What Is the Minimum Auto Insurance Coverage in Arizona?
If you operate a motor vehicle in the State of Arizona, you legally must carry at least the minimum required amounts of automobile insurance. Car insurance ensures all drivers have the financial ability to cover victims’ damages in an at-fault accident. As of July 1, 2020, Arizona’s minimum requirements for auto insurance coverage have changed. Arizona now has new minimum insurance amounts. Contact our Phoenix car accident lawyers if you were involved in a car crash in Arizona.
Required Car Insurance in Arizona
On June 7, 2019, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed a bill into law that almost doubled the required minimum auto insurance coverage for drivers in the state. The law came into effect on July 1, 2020. Before the passing of this law, Arizona’s minimum required insurance amounts were $15,000 per person in bodily injury coverage, $30,000 per accident in injury coverage and $10,000 for property damage coverage. Today, all of these minimums have increased.
- Bodily injury liability insurance: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident, minimum.
- Property damage liability insurance: $15,000 per accident, minimum.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident, minimum.
The new minimum requirements mean increased insurance premiums for most policyholders. Insurance companies will automatically raise insurance amounts and premiums when a policy renews. New insurance purchasers will see the higher limits. This is only the minimum required auto insurance coverage in Arizona. You still have the ability to purchase additional insurance if you wish for more coverage or benefits for your own damages. Optional types of insurance in Arizona include safety glass coverage, collision coverage and comprehensive coverage.
What If You Do Not Have Enough Insurance?
It is important to always carry the right amounts of automobile insurance as a driver in Arizona. Failing to do so is negligence, as it puts other people at risk of having to pay out-of-pocket for damages you cause. Contact your insurance company immediately if you do not see the July 1, 2020 changes reflected on your policy or premiums. Insurance experts believe the legislative changes will lead to about a $6 to $8 increase in monthly premiums.
Operating a motor vehicle without the minimum required insurance could lead to tickets and penalties. For a first offense, the fine for driving without insurance in Arizona is a maximum of $500. The Department of Motor Vehicles may also suspend your driver’s license for three months, along with assessing a $35 reinstatement fee. You may also have to purchase an SR-22 certificate for your auto insurance for the next two years, most likely increasing your premiums. These penalties increase for second and subsequent offenses.
What if the At-Fault Driver in an Accident Is Underinsured?
Arizona’s new minimum required amounts of auto insurance could provide better protection for you in the event of a car accident. The at-fault driver’s insurance policy should have higher minimum benefits available, leading to better payouts if you have to file an insurance claim. If, however, the driver who caused your car accident was negligently driving while uninsured or underinsured, you may have to seek benefits from your own insurance carrier instead.
After discovering an at-fault driver does not have enough insurance, contact your own provider to file a claim. Your insurance company should cover your damages with the uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance you must carry according to Arizona law. This will pay for your medical bills and property repairs, up to your policy’s maximum, even without coverage available from the at-fault driver.
Another option could be filing a personal injury lawsuit against someone other than the driver. If, for example, a roadway defect contributed to your crash, you could have a cause of action against the city or state government for failing to maintain the roads. A third-party lawsuit could provide compensation for your damages without needing to rely on the other driver having insurance. If you need assistance with an insurance claim or lawsuit after a crash in Arizona, contact a Phoenix personal injury attorney near you.