About Arkansas Insurance Laws, Health Insurance and Regulations…
The Arkansas Insurance Department is responsible for maintaining and establishing regulations that govern the Arkansas insurance industry, as well as its various sectors. These regulations are meant to allow the state’s insurance companies to conduct business freely within Arkansas. They are also responsible for ensuring that consumers are not exploited by the market as well as prevent these consumers from exploiting the market through fraud. The state’s regulators not only uphold Arkansas standards, but also those of the federal government.
Auto insurance is required for all active vehicles in Arkansas. The Arkansas Insurance Department regulates the auto insurance industry, reviewing rate increase proposals coming from insurance companies and determining whether higher rates are necessary for consumers based on numerous factors. The agency has determined that drivers may carry a minimum level of coverage, which must account for: $25,000 per person for bodily injury; $50,000 per accident for bodily injury; and $25,000 for property damage.
Drivers in the state are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. The average cost of auto insurance in Arkansas is $1,398, according to the Arkansas Insurance Department.
The Arkansas Insurance Department does not require homeowners to carry property insurance. Insurance coverage is strongly encouraged, however, to protect homeowners from the loss they may see through natural disasters or other incidents. The regulations that exist to govern the property insurance sector largely exist to allow property insurance companies to operate freely as businesses. Regulators do monitor insurance rates to ensure that homeowners are not being exploited by paying too much for insurance policies.
Arkansas boasts of a population of 2,808,852, 17% of which do not have health insurance coverage, with an additional 13% falling below the federal poverty line. The state is required to host a health insurance exchange that will provide these people with access to the health care they need. The state has shown some resistance to the federal law that establishes this requirement, but has complied with the establishment of an exchange. Arkansas officials are currently working on a partnership with the federal government for the operation and construction of the exchange program. Though the state is seeking a partnership with the federal government, if it cannot build and exchange by 2014, the federal government will be the sole operator and regulator of the exchange program.
The average cost of health insurance for a family in the state of Arkansas is $3,721 per year for basic policies. Costs are on the rise, with insurance companies suggesting that increasingly expensive medical care is responsible for higher premiums.
Arkansas Insurance Resources:
Arkansas Insurance Commissioner: Allen W. Kerr
Arkansas Department of Insurance Website: http://insurance.arkansas.gov/
Arkansas Insurance Licensing Info: http://www.insurance.arkansas.gov/License/forms.htm
File Insurance Complaint: http://insurance.arkansas.gov/Consumers/Complaint.html