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Best Cheap Car Insurance in Arkansas for 2020

Jan. 2, 2020
Auto Insurance, Insurance
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Comparison shopping is key to getting cheap car insurance in Arkansas. Policies with the same coverage options can have very different prices depending on the insurer, so settling for the first estimate you get might mean losing out on a better deal elsewhere.

To help you get a better picture of Arkansas car insurance, NerdWallet looked at rates from the 13 largest companies in the state. Below you’ll find the five most affordable options for common driver types.

Cheapest for good drivers in Arkansas

Here are the cheapest auto insurers and average rates in Arkansas for drivers with clean driving and credit histories seeking full coverage policies:

  1. Geico: $1,007 per year.
  2. Safeco: $1,020 per year.
  3. Shelter: $1,225 per year.
  4. Arkansas Farm Bureau: $1,347 per year.
  5. State Farm: $1,407 per year.
Drivers with no recent accidents or violations can get cheaper car insurance rates for having good credit. For this calculation, NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-old men and women with a clean driving record and good credit. In terms of driving and credit history, a large portion of drivers are closest to this profile, which carries standard "full coverage" insurance, including comprehensive and collision, along with state-required coverage. Prices shown include a good driver discount, when available from the insurer.

Cheapest for minimum coverage in Arkansas

Here are the cheapest insurance companies and their average rates in Arkansas for good drivers with good credit and minimum required coverage:

  1. Geico: $302 per year.
  2. Safeco: $469 per year.
  3. State Farm: $503 per year.
  4. Arkansas Farm Bureau: $514 per year.
  5. Auto Club of SoCal: $539 per year.
We calculated these numbers by averaging rates for 40-year-old good drivers (earning them a discount if the insurer offers one) who have only the minimum mandatory insurance in their state. Such light coverage isn't typically recommended since it might not cover all the bills resulting from a car accident, but it's better than nothing — especially if you can't afford much more. If you're looking for the cheapest possible insurance you can get, though, you'll still want to get car insurance quotes from at least three auto insurers.

Cheapest for good drivers with poor credit

For Arkansans with clean driving histories and spotty credit, here are the cheapest auto insurers we found, ranked by lowest average rate:

  1. Geico: $1,479 per year.
  2. Nationwide: $2,130 per year.
  3. Safeco: $2,139 per year.
  4. Trexis: $2,164 per year.
  5. Shelter: $2,214 per year.
If you have a spotty credit history, it's important to shop around to find the cheapest auto insurance rates you can. Poor credit can have a bigger effect on car insurance premiums than even a DUI conviction or a recent at-fault crash, but prices vary by insurer. To calculate these figures, NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-olds with a clean driving record and associated good driver discount, if the insurer offered one. They had poor credit as reported to their insurer, and standard "full coverage" car insurance.

Cheapest for drivers with one at-fault crash

For drivers in Arkansas with a recent at-fault accident on their records, here are the cheapest insurance companies we found and their average rates for full coverage policies:

  1. Safeco: $1,675 per year.
  2. Arkansas Farm Bureau: $1,716 per year.
  3. State Farm: $1,762 per year.
  4. Geico: $1,978 per year.
  5. Nationwide: $2,237 per year.
After a relatively minor crash, some auto insurers will charge a lot more than others for coverage. To get these figures, we averaged rates for 40-year-olds with typical "full coverage" insurance and one recent at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage. Your rates will remain high for three to five years after you cause an accident or have a moving violation — and you still may be rejected for coverage from certain companies, including those above. If you fall into this category, be sure to shop for new insurance rates just after the three-year and five-year anniversaries of your infraction.

Cheapest insurance after a DUI in Arkansas

These are the cheapest car insurance companies we found for drivers in Arkansas with full coverage policies and a recent DUI on their driving records:

  1. Arkansas Farm Bureau: $1,603 per year.
  2. Safeco: $1,967 per year.
  3. State Farm: $2,024 per year.
  4. Allstate: $2,259 per year.
  5. Progressive: $2,288 per year.
A conviction for driving under the influence, or DUI, generally results in higher auto insurance premiums than before. NerdWallet analyzed rates for 40-year-old drivers and standard “full coverage” car insurance with a recent DUI conviction to see which companies were cheapest. Be warned that you may be rejected for coverage, including from the companies listed above. Rates can vary by hundreds between carriers after a DUI, and some penalize for longer than others, so it’s important to shop around for the best available price right after you see a price hike and each year after that.

Cheapest insurance after a ticket in Arkansas

These are the cheapest insurers after a speeding ticket, ranked by lowest average rate in Arkansas for full coverage policies:

  1. Geico: $1,007 per year.
  2. Safeco: $1,386 per year.
  3. Arkansas Farm Bureau: $1,455 per year.
  4. State Farm: $1,615 per year.
  5. Nationwide: $1,717 per year.
Getting a speeding ticket will result in higher car insurance rates from most companies for three to five years. To see who has the cheapest rates, we calculated average car insurance rates for 40-year-old drivers with “full coverage” insurance and a recent ticket for speeding 16 mph over the limit. Though these larger companies were the cheapest we found on average, others may be cheaper for you, so be sure to get at least three quotes before deciding on a carrier.

Cheapest for couples and families in Arkansas

When car insurance policies collide, so many pricing factors change that the cheapest companies for singles aren’t always the same for couples and families. To get an idea of which companies have the best rates, NerdWallet analyzed rates for couples with two vehicles, with and without a teen driver on their policy. To keep your rates low, be sure to compare insurance quotes every time something big happens in life, such as a big move, marriage or new driver on your auto policy.

Cheapest for a married couple in Arkansas

For a husband and wife, both age 50, here are the cheapest car insurance companies and their average rates in Arkansas for full coverage on two vehicles:

  1. Geico: $1,196 per year.
  2. Safeco: $1,549 per year.
  3. Shelter: $1,890 per year.
  4. Allstate: $2,008 per year.
  5. Auto Club of SoCal: $2,217 per year.
Couples who live together can save on auto insurance by combining policies, whether they are married or not, because they can earn multi-car and multi-driver discounts. Once they tie the knot, rates can dip further, but not because of discounts — insurers see married people as less risky and so charge them lower rates. Our hypothetical 50-year-old couple’s clean driving record also earns them both a good driver discount.

Cheapest for families with a teen in Arkansas

For a 50-year-old couple with a teen driver on their policy, insuring two vehicles with full coverage, these are the cheapest insurance companies we found in Arkansas and their average rates:

  1. Safeco: $2,850 per year.
  2. Geico: $3,038 per year.
  3. Arkansas Farm Bureau: $3,377 per year.
  4. Shelter: $3,512 per year.
  5. Allstate: $3,786 per year.
Adding a teen with two years’ driving experience to a married couple's policy is sure to cause a big jump in rates. Since different insurers tend to see a teen’s inexperience in different ways, we analyzed rates to see which companies had the cheapest car insurance for teens. These rates are averaged for 50-year-old couples with male and female 18-year-old drivers.

Cheapest for young drivers in Arkansas

Young drivers typically pay higher rates than those more experienced on the road, but in Arkansas they can get pretty close by shopping around for insurance quotes. To see who was the cheapest statewide, NerdWallet analyzed rates for 25-year-old drivers and all of the same rating factors as our 40-year-old singles.

Cheapest full coverage for young good drivers

For young drivers with good credit and driving histories in Arkansas with full coverage policies, these are the cheapest insurers and their average rates:

  1. Safeco: $1,102 per year.
  2. Geico: $1,143 per year.
  3. Arkansas Farm Bureau: $1,561 per year.
  4. Nationwide: $1,622 per year.
  5. State Farm: $1,668 per year.
Drivers in their 20s can have a hard time finding cheap car insurance, and that's even truer when they need full coverage. The rates above are averages for 25-year-old male and female drivers with comprehensive and collision coverages, which are often required for drivers with active auto loans or leases. These rates reflect a good driver discount. Young drivers, like all drivers, should check several quotes to find the cheapest for the coverage levels they need.

Cheapest minimum coverage for young good drivers

For young drivers with good credit and driving histories, here are the cheapest insurers and average rates in Arkansas:

  1. Geico: $359 per year.
  2. Safeco: $485 per year.
  3. State Farm: $583 per year.
  4. Arkansas Farm Bureau: $601 per year.
  5. Auto Club of SoCal: $645 per year.
Since young people often have fewer assets to protect with liability insurance, they can usually get away with lower coverage limits. For an age group with relatively high insurance rates on average, that's good news, keeping rates as low as possible. For this price set, we averaged rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers who have clean driving records, good credit and bare-bones insurance coverage.

Poor credit and minimum coverage

For young Arkansans with clean driving histories and spotty credit, here are the cheapest auto insurers and their average rates for minimum coverage policies:

  1. Geico: $584 per year.
  2. Trexis: $900 per year.
  3. Arkansas Farm Bureau: $915 per year.
  4. Allstate: $958 per year.
  5. Safeco: $1,006 per year.
Poor credit is common for younger folks just starting out, who may still be building their credit files. That can increase rates further, so it's extra important to shop around and compare as many insurance quotes as possible to find the cheapest you can get. For these prices, we averaged rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers with no recent accidents or violations (earning them a good driver discount), minimum coverage car insurance, and credit in the "poor" tier as reported to an insurer.

Cheapest for minimum coverage after a crash

For minimum coverage policies after an at-fault accident, here are the cheapest insurers and average rates for young drivers in Arkansas:

  1. Geico: $618 per year.
  2. State Farm: $754 per year.
  3. Safeco: $764 per year.
  4. Arkansas Farm Bureau: $787 per year.
  5. Allstate: $978 per year.
To get prices for this group, we averaged rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers with good credit and a recent at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage. Since car insurance is often pricier after a crash, and especially so for young drivers, we assumed minimum required insurance in the state to contain costs for our hypothetical driver. Depending on your situation, you may still be rejected for coverage, including from the companies listed above. If you've caused a crash, no matter your age, be sure to check auto insurance quotes just after the third and fifth anniversaries of your incident, when insurers often adjust rates downward.

Cheapest for minimum coverage after a DUI

Young drivers seeking a minimum coverage policy in Arkansas after a DUI may want to look into these insurers, which had the lowest average rates for this group:

  1. Arkansas Farm Bureau: $742 per year.
  2. Progressive: $859 per year.
  3. Allstate: $862 per year.
  4. Safeco: $878 per year.
  5. State Farm: $891 per year.
Young drivers with a recent DUI on their records will need to be diligent to find the lowest car insurance rates they can get — it's likely that many companies' rates will be quite expensive. Depending on the circumstances, you may be rejected for coverage, including from the companies listed above. But spending the time to shop around for quotes can help you find the lowest price from a company available to you. For this analysis, we averaged rates for male and female 25-year-old drivers with a recent DUI conviction. They had good credit and minimum required car insurance, which helps keep rates down.

Cheapest for minimum coverage and a ticket

Here are the lowest average rates and insurers they come from for minimum coverage policies in Arkansas when a driver has a recent speeding ticket:

  1. Geico: $359 per year.
  2. Safeco: $635 per year.
  3. Arkansas Farm Bureau: $661 per year.
  4. State Farm: $678 per year.
  5. Allstate: $776 per year.
Getting a speeding ticket is never fun, and neither is the higher car insurance bill you may receive months later. At that point, it's time to shop around for better rates, and it wouldn't hurt to repeat on your third and fifth ticket anniversaries, when insurers may adjust rates downward. We analyzed rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers with a recent speeding violation for going 16 mph over the speed limit to see prices for this group.

Cheap for military families

If you’re an active military member or veteran — or are an immediate family member of someone who is — chances are you’ll get a good rate with USAA, an option that isn’t available to the general public. For that reason, we don’t rank it against others within the driver types, but USAA was among the five cheapest auto insurance companies for every driver type above.

» MORE: Best Car Insurance for Military and Veterans

Recap: Cheapest car insurance in Arkansas

  • Good drivers: Geico
  • Minimum coverage: Geico
  • Poor credit: Geico
  • After an at-fault crash: Safeco
  • After a DUI: Arkansas Farm Bureau
  • After a speeding ticket: Geico
  • Married couples: Geico
  • Families with a teen: Safeco
  • Young good drivers: Safeco
  • Minimum coverage for young good drivers: Geico
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers with poor credit: Geico
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a crash: Geico
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a DUI: Arkansas Farm Bureau
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a ticket: Geico

» MORE: Compare car insurance

Minimum required auto insurance in Arkansas

Arkansas car insurance policies must include:

  • $25,000 bodily injury liability per person.
  • $50,000 bodily injury liability per incident.
  • $25,000 property damage liability per incident.

If you ever cause a crash, liability insurance pays for other people’s injuries and property damage, up to your limit. The minimum limits in Arkansas might not cover costs after an expensive car accident, so consider buying more coverage.

See NerdWallet’s guide to minimum car insurance requirements by state.

Alternative car insurance in Arkansas

If you’re labeled a high-risk driver because of past crashes, DUIs or other factors, you may have trouble getting auto insurance on the traditional market. As an alternative, you can apply for a policy through the Arkansas Automobile Insurance Plan.

NerdWallet can make it easy to find coverage at a competitive price. Use our car insurance comparison tool to view rates from top insurers in Arkansas.

Methodology

For our “good driver” profile, NerdWallet averaged rates from the largest insurers in the state for 40-year-old men and women in all ZIP codes with 12,000 annual miles driven. The policy includes:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person.
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident.
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident.
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist coverage per person.
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist coverage per accident.
  • Collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible.
  • Comprehensive coverage with a $1,000 deductible.
If required, minimum additional coverages were added and "good driver" discounts were automatically applied. Our “young driver” had all the same characteristics, but average rates were for 25-year-old men and women. We used a 2016 Toyota Camry LE for all single drivers. We used the same assumptions for all other driver profiles, with the following exceptions:

  • For drivers with minimum coverage, we adjusted the numbers above to reflect minimum required coverage by law in the state.
  • We changed the credit tier from “good” to “poor” as reported to the insurer to see rates for drivers with poor credit.
  • For drivers with one at-fault crash, we added a single at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage.
  • For drivers with a ticket, we added a single speeding violation for driving 16 mph over the speed limit.
  • For drivers with a DUI, we added a single drunken driving violation.
Couples in our analyses were 50-year-old men and women with good credit and clean driving histories, averaged across all ZIP codes with the same policy outlined above. To see rates for families with a teen, we added an 18-year-old licensed two years ago, averaging rates for male and female teens. For couples and families we added a 2016 Nissan Rogue S to create a two-car household.

In all cases, a paperless discount, e-signature discount and electronic funds transfer discount were automatically applied. These are rates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.