You know you need car insurance, but do you know exactly what type of coverage you need or what coverage each type of policy provides?
What Car Insurance Do I Need To Drive Legally In The Natural State?
Arkansas state law requires all drivers to carry an auto insurance policy that will cover $25,000 in bodily injury per person, per accident—which means a policy that will pay $25,000 in medical bills per injured person, if the policy-holder causes the accident.
For destruction of property, state law requires $25,000 in liability damage coverage and other expenses caused during an at-fault collision.
Drivers should keep copies of their insurance information with them whenever they drive. If you are unable to produce proof of insurance, you could be fined anywhere from $50 – $1,000. Other consequences include license suspension or jail time for habitual offenses.
What Are The Different Types of Auto Policy Coverage?
Liability coverage will pay medical and rehabilitation expenses as well as property damage and repair costs.
Additionally, if you face a legal suit for recovery of actual damages, your legal defense may be covered. Because Arkansas is a tort state, the non-fault driver can sue the at-fault driver for actual expenses associated with bodily injury, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Collision coverage will pay for damage to your car if you are in an accident, regardless of who is at fault.
It will also pay for damage to your car if you collide with an object other than another car. However, collision coverage requires you to pay your deductible before it kicks in. Make sure you choose an auto insurance policy with a deductible you can afford to pay.
Comprehensive Auto Coverage
Look into comprehensive coverage to cover non-collision type of damage that may happen to your car, such as damage caused by weather (like hail, tornado, or flooding), fire, theft or vandalism. Typically, comprehensive coverage is available with and without a deductible.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Protect yourself against situations where an at-fault driver does not have any coverage or not enough liability coverage to pay for medical expenses for you or your passengers.
Personal Injury Coverage
It is important to account for accidents where you may sustain an injury that has long-term implications.
This type of coverage pays medical and funeral costs for you or your passengers. It also covers your lost wages if you need to take significant time off work or become permanently disabled as a result of an accident.
If you hit a pedestrian or cyclist, this insurance will cover related expenses. State law does not require Personal injury coverage, but you will have to opt out in writing if you decline to purchase it.
Classic Car Coverage
Protect your time and investment with specialized collision and comprehensive coverage for your classic car. Help establish the stated value of your classic car with specialized insurance.
Tricky Auto Insurance Questions
Do I Need Auto Insurance If I Don’t Have a Car?
- Look into auto insurance even if you don’t own a car, but do drive often.
- If you borrow the same car frequently, the owner should add you to their policy as a second driver.
- Using a variety of vehicles may mean you should consult your agent about non-ownership coverages available to you.
Does Insurance Follow the Car or the Driver?
You should ask your agent about your particular policy, but in general, liability insurance follows the driver.
This means that your auto insurance policy may be available to pay for medical and property damage costs, as well as legal costs you may incur, if you cause a collision.
However, exclusions in liability policies can make coverage tricky to understand. Learn which situations may not follow you as a driver. Comprehension and collision coverage generally follows the car, meaning that they may not kick in if you’re driving a car that doesn’t belong to you.
Similarly, speak with your agent to determine the coverage available if the policyholder is not present when the damage occurs.
Does My Auto Insurance Cover Rental Cars?
This depends on your specific policy. Usually your personal comprehensive and collision coverage will cover your rental cars, but liability insurance often does not.
This means, if you don’t hold a rental insurance policy or if you decline insurance from the rental company, you could be on the hook for medical injuries and property damage you cause to another vehicle and its passengers. Talk to your agent to figure out what your specific policy covers.
Does My Auto Insurance Cover Roadside Assistance?
Farm Bureau Insurance of Arkansas offers complimentary Roadside Assistance to all private passenger autos, motorhomes and farm trucks that have collision coverage, up to a certain dollar limit.
This service includes emergency towing, emergency jump starts, and emergency flat tire changes. Roadside assistance also helps if you lock yourself out or run out of gas.
What Happens If I Hit a Deer?
If you hit a large animal, such as a deer, any damage your car sustains would be covered by comprehensive coverage.
Collision coverage covers damage as a result of swerving to avoid hitting an animal.