What Kind of Auto Insurance Do I Need?

By: Frank H. Bailey, Attorney, Co-Founder & Partner

According to the National Safety Council Injury Facts, in 2012 there were 552 people killed in car accidents on Arkansas highways.  Many more people were seriously injured.  Many of the people causing these injuries had little if any liability insurance to pay for the harm they caused.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

The most important insurance you can have to protect you and your family in this type of case is called uninsured motorist coverage.  This coverage applies if the person causing the collision has no insurance.  It will pay for your injuries and family member’s injuries up to the limits of coverage stated in your policy.  Based on our experiences, many people who cause accidents have no insurance, even though they are required by law to have a minimum of $25,000 liability coverage.  We recommend you purchase Uninsured Motorist Coverage in the amount of $100,000/$300,000.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage

This coverage is similar to uninsured coverage but applies even if the person has insurance, but the insurance is not enough to cover all the injuries to you and family members.  Also based on our experiences, with the high cost of medical care, even if the person who causes the accident has the minimum amount of coverage, ($25,000) this is not enough to pay for all the injuries and your underinsured motorist coverage will apply.  We recommend you purchase this coverage in the amount of $100,000/$300,000.

Insurance Agent

When purchasing insurance, tell your agent you want uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.  Some agents will not want to sell this type of insurance and will tell you that you don’t need it.  Don’t believe them.  We recommend you purchase this coverage.  We have seen many families suffer because they listened to their agent and didn’t have this coverage. 

Personal Injury Protection

Arkansas does not require individuals to purchase personal injury protection (PIP), but we strongly recommend drivers add this coverage to their policy.  We have found PIP coverage is extremely affordable and provides no-fault coverage in the event of an accident.  Usually the limit in Arkansas is $5,000, but some companies offer higher limits.  We recommend you purchase the highest limit your company will offer.  In the event of an accident this will provide coverage for your medical expenses.

Bodily Injury (BI)

Drivers in Arkansas are required to purchase bodily injury liability insurance in a minimum amount of $25,000.  We have found this is not enough coverage to protect your personal assets for an accident that is your fault.  We recommend you purchase BI coverage in the amount of at least $100,000/$300,000 or even higher.  You must first buy this coverage to be eligible for UM or UIM coverage.

Bailey &  Oliver Law Firm

If you are involved in an accident, we understand you are in a lot of pain, you are nervous about how you are going to get your car fixed, you are nervous about giving a recorded statement to the other person’s insurance company.  The lawyers at Bailey and Oliver Law Firm have over 60 years combined experience in handling these types of cases.  We can assist you.  Contact our lawyers at 479-202-5200 or visit our website, www.baileyoliverlawfirm.com.