Nobody ever expects to be in a motor vehicle accident, but for the past three years, there have been nearly 130,000 total crashes per year in the state of Arizona.*
The hard fact is, crashes happen, and having car insurance (along with safe, law-abiding driving skills, of course), is one way to protect yourself from financial losses that can result. And not only that, it’s the law to have car insurance in Arizona.
What does the law say?
Under Arizona law, you cannot register a vehicle until you show proof of financial responsibility. In other words, you have to demonstrate that you have the financial means to cover injury or damage in the event of an automobile accident.
Usually that proof takes the form of a certificate of auto insurance, but financial responsibility can also take the form of a bond, certificate of deposit or cash in the amount of $40,000.
If you opt to take the insurance route to financial responsibility, here’s everything you need to know about Arizona requirements.
Minimum Insurance Requirements
According to the Arizona Department of Insurance, the minimum required coverage limits are:
- Bodily injury coverage: $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident
- Property damage coverage: $10,000 per accident
Let’s break that down.
Minimum required: This means you must purchase insurance that meets or exceeds those dollar amounts. It’s actually recommended that you purchase more than the minimum, because insurance will only pay up to the amount you’ve purchased. Which brings us to…
Coverage limits: Whatever dollar amounts of insurance you purchase represent the maximum amount that your insurance company will pay. Anything above and beyond that will be your responsibility to pay.
Per person: If you are in an accident and one person is injured, your insurance company will cover up to $15,000 in bodily injury.
Per accident: If more than one person is injured in an accident, the $30,000 limit is the total amount your insurance company will pay.
Property damage: This covers damages to another person’s property, including their vehicle.
The Minimum Car Insurance Coverage Is Increasing
In June of this year, the minimum coverage requirements will increase to the following:
- Bodily injury coverage: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
- Property damage coverage: $15,000 per accident
“Fault” Car Accident State
Different states have different laws when it comes to determining which driver was at fault in a car accident. Some states are “fault” states, meaning fault has to be determined. In a “no fault” state, each driver involved in an accident is compensated by their own insurance up to a certain threshold, regardless of who was at fault.
Arizona is a “fault” state, meaning that, by law, the at-fault driver—the one who caused the car accident—bears the financial responsibility for any losses: injury, death, damage to the vehicle, and so on.
Optional Insurance Coverage to Consider
Every insurance company offers add-ons that increase your coverage.
Collision: This insurance option won’t cover every collision, but it will cover costs to repair damage to your car if you hit another vehicle or object (such as a tree or post). It may also cover costs if your car is hit by another driver and their coverage isn’t adequate.
Comprehensive: This type of coverage pays for damage from nearly anything other than a collision or rollover. Some examples include fire, theft, vandalism, and extreme weather events.
Uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist: This protects you in case you’re hit by a driver who doesn’t have his or her own insurance, or who doesn’t have adequate liability coverage.
What happens if you don’t have insurance?
The penalties just aren’t worth it. If you’re found operating a motor vehicle without insurance—for instance, if you get pulled over—you face fines starting at $500 for the first offense and the suspension of both your driver license and car registration.
Curious how you can pay lower insurance premiums? Check out our tips.