Known as the “Grand Canyon State,” Arizona entered the Union as the 48th state in 1912. Arizona is famous for its windswept natural beauty and its Old West history and Native American culture. Arizona residents love their craggy mountains and sunny deserts, but one thing is not to love about this state: car insurance in Arizona is expensive. Here is some helpful information about auto insurance in Arizona.
Arizona Natural Driving Hazards
Many people think that a state with so much desert landscape wouldn’t get a lot of rain, but they would be mistaken. Arizona is known for its summer monsoon thunderstorms, which are sudden, torrential cloudbursts that tend to cause flash floods and wash out roads. In the mountains and desert, the terrain can be rough and rocky, and there are many incidences of animal strikes from deer and even loose cattle. During the dry season sandstorms can come up suddenly as well, dropping visibility to almost zero and making driving extremely dangerous.
Arizona Human Driving Hazards
Arizonans tend to drive long distances, especially those who live near larger cities like Phoenix and Tucson. People live in the suburbs and commute upwards of 100 miles per day to and from their city jobs, and long commutes are excellent opportunities for the state’s most frequent accident type, the rear-end collision. There were more than 40,000 in 2009 alone. Arizona also has high levels of vehicle theft and some of the most dangerous intersections in the country. All these factors combine to make Arizona car insurance some of the most expensive in the nation.
Arizona Facts and Figures
- Number of vehicle crashes: 106,767. Crash Fatalities: 806. Crash Injuries: 50,610.Total cost to the state due to vehicle crashes: $2,756,574,072 (Arizona DOT 2009 Yearly Report)
- Arizona ranked number 4 in car theft rates in the nation in 2007, with the Phoenix/Scottsdale area ranking number 8 nationally on the list of vehicle theft statistics by city. (National Insurance Crime Bureau)
- The state ranked number 47 in the yearly ranking of states by auto insurance costs. A six-month liability-only premium in Arizona cost an average of $842. This makes car insurance in Arizona in the top ten of the most expensive rates in the country. (InsWeb 2010 list)
- Two Phoenix, Arizona intersections landed on the State Farm “Most Dangerous Intersections” list. 7th Street and Bell Road, and 19th Avenue and Northern Avenue were listed as numbers 4 and 7, respectively. (State Farm)
Arizona Car Insurance
Like the majority of states in the US, Arizona requires its drivers to have basic auto liability insurance. Liability coverage pays for medical bills and repair costs incurred in the event that the insured driver causes an accident. Arizona’s minimum levels of coverage are listed as 15/30/10, which are very low compared to other states. In any crash, the maximum payout to an injured individual will be $15,000; for the entire accident’s bodily injury claims payout would be $30,000 maximum; and the maximum payout for property damages would be $10,000.
Why Carry More than the Minimums?
Accidents are expensive. Consider these numbers, which are the averages cost-wise per type of accident in Arizona:
- Fatality $1,326,000
- Incapacitating Injury $68,544
- Non-Incapacitating Injury $22,236
- Possible Injury $12,546
- Property Damage Only $8,466
(Arizona DOT 2009 Yearly Report)
The state minimums do not even begin to scratch the surface in most of these incidents. If you only carry the minimum Arizona car insurance, anything that would need to be paid out over the maximums would be your responsibility out of pocket. It is only logical to boost the minimums, and it is also wise to carry collision, comprehensive and other auto insurance if your car is newer or financed.
Get Car Insurance Discounts in Arizona
Arizona drivers should do everything they can to reduce their car insurance costs. If you belong to AAA or another organization, you will be entitled to a discount, as will safe drivers, those who drive shorter distances and those whose cars have safety features like airbags and anti-lock brakes. To get more discounts, take defensive or safe driving courses, bundle your insurance policies, and install anti-theft features like car alarms. The best way to reduce insurance costs is to maintain a good record by driving carefully, defensively and obeying the traffic laws.
Mandatory Insurance Enforcement
Arizona is one of the toughest states on residents about carrying the mandatory coverage. The state DOT requires insurers and residents to forward proof of insurance to their office, and if this is not received, the state will automatically issue a license plate and registration revocation by mail. New residents are expected to have proof of local insurance right away, as out-of-state coverage is not acceptable past 30 days. Without a valid SR22, license, tag and registration renewals can and will be denied, and monetary penalties will be assessed.
Car insurance in Arizona is expensive, but it has been showing a downward trend in the past several years, as accident numbers have been dropping. Much credit is owed to the state’s wide usage of traffic cameras and stricter enforcement of traffic laws. In order to obtain the cheapest Arizona car insurance, compare multiple cheap auto insurance quotes online from several companies authorized to issue coverage in that state. We can help get the best coverage for your budget. The best coverage for teen car insurance, car insurance for women and other insurance.