Nearly every state in the U.S. requires that any vehicle on the road to carry a state specified minimum insurance coverage. Arkansas is one of them. It is important to understand the legal requirements of insurance in the state before you have need it. It will also help you better anticipate your rights and responsibilities in you are involved in an accident, whether you are at fault or not.
Required Insurance Coverage in Arkansas
The state of Arkansas requires that all vehicles be covered by a minimum liability insurance policy that includes both bodily injury and property damage. The minimum requirements are:
- $25,000 for bodily injury, per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury, per incident
- $25,000 for property damage
Bodily injury pays medical expenses for people who were injured in an accident where the driver was found to be at fault. This may include physician, emergency room fees, hospital stay, medication, diagnostic tests, lab work, medical treatments, medical devices, physical therapy, lost wages, and other medical related expenses.
Property damage pays for any damage to property as the result of an accident where the driver was found to be at fault. This can include damage to the other vehicle, a bike (if the person they hit was a cyclist), or a fence (if they drove into someone’s yard).
Liability insurance also pays for the driver’s legal defense is he or she is sued as the result of an accident that is covered by the policy.
Is Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Required?
Arkansas is an at fault insurance state, but is considered an “add on” state for no fault insurance. This means that drivers have a choice when selecting their car insurance. This means that they can purchase Personal Injury Protection, or PIP, to provide them with no fault coverage. This means that in the event of an accident, regardless of who was at fault, the driver can file a claim with their own insurance company and receive benefits for injured parties who qualify under the terms of the policy. It pays for a portion of medical expenses, lost wages, and essential services that result from a vehicle accident.
Additional Insurance Options
Full coverage auto insurance is not required in Arkansas, but it is a smart choice for many motorists. There are several choices for various types of coverage that are available:
- Collision – This type of coverage protects the insured’s vehicle by paying for damages that result from an accident involving another vehicle or object.
- Comprehensive – This type of coverage addresses damage to a vehicle that is not the result of an accident. It covers things like vandalism, theft, cracked windshields, fire, glass breakage, and contact with animals as well as other accidents that are not caused by a collision.
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist – They type of insurance provides coverage when the at fault party either does not have insurance or doesn’t carry enough insurance to cover all of the damages that they caused. There are three parts to it:
- Bodily injury – Pays for bodily injury damages that the insured and passengers are entitled to by law from the at fault driver who is uninsured or underinsured.
- Property damage – Pays for property damage to the insured’s vehicle that they are entitled to by law from the at fault driver who is uninsured or underinsured.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – Pays a portion of medical expenses, and lost wages as well as other necessary expenses.
Required Documentation for Proof of Insurance
All motorists in Arkansas are required to carry proof of insurance in their vehicle whenever it is in operation. The accepted forms of proof of insurance are a current insurance ID card or a copy of the policy or binder.
This information must be readily accessible anytime the vehicle is in operation. The driver must be able to present it when a police officer requests and after the care is involved in an accident. Proof of insurance is also required when obtaining or renewing a vehicle’s registration or title.
Penalties for Failure to Show Proof of Insurance
Under Arkansas law, there can be serious penalties for failing to provide proof of insurance. The first offense garners a fine between $50 and $250. Each subsequent infraction incurs an increase in the fine and can include incarceration. The vehicle registration may also be suspended and the driver may have to pay a reinstatement fee in order to be able to drive again.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, let us help you. Call the Law Offices of Alan Levar and get the compensation that you’re due. Our caring, experienced attorneys are ready to fight for you.