The Arkansas Guide to Property Insurance Claims: Deadlines, Laws, and FAQs
Like most states, Arkansas has an expansive list of laws, rules, and deadlines that are applicable to homeowner’s and commercial property insurance claims. To make it easier to understand how these laws apply to property owners and the professionals who support them, we break down what you need to know to get your Arkansas claim filed right, moving fast, and paid fully.
Make Your Claim
Prove Your Loss
Prove Your Loss
Get Your Check
Arkansas Property Claim FAQs
Homeowners, businesses, and professionals will encounter all kinds of paperwork, process, and claims-related questions when confronted with the possibility of filing an insurance claim in Arkansas. Here are some of the common questions you may encounter, with answers written by experts, like experienced attorneys, adjusters, and other insurance professionals.
Making Your Claim -- Frequently Asked Questions
The first step in your property insurance claim is to notify your insurer about your losses. Not only is doing this the only way to get your claim moving, it’s one of your duties of a loss under your insurance policy.
When is the deadline in Arkansas to file a property insurance claim?
In most cases, promptly or immediately after the loss occurs.
Some states, like Florida, have laws that set specific deadlines for filing property insurance claims (for example, one year from the date of loss). Arkansas is not one of those states, so the deadline in Arkansas to notify your insurer about a loss is set by your insurance policy, not state law. (This first notice of loss typically starts the claim process, which is why notifying your insurer about a loss and “filing a claim” usually mean the same thing.)
There’s no single timetable for what counts as “prompt” or “immediate” notice. It depends on what’s reasonable under the circumstances of the particular claim. If a tornado devastates your community, knocking out power and other basic life essentials, you probably have more leeway in the time that it takes you to file a claim than if a pipe bursts in your bathroom sink.
But the real takeaway here is simple: file your claim as soon as possible. You don’t want to give your insurance company a reason to deny your claim.
When should I file a property insurance claim in Arkansas?
As soon as possible.
To be specific, unless you are absolutely confident that your insurance does not cover your losses or that the cost of your losses will be less than your deductible, you should quickly notify your insurer about your damage or loss. The longer you wait to notify the insurer, the longer it will take to resolve your claim. This can also degrade or compromise important evidence about your claim that the insurance company needs to complete its investigation.
It’s also worth noting that you should notify your insurance about a loss even if you aren’t 100% sure whether your insurance policy covers the loss. In a recent court decision in Arkansas (First Baptist Church v. Zurich Am. Ins. Co., No. 2:22-CV-2066, (W.D. Ark. Mar. 17, 2023)), the court sided with an insurance company that had denied coverage because the policyholder (a church) waited too long to notify its insurance company about a loss. The church first noticed leaks in its roof in 2016-2017, and subsequently repaired the roof at its own cost. In January 2022, the church learned for the first time that hail had damaged the roof, and filed an insurance claim two weeks later. That was too late, according to the court. The clock started to tick not when the church discovered the cause of the damage (January 2022), but when it discovered the damage itself (2016-2017), which was about five years before the church notified its insurer of the loss. Under this logic, waiting five years to provide notice of loss did not comply with the church’s policy provision requiring “prompt notice of loss.”
When should my insurance company acknowledge my claim in Arkansas?
In Arkansas, your insurer should acknowledge your claim within fifteen (15) working days.
This 15-day deadline actually applies to all communications with your insurer regarding your claim. They must also provide you with any forms you need to fill out, including Proof of Loss forms, within 20 working days.
Proving Your Loss - Frequently Asked Questions
After you’ve notified your insurance company and started your claim, you need to prove your losses to your insurance company. Proving that your property suffered losses and that those losses are covered under your insurance policy is at the heart of an insurance claim. As a result, it’s also the most difficult stage in the claims process and where policyholders most often make mistakes. Fortunately, Arkansas laws do provide you with basic protections at this stage under the Arkansas Insurance Code. Read more to understand how.
What is a “Proof of Loss?”
A proof of loss — also called a sworn statement in proof of loss or POL — is a formal document explaining how your property was damaged or lost and how much it will costs to make you whole. It uses a lot of archaic, legalese language, but don’t let all that fluff intimidate you! At the end of the day, it’s just a written explanation for why your insurance company owes you money.
If your claim is significant or complex, we highly recommend that you complete and submit a proof of loss to your insurer, even if your insurer hasn’t required that you submit one. It puts your insurer on formal notice about the details of your claim, and provides a host of other benefits. For these reasons, a proof of loss is often the most powerful tool in your claim toolbox.
Your insurer you should provide you with whatever form POL that they require. If you’ve asked and they haven’t given you one in a reasonable period of time, you can download one of our forms for free.
When is the deadline to file a Proof of Loss in Arkansas?
For fire losses only, Arkansas law only requires proof of “substantial compliance” with your policy terms.
Arkansas law does not impose specific deadlines on policyholders to file a proof of loss. But your policy may very well set deadlines. When reviewing your policy to determine your deadlines to submit a proof of loss, consider these four questions:
- Does the policy set a deadline to submit my proof of loss? (It usually does)
- Does the deadline apply for all claims, or does it apply only when my insurance company requests that I submit a proof of loss?
- When is the deadline to submit my proof of loss? (It’s usually 60 days, but sometimes it is 30 or 90 days)
- When is the start date for the deadline — the date of loss or the date when my insurance company requests me to submit a proof of loss?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you should have a much better understanding of your deadline to submit a proof of loss.
When will I hear back if my insurance property claim is accepted or denied in Arkansas after I submit a proof of loss?
Fifteen (15) Working Days after receipt of your proof of loss
Your insurance company has fifteen working days after receiving your proof of loss to determine whether to initially accept your claim, start an investigation, or deny it.
How long can a property insurance claim investigation last in Arkansas?
Forty-Five (45) calendar days
In Arkansas, your insurer has 45 calendar days to investigate your claim. If they require more time, they must send you a letter stating forth why they require more time.
Getting Your Check -- Frequently Asked Questions
Getting reimbursed for your losses — it’s the reason you pay premiums. Here are answer to frequently asked questions as this last, critical stage in your insurance claim.
How long will it take to get paid after filing a claim?
Up to ten (10) days
In Arkansas, insurers can take up to ten (10) days after settling your claim or closing their investigation to send you your check.
Can I assign my policy?
If your policy’s terms allow, you can assign it.
What happens if the insurance company violates a timeline or doesn’t pay me?
Insurance companies must follow strict legal timelines when handling your claim and must treat you fairly. If they don’t… they will be penalized.
The Commissioner of Insurance can investigate them, conduct hearings, and issue penalties, fines, orders, or even take away their license.
What is the standard for bad faith in Arkansas?
The standard in Arkansas to prove an insurer acted in bad faith is “rigorous and difficult to satisfy.” There needs to be injury, bad faith on the insurer, and that bad faith must have proximately caused your injury.
This does not mean they can get away with unjustly delaying your claims, as there is also a claim for defective performance/negligence.
Arkansas Statute §23-79-208; Hortica-Florists’ Mut. Ins. Co. v. Pittman Nursery Corp., 729 F.3d 846 (8th Cir. 2013)
Is there a statute of limitations for filing suit against my insurer if I think they are acting in bad faith or failed to pay me?
Yes, Arkansas has a three (3) year statute of limitations for property insurance claims.
Arkansas Statutes and Regulations that Impact Your Insurance Claim
Arkansas has a large collection of laws applicable to the insurance claims process for homeowners. Here is a selection of relevant statutes that will help you with the process, all housed within either the Arkansas Insurance Code (Title XXIII (23) of Arkansas Statutes) or the Rules & Regulations of the Arkansas Insurance Department (Rule 43 (Unfair Claims Settlement Practice)).
Failure to Acknowledge Pertinent Communications*
(a) Every insurer, upon receiving notification of a claim shall, within fifteen (15) working days, acknowledge the receipt of such notice unless payment is made within such period of time. If an acknowledgement is made by means other than in writing, an appropriate notation of such acknowledgement shall be made in the claim file of the insurer and dated. Notification given to an agent of an insurer shall be notification to the insurer. Pursuant to Ark. Code Ann. § 23-79-126 (1987), insurers shall furnish forms for proof of loss within twenty (20) working days after a loss has been reported, or thereafter waive proof of loss requirements. Insurers shall not require a claimant to calculate depreciated value of personal property on forms for proof of loss.
(b) Every insurer upon receipt of any inquiry from the Arkansas Insurance Department respecting a claim shall within fifteen (15) working days of such inquiry furnish the Department with a reasonably adequate response to the inquiry.
(c) An appropriate reply shall be made within fifteen (15) working days on all other pertinent communications from a claimant which reasonably suggest that a response is expected.
(d) Every Non-Disability Insurer, upon receiving notification of a claim, shall promptly provide necessary claim forms, instructions, and reasonable assistance to claimants so that first party claimants can comply with the policy conditions and the insurer’s reasonable requirements.
Standards for Prompt Investigation of Claims*
Every insurer shall complete investigation of a claim within forty-five (45) working days after notification of claim, unless such investigation cannot reasonably be completed within such time. If an investigation cannot be completed within the forty-five (45) day time period, insurers shall notify claimants that additional time is required and include with such notification the reasons therefore.
Standards for Prompt, Fair, and Equitable Settlements
(1) Within fifteen (15) working days after receipt by the insurer of properly executed proofs of loss, the first party claimant shall be advised of the acceptance or denial of the claim by the insurer. No insurer shall deny a claim on the grounds of a specific policy provision, condition, or exclusion unless reference to such provision, condition, or exclusion is included in the denial. The denial must be given to the claimant in writing and the claim file of the insurer shall contain a copy of the denial.
(2) If the insurer needs more time to determine whether a first party claim should be accepted or denied, it shall so notify the first party claimant in writing within fifteen (15) working days after receipt of the proofs of loss, stating the reasons more time is needed. If the investigation remains incomplete, the insurer shall, forty-five (45) working days from the date of the initial notification and not more than every forty-five (45) working days thereafter, send to such claimant a letter setting forth the reasons additional time is needed for investigation.
(b) Where there is a reasonable basis supported by specific information available for review by the Arkansas Insurance Department that the first party claimant has fraudulently caused or contributed to the loss by arson, the insurer is relieved from the requirements of subsection (a)(1). The claimant shall be advised of the acceptance or denial of the claim within a reasonable time following a full investigation after receipt by the insurer of a properly executed proof of loss. The insurer shall comply with the provisions of the Arson Reporting-Immunity Statute, Ark. Code Ann. §§ 12-13-301 (1987) – 12-13-305 (1987).
(c) Insurers shall not refuse to settle first party claims on the basis that responsibility for payment should be assumed by others, except as may otherwise be provided by policy provisions.
(d) Insurers shall not continue or prolong negotiations for settlement of a claim directly with a claimant who is neither an attorney nor represented by an attorney until the claimant’s rights may be affected by a statute of limitations or a policy or contract time limit, without giving the claimant written notice that the time limit may be expiring and may affect the claimant’s rights. Such notice shall be given to first party claimants thirty (30) working days and to third party claimants sixty (60) working days before the date on which such time limit may expire.
(e) No insurer shall make statements which indicate the rights of a third party claimant may be impaired if a form or release is not completed within a given period of time unless the statement is given for the purpose of notifying the third party claimant of the applicable provision of a statute of limitations, as provided in subsection (d) of this section.
(f) Insurers shall mail or deliver claim checks or drafts to claimants within ten (10) working days after the claims are processed, all claim investigations are completed and said claim files are closed and ready for payment.
(g) No insurer or its agents and representatives shall fail to disclose fully to first party claimants all pertinent benefits, coverages or other provisions of an insurance policy or contract under which a claim is presented.
(h) No agent shall conceal from first party claimants benefits, coverages or other provisions of any insurance policy or insurance contract when such benefits, coverages or other provisions are pertinent to a claim.
(i) No insurer shall deny a claim for a claimant’s failure to exhibit the damaged property without proof of demand and of an unfounded refusal by the claimant to do so.
(j) No insurer shall, except where there is a time limit specified in the policy, make statements, written or otherwise, requiring a claimant to give written notice of loss or proof of loss within a specified time and which seek to relieve the company of its obligations if such a time limit is not complied with, unless the failure to comply with such time limit prejudices the insurer’s rights.
(k) No insurer shall request a first party claimant to sign a release that extends beyond the subject matter that gave rise to the claim payment.
(l) No insurer shall issue checks or drafts in partial settlement of a loss or claim under a specific coverage which contains language which releases the insurer or its insured from total liability.
(m) No insurer shall delay payment of any claim under specific coverages under a contract in an attempt to settle all or a portion of the claims under other coverages provided by the policy.
(a) The written instrument in which a contract of insurance is set forth is the policy.
(b) Every policy shall specify:
(1) The names of the parties to the contract;
(2) The subject of the insurance;
(3) The risks insured against;
(4) The time when the insurance thereunder takes effect and the period during which the insurance is to continue;
(5) The premium or premium deposit;
(6) The policy fee, if any;
(7) The minimum premium to be retained, if any, by a property or casualty insurer in the event of cancellation of the policy by the insured; and
(8) The conditions pertaining to the insurance.
(c) If under the policy the exact amount of premium is determinable only at stated intervals or termination of the contract, a statement of the basis and rates upon which the premium is to be determined and paid shall be included.
(g) A policy may contain additional provisions not inconsistent with this code and that are:
(1) Required to be inserted by the laws of the insurer’s domicile;
(2) Necessary, on account of the manner in which the insurer is constituted or operated, in order to state the rights and obligations of the parties to the contract; or
(3) Desired by the insurer and neither prohibited by law nor in conflict with any provisions required to be included therein.
(h) On and after January 1, 1990, every property and casualty policy shall contain a provision stating the method to be utilized in computing premium refunds in the event of cancellation of the policy by the insured or the insurer.
(i) The provisions of this section shall not apply to policies issued for large commercial risks.
23-80-306. Minimum Standards.
(a) All policies which, under subsection (b) of this section, must comply with this subsection shall be simplified, taking into consideration the following factors:
(1) Use of simple sentence structure and short sentences;
(2) Use of commonly understood words;
(3) Avoidance of technical legal terms whenever possible;
(4) Minimal reference to other sections or provisions of the policy;
(5) Organization of text; and
(A) In addition to any other requirements of law, the Insurance Commissioner shall by rule specify the dates by which personal lines policies shall comply with subsection (a) of this section.
(C) “Personal lines policies” are policies:
(i) Solely used to provide homeowners insurance, dwelling fire insurance on one (1) to four (4) family units, or individual fire insurance on dwelling contents; or
(ii) Principally used to provide primary insurance on private passenger nonfleet automobiles individually owned and used for personal or family needs.
23-80-308. Compliance by provision of outline of coverage.
An insurer may comply with § 23-80-306(a) and § 23-80-306(b)(2) for not more than twelve (12) months following the implementation date established by the Insurance Commissioner by providing to the policyholder an outline of coverage or a brochure instead of a simplified policy. The outline or brochure shall comply with § 23-80-306(a).
23-61-115. Policyholder’s Bill of Rights.
(a) The principles expressed in subsection (b) of this section shall serve as standards to be followed by the Insurance Commissioner in:
(1) Exercising the commissioner’s powers and duties;
(2) Exercising administrative discretion;
(3) Dispensing administrative interpretations of the law; and
(4) Adopting rules.
(b) Policyholders have the right to:
(1) Competitive pricing practices and marketing methods that enable them to determine the best value among comparable policies;
(2) Insurance advertising and other selling approaches that provide accurate and balanced information on the benefits and limitations of a policy;
(3) An insurer that is financially stable;
(4) Be serviced by a competent, honest insurance producer;
(5) A readable policy;
(6) An insurer that provides an economic delivery of coverage and that tries to prevent losses;
(7) Balanced and positive regulation by the State Insurance Department; and
(8) A reasonable expectation that the policyholder’s nonpublic personal information is securely maintained.
(c) This section shall not be construed as creating, extinguishing, repealing, or limiting any civil cause of action.
23-79-126. Forms for proof of loss.
(a) An insurer shall furnish to any person claiming to have a loss under an insurance contract issued by the insurer forms of proof of loss for completion by the person, within twenty (20) days after a loss has been reported to the insurer, but the insurer shall not, by reason of the requirement to furnish forms, have any responsibility for or with reference to the completion of the proof or the manner of completion or attempted completion.
(b) However, failure of an insurer to furnish the forms of proof of loss within twenty (20) days after a loss has been reported to the insurer shall constitute a waiver of proof of loss requirements, and the insurer may not thereafter require a proof of loss.
(c) Further, the provisions of this section shall not be applicable to health, accident, or life insurers.
23-63-111. Policyholder’s right to loss information.
(A) Upon written request, each licensed property and casualty insurer shall mail or deliver the policyholder’s claim loss information to the policyholder or his or her authorized producer within thirty (30) days from the date of receipt of the request from the policyholder.
(B) If the requested claim loss information is not provided directly to the policyholder, the authorized producer shall mail or deliver the requested claim loss information to the policyholder within seven (7) days from the date of receipt of the claim loss information from the licensed property and casualty insurer.
(A) “Claim loss information” as used in this section means the:
(i) Date of loss;
(ii) Property insured; and
(iii) Amount paid.
(B) “Claim loss information” does not include supporting claim file documentation, including, but not limited to, copies of claim files, investigation reports, evaluation statements, insured’s statements, and documents protected by a common law or statutory privilege.
(b) The insurer may charge a reasonable fee for providing the information.
(c) The insurer shall not be required to maintain claim loss information for more than five (5) years following the termination of coverage.
23-79-127. Claims administration by insurer not waiver.
Without limitation of any right or defense of an insurer otherwise, none of the following acts by or on behalf of an insurer shall be deemed to constitute a waiver of any provision of a policy or of any defense of the insurer thereunder:
(1) Acknowledgment of the receipt of notice of loss or claim under the policy;
(2) Furnishing forms for reporting a loss or claim, for giving information relative thereto, or for making proof of loss, or receiving or acknowledging receipt of any such forms or proofs completed or uncompleted; or
(3) Investigating any loss or claim under any policy or engaging in negotiations looking toward a possible settlement of any loss or claim, except that investigating and negotiations may constitute a waiver of proof of loss requirements.
23-79-207. Substantial compliance — Fire insurance upon personal property.
In all actions against any insurer for any claim accruing, arising upon, or growing out of any fire insurance policy upon personal property issued by the insurer, proof of a substantial compliance with the terms, conditions, and warranties of the policy upon the part of the insured or his or her assigns shall be deemed sufficient and entitle the plaintiff to recover in the action.
23-63-112. Notice of intent to settle.
(a) An insurer shall provide its insured written notice of the terms of settlement of a claim if the insured:
(1) Notifies the insurer in writing that the amount of or liability for the claim is contested; and
(2) Requests in writing notice of the insurer’s settlement of the claim.
(b) Except as provided in subsection (a) of this section, nothing in this section shall be construed to alter the defense or handling of a claim under any policy or contract of insurance.
(c) The provisions of this section shall not apply to personal lines of insurance.
23-63-107. Prompt processing of payment by insurer.
(a) An insurer shall not intentionally or unreasonably delay, for more than three (3) business days after presentment for collection, the processing of any properly executed and endorsed check, draft, or electronic funds transfer issued in settlement of an insurance claim.
(b) It is the intent of the General Assembly that an insured or a claimant be paid the insured’s or the claimant’s settlement proceeds at the earliest possible time.
(c) Any insurer violating this section shall pay the insured or the claimant a penalty of two hundred dollars ($200) or fifteen percent (15%) of the face amount of the check, draft, or electronic funds transfer, whichever is higher.
23-66-321. Method of payment of claims.
All claims paid by an insurer authorized to do business in this state to any person having a claim under any insurance contract for any type of insurance authorized by the laws of this state issued by an insurer shall be paid by check or draft of the insurer to the order of, or by electronic funds transfer to an account of, the claimant to whom payment of the claim is due pursuant to the policy provisions.
23-66-205. Unfair competition or unfair or deceptive acts or practices prohibited.
No person shall engage in this state in any trade practice which is defined in this subchapter as being, or determined pursuant to this subchapter to be, an unfair method of competition or an unfair or deceptive act or practice in the business of insurance. This subchapter shall apply to policies and contracts of surplus line insurers, as appropriate and unless the context requires otherwise.
23-66-206. Unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices defined. [Effective July 1, 2022.]
The following are defined as unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the business of insurance:
(1) “Boycott, coercion, and intimidation” means entering into any agreement to commit or, by any concerted action, committing any act of boycott, coercion, or intimidation resulting in or tending to result in unreasonable restraint of, or monopoly in, the business of insurance;
(3) “Defamation” means making, publishing, disseminating, or circulating, directly or indirectly, or aiding, abetting, or encouraging the making, publishing, disseminating, or circulating of any oral or written statement or of any pamphlet, circular, article, or literature that is false or maliciously critical of or derogatory to the financial condition of any person and that is calculated to injure that person;
(6) “False information and advertising generally” means making, publishing, disseminating, circulating, or placing before the public or causing, directly or indirectly, to be made, published, disseminated, circulated, or placed before the public in a newspaper, magazine, or other publication or in the form of a notice, circular, pamphlet, letter, or poster or over any radio or television station or in any other way an advertisement, announcement, or statement containing any assertion, representation, or statement with respect to the business of insurance or with respect to any person in the conduct of his or her insurance business that is untrue, deceptive, or misleading;
(7) “False statements and entries” means:
(A) Filing with any supervisory or other public official or making, publishing, disseminating, circulating, or delivering to any person, or placing before the public or causing, directly or indirectly, to be made, published, disseminated, circulated, delivered to any person, or placed before the public any false statement of financial condition of a person with intent to deceive; and
(B) Knowingly making any false entry of a material fact in any book, report, or statement of any person or knowingly omitting to make a true entry of any material fact pertaining to the business of the person in any book, report, or statement of that person;
(8) “Misrepresentation and false advertising of insurance policies” means making, issuing, circulating, or causing to be made, issued, or circulated, any estimate, illustrations, circular, statement, sales presentation, omission, or comparison, that:
(A) Misrepresents the benefits, advantages, conditions, or terms of any insurance policy;
(B) Misrepresents the dividends or share of the surplus to be received on any insurance policy;
(C) Makes any false or misleading statements to the dividends or share of surplus previously paid on any insurance policy;
(D) Is misleading or is a misrepresentation as to the financial condition of any person or as to the legal reserve system upon which any life insurer operates;
(E) Uses any name or title of any insurance policy or class of insurance policies, misrepresenting the true nature of the insurance policy;
(F) Is a misrepresentation for the purpose of inducing or tending to induce the lapse, forfeiture, exchange, conversion, or surrender of any insurance policy;
(G) Is a misrepresentation for the purpose of effectuating a pledge or assignment of or effecting a loan against any insurance policy; or
(H) Misrepresents any insurance policy as being shares of stock;
(11) “Underwriting: refusing certain risks” means refusing to issue or limiting the amount of coverage on a property or casualty risk based upon knowledge of an insurer’s nonrenewal of the applicant’s previous property or casualty policy or contract;
(12) “Unfair claims settlement practices” means committing or performing with such frequency as to indicate a general business practice any of the following:
(A) Misrepresenting pertinent facts or insurance policy provisions relating to coverages at issue;
(B) Failing to acknowledge and act reasonably and promptly upon communications with respect to claims arising under insurance policies;
(C) Failing to adopt and implement reasonable standards for the prompt investigation of claims arising under insurance policies;
(D) Refusing to pay claims without conducting a reasonable investigation based upon all available information;
(E) Failing to affirm or deny coverage of claims within a reasonable time after proof of loss statements have been completed;
(F) Not attempting in good faith to effectuate prompt, fair, and equitable settlements of claims in which liability has become reasonably clear;
(G) Attempting to settle claims on the basis of an application that was altered without notice to, or knowledge or consent of, the insured;
(H) Making claim payments to policyholders or beneficiaries not accompanied by a statement setting forth the coverage under which payments are being made;
(I) Delaying the investigation or payment of claims by requiring an insured or claimant, or the physician of either, to submit a preliminary claim report and then requiring the subsequent submission of formal proof of loss forms, both of which submissions contain substantially the same information;
(J) Failing to promptly provide a reasonable explanation of the basis in the insurance policy in relation to the facts of applicable law for denial of a claim or for the offer of a compromise settlement;
(K) Compelling insureds to institute litigation to recover amounts due under an insurance policy by offering substantially less than the amounts ultimately recovered in actions brought by those insureds;
(L) Attempting to settle a claim for less than the amount to which a reasonable person would have believed he or she was entitled by reference to written or printed advertising material accompanying or made part of an application;
(M) Making known to insureds or claimants a policy of appealing from arbitration awards in favor of insureds or claimants for the purpose of compelling them to accept settlements or compromises less than the amount awarded in arbitration;
(N) Failing to promptly settle claims, when liability has become reasonably clear, under one (1) portion of the insurance policy coverage in order to influence settlements under other portions of the insurance policy coverage; and
(O) Requiring as a condition of payment of a claim that repairs must be made by a particular contractor, supplier, or repair shop;
(13) “Unfair discrimination” means:
(A) Making or permitting any unfair discrimination between individuals of the same class and equal expectation of life in the rates charged for any contract of life insurance or of life annuity or in the dividends or other benefits payable under the contract of life insurance or of life annuity, or in any other of the terms and conditions of such a contract;
(B) Making or permitting any unfair discrimination between individuals of the same class and of essentially the same hazard in the amount of premium policy fees or rates charged for any policy or contract of accident and health insurance, or in the benefits payable under the policy or contract of accident and health insurance, or in any of the terms or conditions of the contract, or in any other manner whatever;
(C) Making or permitting any unfair discrimination between individuals or risks of the same class and of essentially the same hazards by refusing to issue, refusing to renew, cancelling, or limiting the amount of insurance coverage on a property or casualty risk because of the geographic location of the risk unless:
(i) The refusal, cancellation, or limitation is for a business purpose that is not a mere pretext for unfair discrimination; or
(ii) The refusal, cancellation, or limitation is required by law or regulatory mandate;
(D) Making or permitting any unfair discrimination between individuals or risks of the same class and of essentially the same hazards by refusing to issue, refusing to renew, cancelling, or limiting the amount of insurance coverage on a residential property risk or on the personal property contained in the residential property because of the age of the residential property unless:
(i) The refusal, cancellation, or limitation is for a business purpose that is not a mere pretext for unfair discrimination; or
(ii) The refusal, cancellation, or limitation is required by law or regulatory mandate;
(E) Refusing to insure, refusing to continue to insure, or limiting the amount of coverage available to an individual because of the marital status of the individual. However, nothing in this subdivision (13)(E) shall prohibit an insurer from taking marital status into account for the purpose of defining persons eligible for dependent benefits;
(F) Terminating or modifying coverage or refusing to issue or refusing to renew any policy or contract of insurance solely because the applicant or insured or any employee of either is mentally or physically impaired. However, this subdivision (13)(F) shall not be interpreted to modify any other provision of law relating to the termination, modification, issuance, or renewal of any insurance policy or contract;
(i) Refusing to insure or continue to insure an individual or risks solely because of the individual’s race, color, creed, national origin, citizenship, status as a victim of domestic abuse, or sex.
(ii) As used in subdivision (13)(G)(i) of this section, “domestic abuse” means:
(a) Physical harm, bodily injury, or assault between family or household members;
(b) The infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, or assault between family members or household members; or
(c) Sexual conduct between family or household members, whether minors or adults, that constitutes a crime under the laws of this state; and
(a) Refusing to insure, or refusing to continue to insure, or limiting the amount, extent, or kind of coverage available for life insurance to an individual, or charging an individual a different rate for the same coverage, solely because of the individual’s status as a living organ donor.
(b) With respect to other conditions, a person who is a living organ donor shall be subject to the same standards of sound actuarial principles as a person who is not a living organ donor.
(ii) As used in this subdivision (13)(H), “living organ donor” means a person who is a registered organ donor;
(A) “Unfair property or casualty policy cancellation” means:
(i) After a policy on a property or casualty risk has been in force for more than sixty (60) days or after the effective date of a renewal of the policy, insurance coverage is terminated:
(a) Before the expiration date of the policy for a reason other than provided under subdivision (15)(B) of this section; or
(b) Without providing effective notice as described in subdivision (15)(C) of this section; and
(a) For a policy in force for sixty (60) days or less, an insurer has terminated the policy without mailing or delivering notice of cancellation to the named insured or to any lienholder or loss payee named in the policy at least twenty (20) days before the effective date of cancellation.
(b) However, when cancellation is for nonpayment of premium, at least ten (10) days’ notice of cancellation accompanied by the reason shall be given.
(B) “Unfair property or casualty policy cancellation” does not include an insurer’s cancellation of a policy that has been in force for more than sixty (60) days or after the effective date of a renewal of the policy as long as the insurer provides effective notice and terminates the policy for one (1) of the following reasons:
(i) Nonpayment of premium;
(ii) Fraud or material misrepresentation made by or with the knowledge of the named insured in obtaining the policy, continuing the policy, or presenting a claim under the policy;
(iii) The occurrence of a material change in the risk that substantially increases any hazard insured against after policy issuance;
(iv) Violation of any local fire, health, safety, building, or construction regulation or ordinance with respect to any insured property or the occupancy of the property that substantially increases any hazard insured against under the policy;
(v) Nonpayment of membership dues in those cases in which the bylaws, agreements, or other legal instruments of the insurer issuing the policy require payment as a condition of the issuance and maintenance of the policy; or
(vi) A material violation of a material provision of the policy.
(i) Cancellations of property and casualty policies in force for more than sixty (60) days or after the effective date of a renewal of the policy shall only be effective when notice of cancellation is mailed or delivered by the insurer to the named insured and to any lienholder or loss payee named in the policy at least twenty (20) days before the effective date of cancellation.
(ii) However, when cancellation is for nonpayment of premium, at least ten (10) days’ notice of cancellation accompanied by the reason for cancellation shall be given.
(D) This subdivision (15) is not applicable to any policy providing coverage for workers’ compensation or employers’ liability or to any policy providing coverage for personal automobile liability, automobile physical damage, or automobile collision, or any combination of coverage for personal automobile liability, automobile physical damage, or automobile collision.
23-67-208. Rate standards.
(a) Rates shall not be excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory.
(b) A rate in a competitive market is assumed not to be excessive. A rate is excessive in a competitive or noncompetitive market if it is likely to produce a profit from Arkansas business that is unreasonably high in relation to past and prospective loss experience for that class of business which the filing affects or if expenses are unreasonably high in relation to services rendered.
(c) A rate is clearly inadequate if, together with the investment income attributable to it, it fails to satisfy projected losses and expenses in the class of business to which it applies.
(1) A rate is not unfairly discriminatory in relation to another in the same class of business if it reflects equitably the differences in expected losses and expenses. Rates are not unfairly discriminatory because different premiums result for policyholders with like loss exposures but different expense factors, or with like expense factors but different loss exposures, if the rates reflect the differences with reasonable accuracy.
(2) A rate shall be deemed unfairly discriminatory as to a risk or group of risks if the application of premium discounts, credits, or surcharges among the risks does not bear a reasonable relationship to the expected loss and expense experience among the various risks.
23-79-202. Limitation of actions.
(a) An action may be maintained in the courts of this state by an insured or any other person on his or her behalf to recover on any claim or loss arising under a policy of insurance on property or life against the insurer issuing the policy or against the sureties on any bond filed by the insurer as a condition precedent to its right to do business in this state, at any time within the period prescribed by law for bringing actions on promises in writing.
(b) Any stipulation or provision in the policy or contract requiring the action to be brought within any shorter time or be barred is void.
23-79-203. Trial by jury.
(a) No insurance policy or annuity contract shall contain any condition, provision, or agreement which directly or indirectly deprives the insured or beneficiary of the right to trial by jury on any question of fact arising under the policy or contract.
(b) All such provisions, conditions, or agreements shall be void.
23-79-208. Damages and attorney’s fees on loss claims.
(1) In all cases in which loss occurs and the cargo, property, marine, casualty, …. insurance company and fraternal benefit society or farmers’ mutual aid association or company liable therefor shall fail to pay the losses within the time specified in the policy after demand is made, the person, firm, corporation, or association shall be liable to pay the holder of the policy or his or her assigns, in addition to the amount of the loss, twelve percent (12%) damages upon the amount of the loss, together with all reasonable attorney’s fees for the prosecution and collection of the loss.
(2) In no event will the holder of the policy or his or her assigns be liable for the attorney’s fees incurred by the insurance company, fraternal benefit society, or farmers’ mutual aid association in the defense of a case in which the insurer is found not liable for the loss.
(b) When attorney’s fees are due a policyholder or his or her assigns, they shall be taxed by the court where the same is heard on original action, by appeal or otherwise, and shall be taxed up as a part of the costs therein and collected as other costs are or may be by law collected.
(c) Writs of attachment or garnishment filed or issued after proof of loss or death has been received by the company shall not defeat the provisions of this section, provided that the company or association desiring to pay the amount of the claim as shown in the proof of loss or death may pay the amount into the registry of the court, after issuance of writs of attachment and garnishment, in which event there shall be no further liability on the part of the company.
(1) Recovery of less than the amount demanded by the person entitled to recover under the policy shall not defeat the right to the twelve percent (12%) damages and attorney’s fees provided for in this section if the amount recovered for the loss is within twenty percent (20%) of the amount demanded or which is sought in the suit.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (d)(1) of this section, in all cases involving a homeowner’s policy, the right to reasonable attorney’s fees provided for in this section shall arise if the amount recovered for the loss is within thirty percent (30%) of the amount demanded or which is sought in the suit.
(1) Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of subsections (a)-(d) of this section, this section is not intended to either vitiate or supplant the provisions of the Arkansas Rules of Civil Procedure. Those rules and the relief described therein remain available to any litigant under the circumstances described in this section.
(2) Nothing in this section is intended to supersede, supplant, or in any way affect the rights and remedies under applicable law currently available to the insurance company, fraternal benefit society, or farmers’ mutual aid association or company against policyholders who file fraudulent claims.
23-66-208. Power of commissioner to examine and investigate.
(a) The Insurance Commissioner shall have power to examine and investigate the affairs of every person engaged in the business of insurance in this state in order to determine whether the person has been or is engaged in any unfair method of competition or in any unfair or deceptive act or practice prohibited by § 23-66-205.
23-66-210. Cease and desist and penalty orders — Modifications.
(a) If after the hearing the Insurance Commissioner shall determine that the person charged has engaged in an unfair method of competition or an unfair or deceptive act or practice, the commissioner shall reduce his or her findings to writing and shall issue and cause to be served upon the person charged with the violation a copy of the findings and an order requiring the person to cease and desist from engaging in the method of competition, act, or practice, and, if the act or practice is a violation of § 23-66-206 or § 23-66-312, the commissioner may at his or her discretion order any one (1) or more of the following:
(1) Payment of a monetary penalty of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each and every act or violation but not to exceed an aggregate penalty of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) unless the person knew or reasonably should have known he or she was in violation of this subchapter. In this case, the penalty shall be not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000) for each and every act or violation but in an amount not to exceed an aggregate penalty of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) in any six-month period; or
(2) Suspension or revocation of the person’s license, if he or she knew or reasonably should have known he or she was in violation of this chapter.
(b) Until the expiration of the time allowed under § 23-66-212(a) for filing a petition for review by appeal if no petition has been filed within the time or, if a petition for review has been filed within the time, then until the transcript of the record in the proceeding has been filed in the circuit court, as provided in § 23-66-212, the commissioner may at any time, upon such notice and in such manner as the commissioner shall deem proper, modify or set aside in whole or in part any order issued by him or her under this section.
(c) After the expiration of the time allowed for filing a petition for review if no petition has been filed within the time, the commissioner may at any time after notice and opportunity for hearing reopen and alter, modify, or set aside, in whole or in part, any order issued by him or her under this section whenever, in his or her opinion, conditions of fact or of law have so changed as to require that action, or if the public interest shall so require.
(d) If the person who has engaged in an unfair method of competition or an unfair or deceptive act or practice under subsection (a) of this section is a depository institution, the commissioner shall:
(1) If practicable, notify the appropriate bank regulatory agency before:
(A) Imposing a monetary penalty on the depository institution; or
(B) Suspending or revoking the depository institution’s insurer’s license; and
(2) Provide to the appropriate bank regulatory agency a copy of the findings.
23-66-211. Penalty for violation of cease and desist orders.
Any person who violates a cease and desist order of the Insurance Commissioner under § 23-66-210 while the order is in effect may, after notice and hearing upon order of the commissioner, be subject at the discretion of the commissioner to any one (1) or more of the following:
(1) A monetary penalty of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for each and every act of violation; or
(2) Suspension or revocation of that person’s license.
23-61-303. Hearing — Generally.
(a) The Insurance Commissioner may hold hearings for any purpose within the scope of the insurance laws of this state.
(1) The commissioner shall hold a hearing if required by any provision or upon written demand for a hearing by a person aggrieved by any act, threatened act, or failure of the commissioner to act, or by any report, rule, or order of the commissioner, other than an order for the holding of a hearing, or an order on hearing or pursuant thereto.
(2) Any demand shall specify the grounds to be relied upon as a basis for the relief to be demanded at the hearing, and unless postponed by mutual consent, the hearing shall be held within thirty (30) days after receipt by the commissioner of the demand.
(3) If the commissioner has a conflict or is otherwise unable to serve, the commissioner may appoint and compensate a person, including without limitation an attorney or retired judge, from outside the State Insurance Department to act as a hearing officer.
(c) Pending the hearing and decision thereon, the commissioner may suspend or postpone the effective date of the commissioner’s previous action.
23-60-108. Penalty generally.
Unless a greater penalty is provided by another law of this state, a violation of a statute or rule enforceable by the Insurance Commissioner is punishable:
(1) By the refusal, suspension, revocation, or nonrenewal of a license or certificate of authority; and
(2) A fine no greater than one thousand dollars ($1,000) per violation, not to exceed fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) in any six-month period.
23-63-109. Natural causes.
(1) No insurance policy or contract covering damages to property shall be cancelled nor the renewal thereof denied solely as a result of claims arising from natural causes.
(2) “Natural cause” is defined as an act occasioned exclusively by the violence of nature where all human agency is excluded from creating or entering into the cause of the damage or injury.
(b) Any insurer which violates the provisions of this section shall be subject to the procedures and penalties provided under the Trade Practices Act, § 23-66-201 et seq.
(a) A policy may be assignable or not assignable, as provided by its terms.
(b) Subject to its terms relating to assignability, any life or accident and health policy, under the terms of which the beneficiary may be changed upon the sole request of the insured, may be assigned, either by pledge or transfer of title, by an assignment executed by the insured alone and delivered to the insurer, whether or not the pledgee or assignee is the insurer.
(c) Any assignment shall entitle the insurer to deal with the assignee as the owner or pledgee of the policy in accordance with the terms of the assignment until the insurer has received at its home office written notice of termination of the assignment or pledge or written notice by or on behalf of some other person claiming some interest in the policy in conflict with