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Arizona Car Insurance Laws

Understanding each of the major Arizona car insurance laws can not only save you from serious harm but also save you some money!

Drivers in Arizona have a lot of territory to cover. The facts and statistics about the state and auto related incidents have a direct impact on your car insurance. Arizona is quite a large state with 6,629,455 people who reside there; and, it is the second fastest growing state in the US. Arizona borders New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, California and touches Colorado and it was the 48th state to join the United States.

Interestingly, Arizona is the largest landlocked state (by population) and has 113,988 square miles of land. However, people occupy only 17,098 square miles, (the rest of the state is marked as national parks, forests, recreational areas or as Native American Reservations).

Arizona is the home of the Grand Canyon and it is a beautiful place to live. However, Arizona is also known for something that is not nearly as nice as its beautiful landscapes and that is the fact that it is the state with the fourth highest amount of car thefts in the United States.

According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety 48,389 vehicles were reported stolen in Arizona in 2008 and that in 2009 a vehicle is stolen every 11 minutes and 7 seconds. Of those vehicles only 3,433 were ever recovered and the economic cost of these thefts was $47,340,551. The only states with worse thefts were California, Texas, and Florida.

Arizona Car Insurance Minimum Requirements

Arizona has minimum auto insurance requirements for all drivers in their state; however, this minimum does not require coverage to protect you from theft. In a state with such a high theft rate, you will want to seriously consider purchasing insurance beyond the required minimums to protect your investment if something other than an auto accident should occur. The minimum auto insurance requirements in Arizona require two types of bodily injury coverage and some property damage coverage. Arizona is a tort state so this insurance is not to cover damage to your vehicle, but to protect other drivers from you should you be the cause of the auto accident. You are required to carry $15,000 of bodily injury coverage to cover the injuries or death of one person, $30,000 to coverage the injury or death of multiple people and $10,000 property damage coverage.

Arizona also allows you to prove financial responsibility through cash, bond or certificate of deposit of $40,000 payable to the MVD. Most people use auto insurance to provide financial responsibility for an accident; however, companies with fleet vehicles often find that it is less expensive for them to pay the initial $40,000 payment because each additional vehicle covered under their ‘self-insurance’ plan is about $1,000 a year, which is much cheaper than the state average of $1834 per vehicle.

Consequences for Ignoring Arizona Car Insurance Laws

Arizona does not allow police officers to pull over drivers and demand to see proof of Arizona auto insurance. You must be pulled over for a traffic violation or have an auto accident in order for a police officer to request proof of insurance. However, if you do not have proof of insurance in these circumstances, then you will receive a citation between $400 and $700. You can provide proof of insurance (must be established insurance, not a brand new policy) and have the citation removed. However, if you do not have auto insurance, not only will you have to pay the fine, but your vehicle will be impounded as well until you show proof of insurance.

There is a $150 administrative fee to get your vehicle back and the state charges you $15 a day for vehicle storage while it is being impounded. You have thirty days to pay your fines. If you do not pay your fines and your vehicle is still impounded after thirty days, your vehicle will put placed into auction to cover your fines and fees. There were 18,000 vehicles impounded in 2008 for violations of auto insurance laws.

You can also receive fines if you allow your insurance to lapse even if you have not been pulled over by a police officer. This occurs because Arizona has an electronic system used to monitor auto insurance coverage. If your insurance lapses, then your insurance company documents it in the electronic system and a letter is automatically generated letting you know that you have thirty days to provide proof of insurance or your registration will be suspended and you will have to pay fines to reinstate it as well as provide proof of insurance.

The Purpose of Arizona Car Insurance Laws

According to the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) there are 4,972,051 registered vehicles in Arizona, of those 614,621 are commercial vehicles and the rest are privately owned. In 2008 there were nearly 120,000 auto accidents and 842 of those resulted in the death of one or more people. There were 937 people who died in these auto accidents and 56,009 people were injured.

The costs of these accidents were astronomical with a total of $2.5 billion dollars worth of injuries and damages caused by the accidents. Broken down, the total cost for the accidents resulting in fatalities was $1,079,906,200; this is an average cost of $1,152,600 per accident that caused a fatality. Accidents that caused serous injuries equaled a cost of $353,379,000 average $66,300 per accident. Non-serious injury accidents equaled $421,374,240 with an average of $21,420 per accident and possible injuries (people who were checked out but had no injuries) equaled a cost of $376,362,966 averaging $12,138 per accidents. Lastly, accidents that caused property damage only equaled $623,979,900, which averaged $12,138 per accident.

Arizona car insurance laws ensure that drivers have enough insurance to cover the costs of these types of accidents. However, as you can see, the minimum coverage will not be sufficient for anything more than a standard fender bender. It is important that you consider all of your insurance options when you purchase auto insurance in Arizona. Not only can you increase your liability coverage to a higher level to equal the average cost of an accident, you can also purchase comprehensive and collision coverage that not only provides you with additional coverage in an accident, but also provides you coverage in case of theft, acts of nature, vandalism and more.

It is not only important to ensure that you have the minimum insurance required by law in Arizona, it is also essential that you have coverage that will ensure that your do not have to pay any money out of pocket if you should have a more serious accident.

If you are an Arizona resident that drives a vehicle, then you should take a little bit of your time to use our free quote tool to compare insurance rates between auto insurance companies. In September of 2009 there was a national drop in the cost of auto insurance of about $200. If you think that you should be paying less for your auto insurance, then it is time to compare rates.

Use a free quote tool. These are all over the Internet, are easy to use and will give your results in a matter of minutes to see if it is time to choose a new auto insurance company or Arizona auto insurance plan. Of course, our Arizona car insurance quote tool is the best so enter your zip above to get started!

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