Homeowners Insurance in Arkansas

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If you want to insure a home in Arkansas, you will need a homeowners policy. It should cover the specific risks of living in this state, such as tornadoes and floods. Finding a great policy is easy—the first step is comparing quotes to find the right fit.
Owning a house is a big deal! Whether you live in your home or rent it out, homeowners must take responsibility for protecting their investment from damage. 
Luckily, you’re not alone. Homeowners insurance is there to help you cover costs if a fire, inclement weather, theft, or other incident damages your property. But what should a policy cover, and how much should it really cost? 
Here is a quick guide to homeowners insurance in Arkansas from home and car insurance broker and comparison app Jerry.
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What is homeowners insurance?

Homeowners insurance is a type of insurance that covers your home (the building itself) and the items inside it. 
Usually, a homeowners policy offers you financial protection if you lose your home, endure costly property damage, or are found to be personally liable for an incident that happened inside your home and caused injury to another person.
In the United States, the average cost of homeowners insurance is $115 per month, or $1,387 per year. Arkansas homeowners pay about $200 higher than the national average.
Overall, that’s not a bad rate when you consider that the average price of a new home is more than $400,000.

Basic components of homeowners insurance

While policies are customizable to some degree, most homeowners insurance policies include the following:
  • Coverage A (Structure): Pays for repairs or replacement of the actual house.
  • Coverage B (Additional structures): Pays to repair other structures besides the house, like sheds, barns, pools, and fences.
  • Coverage C (Personal property): Offers financial protection if specific personal property is lost or destroyed (jewelry, electronics, furniture, etc.).
  • Coverage D (Additional expenses): AKA “loss of use,” this policy pays for temporary living expenses associated with losing some or all of your home (e.g., hotel, rent).
  • Coverage E (Personal liability): Pays for the cost of legal defense if someone gets injured on your property, or if your pet or family member does the damage.
Some homeowners insurance policies cover only fire and weather events. Others are designed specifically to cover renters.
It’s important to note that your policy will either cover the actual cash value (ACV) at the time of loss or the replacement cost of the property. Replacement cost is the fee required to replace the item, regardless of the actual (depreciated) value. This option usually requires you to pay a higher premium than an ACV policy. 
Another key tip—to receive accurate coverage, you must report the value of the items or structures in the home. That’s why appraisals and photos are helpful to have on file. 
Specific information ensures that you receive the correct payout from the insurance company. For instance, stating only “black leather purse” won’t be helpful to you when you’re trying to insure a “2021 Louis Vuitton black leather purse.”

Named perils

To receive coverage for an incident, it must be named or specifically described in your policy. Here are some named perils that are generally included:
  • Explosions
  • Hurricanes
  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Wind
  • Hail
  • Falling objects
  • Vandalism
  • Theft
  • Damage caused by vehicles
  • Riots
Many people discover too late that a particular type of hazard (e.g., flooding) is not covered by their policy. Examine your policy closely to make sure you understand the coverage—before tragedy strikes.

Is homeowners insurance required in Arkansas?

No, the state of Arkansas does not have any law that requires homeowners to purchase homeowners insurance. However, your mortgage or loan agreement may require that you carry full coverage. Check with your lender if you’re unsure.
Even if you are not legally required to carry homeowners insurance, you should consider taking out a policy if you would not be able to cover replacement costs for your property out-of-pocket.

How to get homeowners insurance

If you’re shopping for a new policy, the first step is to compare rates from different providers. You may have already gotten a referral from someone, but it’s unwise to accept the first recommendation you come across.
The fastest way to shop around is to use the Jerry app, which quickly generates personalized quotes from top companies. Jerry handles the paperwork and phone calls to sign you up when you find a stellar rate for the coverage you need.
Always ask your car insurance company for a quote, too. Bundling your car insurance with your homeowners insurance policy can unlock extra savings (sometimes 15% or higher). 
If you’re an Arkansas homeowner, then you’ve probably cringed at the weather reports more than once in the last few years. The primary perils you should insure against include tornadoes, floods, and theft
Floods are not always covered in an off-the-shelf policy. Here are a few other ways to protect your home:
  • Flood insurance is one way to protect your home from flooding when its source is outside the home. 
  • Water backup coverage can help cover repair and water removal costs if a pipe bursts or the sump pump overflows.
  • An open perils policy covers any and all perils, except the specific exclusions listed in your policy. The fees are usually higher but the coverage is more comprehensive.
Note that mold, insect, and pest damage are not typically covered, as these are considered preventable damage. If you can prove that the mold damage is a result of covered water damage, though, it may be covered. 

Why is homeowners insurance in Arkansas so expensive?

Homeowners insurance in Arkansas is nearly $200 per year more expensive than the average national cost. Premiums are calculated based on multiple factors, including a person’s marital status, credit history, and zip code
While no two people will pay the exact same fee, there are a few variables that affect homeowners insurance rates for all Arkansas residents.

Tornadoes

This state’s proximity to Tornado Alley comes with a high risk of tornado damage. In fact, Arkansas sees about 38 tornadoes every year. Tornadoes can lead to water and wind damage. These are two of the most popular claims for homeowners, causing Arkansas residents to pay higher premiums.

Theft rates

Arkansas has a higher-than-average property crime rate. Since you’re more likely than the average American to file a theft claim, you can expect to pay a slightly higher premium.

Homeowners insurance discounts in Arkansas

There are quite a few discounts available for various types of customers. Here are some of the common homeowners insurance discounts offered by major insurance companies:
DiscountHow to get it
BundlingBundling home and auto insurance could earn you a steep discount on both policies.
First-time homeownerMost companies will offer you a discounted policy if it’s your first time purchasing a home.
Claims-freeIf you maintain a certain period (typically a few years) without any claims on your policy, you may be eligible for a discounted rate.
Storm proofingInstalling various hurricane safety measures, such as an upgraded roof or storm shutters, could earn you a discount on your homeowners policy.
Security systemIf you’ve got a security system to prevent theft, your insurance company might discount your homeowners insurance rate.
Upgraded fire alarmSet up your fire alarm to contact the fire department directly—your insurance company may give you a discount for a shorter fire response time.

How to save on home and auto insurance

Don’t procrastinate on buying home insurance because the process is too difficult. Jerry can help you compare rates quickly, without any confusing jargon or long forms. 
Jerry will guide you through the entire process from start to finish. Just complete a short sign-up (it takes less than a minute), and you’ll be presented with quotes from dozens of top insurance companies. 
Check for savings if you’re interested in bundling your car insurance policy, too. Finally, select the rate you like the best and Jerry will handle all the paperwork.
Psst…you can use Jerry even if you’re not a first-time homeowner! You never know when you might discover a lower rate, right? 
Jerry has amazing communication! And even better deals! Thanks to Jerry, I went from $327 to $182 on my payments. I’m so grateful!” —Kim T.
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