Arizona features colorful desert landscapes, awe-inspiring mountains and plateaus, the wonder for which it takes its nickname—The Grand Canyon State, exciting cities like Phoenix and Mesa, plentiful Native American history and culture, and much more. And, on top of it all, it’s the state with the 10th-lowest average car insurance rates in the country.
Do you know what your Arizona auto insurance options are? Do you have the right level of coverage and have you received all possible discounts? Using an online comparison and quote tool can help you save a good deal of money on your insurance, while also ensuring you get the right level of coverage for your needs and lifestyle. We make the process easy and reliable by providing objective, carrier-neutral information.
Long gone are the days when you were limited to local agents when shopping for car insurance. Today, drivers can compare rates, claims rejection percentages, customer satisfaction scores, optional coverages, and other metrics without ever leaving home. To help you begin comparing insurance companies, here are the top three auto insurers in Arizona (see the full list).
Factors that may influence your rates include your age, gender, vehicle choice, driving habits, location, claims, and deductible. A history of moving violations can increase your premiums, while theft deterrent systems and safety devices can lower it.
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Maintaining proper insurance will protect your health and your assets in the event of an accident, so it’s wise to carry as much auto insurance as you can afford. Even if you’re an experienced and cautious driver, there’s never any guarantee that other motor vehicle operators sharing the road with you are paying attention. In fact, Arizona doesn’t have a stellar road safety record. See for yourself below.
Arizona Driving Safety
Arizona’s been slow to implement laws against cell phone use while driving, which is one reason for the high number of crashes that occur in the state each year; tourists, weather, and other factors also contribute. It’s important to protect yourself, your passengers, and your vehicle with auto insurance coverage. You never know what might happen.
Take a look at the state safety stats below, then see the Arizona Motor Vehicle Crash Facts 2015 publication for more information.
Arizona is known for its natural beauty, and the state’s going to great lengths to preserve the environment. Drivers who choose to go green in Arizona may qualify for numerous incentives—including tax breaks and insurance discounts—that save money and time while safeguarding natural resources.
Only residents who register their vehicles in metro Phoenix or metro Tucson need to undergo emissions testing, but drivers in those areas who operate an electric, solar-powered, or hydrogen-powered vehicle are exempt from testing. Additionally, gas and alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) with a current model year or previous four model years are also exempt. This does not apply to reconstructed vehicles.
AFV drivers are eligible to use Arizona’s high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, no matter how many passengers they’re transporting or the time of day. AFVs are those powered by electricity, alcohol, solar, hydrogen, compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, or a 70% alternative fuel/30% gasoline blend. The Arizona Department of Transportation website offers more information.
Drivers of eco-friendly vehicles can park in designated carpool operator spaces without threat of penalty, and electric vehicles can park in spaces specifically designed for these types of cars. Arizona residents get a discount when registering qualified alternative fuel vehicles, as well.
Arizona mandates that all motor vehicles operated on roadways be covered by liability insurance through a company authorized to do business in the state. This requirement also pertains to motorcycles, golf carts, and mopeds. Minimum insurance levels in Arizona are $15,000 of bodily injury for one person and $30,000 for two or more people in an accident. The state also requires $10,000 of property damage liability.
Insurance companies will notify the Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division if your policy is canceled or not renewed. A notice will also be sent for new policies.
Coverage for serious or permanent injury or death to a single person
Coverage for serious or permanent injury or death to two or more people in a single accident
Maximum payment for all damaged property in an accident caused by you
Although Arizona drivers are not legally required to carry full coverage auto insurance, many finance companies require this level of coverage. Check with your lender before purchasing a new car and before making changes to your insurance policy.
These optional coverages offer additional financial protection and peace of mind. Some exclusions will apply.
Get some insights into savvy insurance shopping from our article 10 Things to Consider when Shopping for a New Auto Insurance Policy.
*The above list is based on the consumer ratings for the Southwest region in the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Auto Insurance Study. Five key customer service areas were used to develop the rankings: policy offerings, claims, interaction, price, and billing. Because USAA insurance is only open to U.S. military personnel and their families, it was not included in the rankings.
Children under the age of 5 years should ride in an approved child car safety seat designed for their age, weight, and height. Infants should be rear-facing when possible, and all children should ride in the back seat to reduce the risk of injuries related to airbag deployment.
Arizona law states that children ages 5 to 7 years must ride in a booster seat unless they are at least 4 feet 9 inches tall. Once they reach this height, they’re allowed to transition to an adult safety belt. However, because height is more important than age regarding car safety, experts recommend continuing to ride in a booster seat until the minimum height requirement is met, regardless of age.
Drivers are responsible for safety belt use by all passengers under 16 years old. Passengers sitting in the front seat who are 16 years or older may be cited individually for failure to wear a safety belt.
Although Arizona does not currently have any laws regulating unattended children inside vehicles, it’s strongly recommended that no child be left alone in a parked car for any length of time.
Arizona’s hot climate can be extremely dangerous to children (and pets) left in a parked vehicle. Even on a temperate or cloudy day, temperatures inside can rise significantly and rapidly, potentially causing heat stroke, brain damage, and death. Young children and animals do not regulate their body temperature nearly as effectively as adults, plus they are unable to recognize or remove themselves from the danger. If you leave a young child unattended in a vehicle, you may be subject to child neglect, child endangerment, or other charges.
Yes. Insurance companies are allowed to check your credit and use that information when determining your rates or eligibility for coverage. Companies use your score along with other factors when developing your “insurance score.”
Good drivers in Arizona may qualify for reduced auto insurance rates. Because every insurance carrier offers different discounts, shop around to determine where you’ll save the most money. Some additional potential discounts include:
Yes! Arizona motorists can use digital insurance cards as proof of appropriate coverage when pulled over or for any reason. Most carriers offer this option these days, but check with yours to confirm.
Failure to maintain insurance in Arizona can result in suspension of your registration or and/or driver’s license. You will need to obtain insurance and pay a fee in order to reinstate your driving privileges.
It is against the law for anyone to operate a motor vehicle in Arizona with the following BAC percentages:
.08%+ at 21 years old or older
.04%+ for commercial vehicle drivers
Any at under 21 years old
Arizona is a “no-tolerance” state regarding underage drinking; any positive reading, no matter how low the BAC percentage, is grounds for a DUI charge.
The Arizona Motor Vehicle Division classified DUIs by BAC, with a standard DUI requiring a BAC of 0.08% and an extreme DUI requiring a BAC of 0.15%.
If you’re pulled over for suspicion of DUI by an officer and refuse to take or fail a chemical or breathalyzer test, your license will typically be suspended for 12 months (1st offense) or 24 months (2nd refusal within 84 months).
The consequences of a DUI in Arizona are severe. Specific penalties depend on the type of DUI you’re convicted of, as well as some other factors. A standard DUI conviction may result in jail time, a fine of $1,250, and mandatory completion of drug and alcohol screening, treatment, and education. Community service and installation of an ignition interlock device may also be required.
A variety of driver courses are available in Arizona. Some of these (most commonly the defensive driving courses) can be taken to reduce your insurance premiums. Other courses may be necessary to reduce points on your driver’s license or to become eligible for license reinstatement after suspension or revocation.
Many options can help you qualify for lower cost Arizona car insurance. Most importantly, avoid lapses in coverage and maintain a clean driving record free of accidents and moving violations. Because your credit score is a factor when determining your premium, monitor your score and be proactive about raising or maintaining it. Finally, shop around and compare rates and discounts with a variety of carriers before choosing one to insure your vehicle.
Uninsured motorist coverage protects you and your passengers if you’re involved in an accident with a driver who has no liability insurance. Even though Arizona requires all drivers to carry liability insurance, not all follow the law, and motorists from out of state may have different requirements. Uninsured motorist coverage is strongly recommended, but not required, in Arizona.
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