The auto insurance premiums are low in Arkansas, when compared to other states such as Louisiana, which is the most expensive state to insure a car in the United States. The average annual auto insurance rate in Arkansas is $1545.
Auto insurance is mandatory in the state of Arkansas. Driving without insurance could cost you a fine of up to $250 the first time you are caught. You could also face suspension of your driver’s license and vehicle registration.
Despite the strict state laws, drunk driving is still prevalent in Arkansas. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the total fatalities due to road accidents in Arkansas were 551 in 2011 and 552 in 2012, of which alcohol impaired fatalities were 154 in 2011. The fatalities due to alcohol impairment contributed to 28% of the total accidents. In 2012, this number reduced marginally, with 143 alcohol impaired fatalities, which contributed to 26% of the total accidents.
The State of Arkansas has a law that prohibits a person from driving when they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or more in their system. Penalties are stringent if a person is caught drunk while driving. First time offenders have to pay a fine up to $1000. This might increase up to $ 5000 for repeat offenders. As per the Arkansas Department of Public Safety, driving under the influence could land you in jail for up to 1 year for the first offence, and repeat offenders could face up to 6 years of imprisonment.
In addition to the above, there are financial repercussions of driving under the influence. Insurance companies will hike up your premium up to $2974 per year the first time you are caught. Your premium could be even higher for the next seven years after you are convicted.
In Arkansas as per the Insurance Services Office (ISO), the surcharge for multi-car policies is $1854 of the base rate for the first two vehicles on the policy, and $2163 for a single-car policy.
If you're involved in an accident that causes serious injuries or major property damage, your insurance premiums could increase between $2318 and $3090 after your next policy renewal.
So with all the above consequences that one has to face, it may be time to rethink your decision of getting behind the wheel if you’ve had more than a couple of drinks.
The twenty one year period from 1989 to 2010 saw the average expenditure on insurance premiums in Arkansas rise by 81.6 percent. In the same timeframe, the nationwide average rose by 43.3 percent. In other words, insurance costs rose almost twice as quickly in Arkansas as they did in the rest of the country.
In 1989, the average expenditure on insurance in Arkansas was $364.68. At the time, the nationwide average stood at $551.95. As of 2010, average figures stood at $662.42 for Arkansas and $791.22 across the country. It is still cheaper to buy auto insurance in Arkansas compared to the rest of the country, as it was in 1989. However, the gap is closing fast. In 1989, insurance expenditure in Arkansas was 66.1% that of the nationwide average, but in 2010 that figure has risen to 83.7%. Arkansas now finds itself on a list of thirty eight states where insurance costs grew by more than the nationwide average in the 21 years from 1989 to 2010.
The Consumer Federation of America put out a study in November 2013 that analyzed insurance trends across the country. The study found that states that had put in place strong auto insurance regulation achieved the most success in keeping insurance costs low. For instance, California put in place a Prior Approval system which requires changes in premiums and rates to be approved by the state before than be implemented in the market. Arkansas has a File & Use system which compels insurers to file rate changes before implementing them but there is no requirement for approval by the state. California also put in place other regulatory measures that exercise substantial state control over auto insurance. These controls have resulted in insurance costs in California going down by 0.3% from 1989 to 2010.
As of 2010, it is still cheaper to buy auto insurance in Arkansas compared to the nationwide average, but the gap is closing fast. Timely regulatory measures taken by the state will help keep rates lower and retard the speed at which insurance costs are rising in Arkansas.
At $1545, Arkansas’ average insurance rates are above national average by $49. Arkansas is the 18th most expensive state to buy auto insurance in the United States. Fayetteville is one of the more affordable cities to buy auto insurance, and has an annual average insurance rate of $1086. Little Rock is slightly more expensive, at $1332.
Most cars have lower insurance rates in Fayetteville. The car with the lowest insurance cost in Arkansas is the Chevrolet Silverado, which costs only an average of $960 per year to insure in Fayetteville. In Little Rock, it costs $1177 per year to insure the Silverado. The difference in the median prices in the two cities is not very high. In Fayetteville, you can buy a used Chevrolet Silverado for a median price of $29,259 and in Little Rock you can buy it for a median price of $27,995. If we compare the insurance costs of the Silverado to that of the Ford F-Series, the Ford F-Series is the more expensive option of the two in Arkansas. In Fayetteville as well as Little Rock, it is more expensive to insure the Ford F-Series. Its average insurance rate is $994 in Fayetteville and $1219 in Little Rock. The median price of the Ford F-Series is $26,459 in Fayetteville and $33,995 in Little Rock.
The Toyota Corolla, too, has very affordable insurance costs in Arkansas. In Fayetteville, its average insurance rate is $962 per year. In Little Rock, it is $1181. The difference in median prices, again, is not very high. In Fayetteville, you can buy the Corolla for a median price of $14259, while in Little Rock you can buy it for a median price of $15,995.
The car that has the highest insurance costs in Arkansas is the Toyota Camry. In Little Rock, its average insurance rate is $1481, and in Fayetteville it is $1207. The Camry has a relatively low median price, at $17,889 and $18,995 in Fayetteville and Little Rock, respectively.