering Arkansas' reputation as one of the most dangerous states to drive a car in across the country, that average rate is surprisingly low compared to the national average of $795 per year. In a large part, that's due to the fact that most Arkansans choose to go with the bare minimum when it comes to coverage, and nothing more. That said, it's not a bad idea to consider upping that coverage if you have the means. We all know that health care costs are nothing to scoff at these days, and in a serious accident the base liability coverage of $25,000/$50,000 that the state requires could easily leave you financially responsible for a substantial amount of medical bills above and beyond what your policy will cover. Add to that extra coverage like Medical Payments, Uninsured Motorist Protection, Collision, and Comprehensive, and that $660 mentioned above should be viewed as a starting point when it comes to Arkansas auto insurance quotes rather than the final cost you're likely see on your annual policy statement.
The Cost of Not Carrying Auto Insurance in Arkansas
And what if you decide to try to dodge Arkansas' mandated auto insurance requirements? The answer should be sobering to any driver who navigates Arkansas roads. First offenses carry a fine of $50 to $250. Second offenses will cost you between $250 and $500. And a third offense carries penalties of up to a year in jail and as much as a $1,000 fine. Even if you are insured, and simply can't provide proof of insurance, an Arkansas Highway Patrolman has the right to commandeer your license plate and submit your auto registration for review and revocation by the Office of Driver Services. To make a long story short, paying your insurance premiums is going to cost you a lot less than if you get caught driving without the required insurance in Arkansas.
Doing the Right Thing: Finding the Best Arkansas Auto Insurance Quotes and Coverage
All that being what it is, the smart thing to do in the state of Arkansas is to make sure that you have, at the very minimum, the required amount of coverage in order to protect you and yours. Which brings us to the real secret when it comes to getting the best auto insurance quotes possible: hit the pavement, or the phone book, and collect as many quotes as you can manage from different insurance providers. By taking this shotgun approach to insurance shopping, you'll ensure that you're getting the best rates in the business, and you'll be able to compare insurance agents and providers so that you can be certain that the insurance agent you settle on is someone you can work with and trust to act in your best interests where your auto insurance in Arkansas is concerned. Whether you do all the legwork yourself, or choose to streamline the process by using a proven quote finding service like NetQuote .com, obtaining a host of Arkansas auto insurance quotes is your best bet in obtaining quality insurance rates for you and your family in the Land of Opportunity.