Shopping for a new or used car can be an exciting process. Shopping for car insurance typically isn’t. Even so, it’s an important decision and the process is a lot simpler than you might expect. Read on to learn more about Arizona’s car insurance laws and how to find the best car insurance rates in Arizona.
Average Annual Car Insurance Rates in Arizona
How We Found the Cheapest Car Insurance in Arizona
U.S. News also worked with Quadrant Information Services to provide a report of average insurance rates in all 50 states from the 10 largest national car insurance companies. The rates are based on profiles for both male and female drivers aged 17, 25, 35, and 60. Vehicles used include the 2018 Honda Civic, 2018 Toyota RAV4, 2018 Ford-F-150, 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford-F-150, with annual mileage of 6,000 and 12,000. Three car insurance coverage levels were used, as were credit tiers of good, fair, and poor. Clean driving records and records with one accident, one speeding violation, and one DUI were also used in the calculations. The rates shown here are for comparative purposes only. Individual rates will differ.
How Much Does Car Insurance Cost in Arizona?
See the Cheapest Car Insurance Companies
The average driver pays around $3,800 a year for car insurance in Arizona. What you pay will depend on a number of variables, including your age, driving record, credit history, the coverage you choose to buy, where you live, and more. Drivers in rural areas and small cities typically pay the least. For instance, the average rates in Lake Havasu City and Sierra Vista are between $2,900 and $3,100 per year. Drivers in major cities tend to pay a lot more. Phoenix has the highest average car insurance rates in the state, at around $4,800 a year. The surrounding cities of Mesa, Scottsdale, and Tempe aren’t far behind, with an average of $4,200 a year.
|Lake Havasu City||$2,955.72|
Arizona Auto Insurance Minimum Coverage Requirements
Arizona law requires all drivers to be financially responsible for the car accidents that they cause. Most drivers meet this requirement by purchasing auto liability insurance. Liability Insurance compensates the other parties affected by an accident for their bodily injury and property damage if you – or someone driving your car with your permission – are at fault. The minimum coverage limits required by Arizona law are often referred to as a ratio: 15/30/10. Coverage of $15,000 is set for the injury of one person, $30,000 is set for the injury of two or more people, and $10,000 is set for car and property damage.
Even though a liability policy with these coverage amounts is sufficient under Arizona law, we strongly recommend that you purchase extra coverage. The high costs of medical care and car repair can quickly deplete your liability insurance if you have minimal coverage. Those affected by an accident can then take you to court to pay their remaining bills. That would be in addition to your own medical bills and repair costs, which liability insurance wouldn’t cover.
Your personal expenses can be protected by several optional insurance plans, such as Medical Payments, Uninsured Motorist, Collision, and Comprehensive coverage. Medical Payments coverage pays for your and your passengers’ medical bills, regardless of who is at fault in an accident. Uninsured Motorist coverage pays for your and your passengers’ medical bills and property damage if the driver at fault in an accident has insufficient liability insurance or no insurance at all; it also applies in the event of a hit-and-run accident.
Collision coverage pays for damage to your vehicle from an accident. Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your vehicle as a result of other things, such as flood, fire, hail, theft, and vandalism. If you’re leasing or financing a vehicle, collision and comprehensive coverage are typically required under contract.
Cheapest Car Insurance in Arizona
Geico offers the lowest car insurance rates in Arizona, according to our research. The annual cost of the policies surveyed came to around $2,300 a year – about $1,500 less than the state average. Geico’s rates are particularly low for those with an accident-free driving history and good credit.
|Company||Clean record||With 1 speeding violation||With 1 accident||With 1 DUI|
|Nationwide (as NICOA)||$2,958.14||$3,309.59||$3,110.44||$4,606.16|
Geico also offers the lowest rates for teenage drivers, which is typically the most-expensive age group to insure.
|Company||Single 17-year old female||Single 17-year old male||Single 25-year old female||Single 25-year old male||Married 35-year old female||Married 35-year old male||Married 60-year old female||Married 60-year old male|
|Nationwide (as NICOA)||$5,796.17||$7,425.20||$2,716.44||$2,936.62||$2,355.84||$2,399.39||$2,106.79||$2,232.22|
USAA and Travelers offer the next best rates. The annual cost of these plans beat the state average by about $700, according to our analysis. Drivers insured with Allstate and Farmers saw the highest rates, though. These plans cost around $1,100 to $1,200 more per year than the state average.
Why Car Insurance Rates Vary in Arizona
There are many local factors that determine the price of car insurance in a given area. Insurers evaluate an area’s population, traffic congestion, and frequency of insurance claims, as well as the costs of auto repair and medical services. Generally speaking, this makes car insurance more expensive in big cities with dense traffic than in rural areas or small cities with light traffic.
How to Get the Cheapest Car Insurance in Arizona
Most insurance companies offer a wide variety of discounts, so there’s a good chance you may qualify for at least one or two. Homeowners who bundle their home and auto policies often qualify for a multipolicy discount. If you insure multiple vehicles with the same company, you may be eligible for a multi-car discount. Insurers often extend discounts to students with good grades and teenagers who have taken a drivers’ education course.
Safe-driving discounts may be offered to policyholders with an accident-free record, as well as drivers enrolled in programs like Snapshot (Progressive) or Drivewise (Allstate). These voluntary programs use apps and GPS devices to monitor driving habits and adjust a driver’s insurance rates accordingly. You may also qualify for discounts based on the safety features of your vehicle. You can often get discounts for having anti-lock brakes, air bags, daytime running lights, and car alarms.
There are also a few simple ways to lower your monthly car insurance premiums without discounts, like raising the deductible. The deductible is the amount of money you must pay upfront when making a claim before your insurance covers your expenses. By raising the deductible, you can often reduce your monthly premiums substantially. Just be aware that you’ll initially pay more out of pocket if you’re in an accident.
Another option is eliminating coverage. Dropping your collision and comprehensive insurance can lower your rates dramatically, and this can be a wise choice if you own an older car that isn’t worth very much. Of course, you should be careful about which coverages you adjust. It’s smart to keep high liability coverage to compensate others if you’re at fault in an accident and to protect your assets in a lawsuit.
Important Laws Around Auto Insurance in Arizona
If you’ve applied for car insurance and been denied by multiple companies, you may want to consider buying coverage through the Arizona Automobile Insurance Plan. This program automatically assigns applicants to an insurance company and provides them with the minimum limits of liability coverage. It’s designed to help shoppers with a poor driving record or multiple insurance claims. These policies are typically much more expensive than those offered in the voluntary insurance market, though.
Any liability insurance policy purchased in Arizona should protect you no matter where you drive in the United States and Canada. It won’t cover you in Mexico, however. Mexico has different insurance laws and only accepts policies written by companies based in Mexico. If you plan to drive in Mexico, you must purchase Mexican liability insurance from a licensed agent. Check with your insurance company to see if they have a partnership with a Mexican insurer. You can purchase a policy that covers you for just a few days, a few months, or even a year. Additional coverages can include legal and medical costs.
Arizona Driving Laws and Punishments
It’s illegal to drive a vehicle on public roads in Arizona if you don’t have liability insurance or another accepted form of financial responsibility. Your license and registration can be suspended for violating this law. You can also be fined between $500 and $1,000, and you risk having your vehicle impounded.
The “Buckle Up Arizona!” law requires front-seat passengers to wear seat belts. All passengers younger than 16 must always wear seat belts or appropriate child restraints as well, regardless of seating position.
Arizona restricts handheld cellphone usage for drivers with a graduated license (16- to 18-year-olds) or learners’ permit but otherwise doesn’t have a statewide distracted driving law. To compensate for this relaxed policy, a number of cities and counties have made it illegal to text or place calls while driving, unless a phone is connected using a hands-free device.
While its distracted-driving laws are fairly loose, Arizona has some of the strictest DUI laws in the nation. For drivers over the age of 21, operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher is punishable by a minimum of 10 days in jail, a fine of $1,250 or more, and a license suspension of at least 90 days. Subsequent violations result in a minimum of 90 days in jail, fines of at least $3,000, and a one-year license suspension. The penalties are more severe if you have a blood alcohol content of .15 percent or higher (extreme DUI).
Additionally, Arizona’s Zero Tolerance law states that no one under the age of 21 can operate a vehicle with any trace of alcohol or illicit drugs in their body. All drivers who violate this law will have their licenses suspended for two years. Arizona has an implied consent law, which means that all drivers are required to submit to alcohol or drug testing if a law enforcement officer suspects they are driving under the influence. Refusal to take one of these tests will result in an automatic one-year license suspension.
Arizona Car Insurance FAQs
Is car insurance required in Arizona?
Yes. Arizona requires all drivers to be financially responsible for the injuries and damages they cause to others if they are at fault in a car accident. Car insurance is the recommended and most common way drivers meet this requirement.
Which cars are required to be insured in Arizona?
Drivers must insure all vehicles registered in Arizona or demonstrate another accepted form of financial responsibility. This includes all cars, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, mopeds, and golf carts that are driven on public roads. If you own a vehicle that is in storage or being repaired, you can temporarily discontinue its insurance coverage only if you have submitted a De-Insurance Certificate with the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division. You must reinsure the vehicle before returning it to use.
If you’re a nonresident of Arizona, such as a college student or an active member of the military, with a vehicle registered in another state, you must follow the car insurance and registration laws of that state. If you become a resident, you must insure and register the vehicle in Arizona immediately.
When should I get car insurance in Arizona?
You must have car insurance before you can register any vehicle in Arizona. You can shop for insurance online, over the phone, at a car dealership, or in person with an agent or broker. If you’re buying a car and you have existing insurance on another vehicle, you should contact your insurer to have your next vehicle added to the policy.
What happens if my car is not properly insured in Arizona?
You can be fined anywhere from $500 to $1,000 for driving in Arizona without car insurance or another accepted form of financial responsibility. You also run the risk of having your vehicle registration and drivers’ license suspended, as well as having your vehicle impounded.
Is Arizona a no-fault state?
No, Arizona is an at-fault state. This means that a driver at fault in an accident must pay for the bodily injury and property damage they have caused to others. The liability insurance of the at-fault driver will compensate those injured until its coverage limits are met. If those injured still have outstanding medical expenses, the at-fault driver can be taken to court to pay these remaining bills.
By comparison, in a no-fault state like New York or Florida, all parties involved in an accident receive compensation for lost wages and medical costs from their own insurance policies. This occurs because no-fault states require drivers to purchase additional insurance coverage, known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP).
Do I need uninsured motorist coverage in Arizona?
Uninsured motorist coverage isn’t required by Arizona law, but it is recommended. This insurance pays for your and your passengers’ medical bills and property damage if the driver at fault in an accident does not have insurance. This coverage also applies if the driver has minimal liability coverage or in the event of a hit-and-run accident.
Is liability insurance required in Arizona?
Arizona recognizes three ways for drivers to show financial liability for the accidents they have caused. Liability insurance is the recommended way to meet this obligation. Minimum coverage of $15,000 is required for the injury of one person, $30,000 is required for the injury of two or more people, and $10,000 is required for all vehicle and property damage. It’s a smart idea to purchase extra liability coverage so you can adequately compensate others if you’re at fault in an accident. Otherwise, if those injured still have outstanding medical and repair costs, they can sue you to pay their remaining bills.
Accepted alternatives to liability insurance in Arizona include self-insurance (allowed if you own more than 10 registered vehicles) or a deposit of $40,000 with the state treasurer. These are uncommon methods.
Does Arizona accept digital insurance cards?
Yes, these cards can be displayed on portable electronic devices like a smartphone. Check with your insurer to see if they provide this form of insurance card.