Let’s talk insurance. Specifically, auto insurance laws in Arizona. As a personal injury lawyer with over 49 years’ experience, Lyding Personal Injury specializes in helping our clients navigate the calls from insurance companies after an auto accident. Understanding all the ins and outs of car insurance laws can be complex and confusing, but that’s why we’re here. Here’s the breakdown of some of the insurance laws every Arizona driver should know.
The Basic Auto Insurance Requirements in Arizona
In Arizona, to register a vehicle, you must first have proof of insurance. Every driver is required to have the minimum amount of liability coverage (we’ll discuss that below), and you must always carry proof of insurance when driving. Drivers who operate a vehicle without proper auto insurance can face steep penalties, including the loss of driving privileges and fines. Of course, fines can be minimal in comparison to damage caused by an at-fault driver that’s uninsured! Ideally, if you’re injured in an auto accident, we can help you get the compensation you deserve from the at-fault driver.
Who’s at fault in an accident in Arizona?
Arizona follows the doctrine of “pure comparative fault” or “pure comparative negligence” when assigning fault in a car accident. We’ll get into this more in a later blog, but basically this means that responsibility can be shared (split by percentages) if it’s found that both drivers shared in the fault of the accident. One driver could be found to be 75% at fault while the other driver could be only 25% at fault, so their respective insurance companies would pay proportional amounts. Confused yet? Don’t worry – we’ve got it handled if you’re involved in an accident resulting in personal injury.
What are the mandated car insurance limits for Arizona?
This is the perfect time for that question. As of July 1, 2020 the new limits for Arizona’s minimum limit for auto insurance liability have increased. In May of 2019, SB 1087 was passed by the Arizona legislature signed into law by Governor Ducey on Friday, June 7th. As of July 1 of this year, the new minimum limits of liability required by the state of Arizona are $25,000/$50,000/$15,000. So, Arizona’s Minimum Liability Coverage is: 25/50/15. It’s likely that those numbers may not make much sense to the average person. And you’re probably thinking this is just another way for the big, bad insurance companies to charge you more on your insurance premiums so they can take your hard earned money. However, let us explain what these coverages are, and why this is a good thing.
So, 25/50/15 – what does that even mean? Basically, these coverages are per person, per accident, and property damage. The three numbers represent the limits that are paid out to another person if you’re at fault in an accident, or on the reverse side – the maximum that’s paid out to you if another person is at fault in an accident involving you (that’s where we come in)! Those first two numbers represent “Bodily Injury Coverage” – which helps pay for medical injuries, and the last number refers to property damage caused in an accident. Here’s the breakdown:
- Per Person: The $25,000 (“25”) is the maximum amount an insurance company would pay out for each individual who is injured in an accident caused by the driver deemed at fault – it will cover multiple people up to the “per accident” limit detailed next.
- Per Accident: The second number ($50,000 or “50”) is the maximum amount that would be paid out by the insurance company for bodily injuries caused in any one accident, regardless of how many individuals are involved. However, remember that an insurance company won’t pay over the “per person” limit.
- Property Damage: Lastly, $15,000 is the “Property Damage Liability” coverage – this helps pay for any property damage caused by an at-fault driver.
Optional Car Insurance That Can Protect You, and Others
There are many additional coverages that are great add-ons to an insurance policy, especially your own if you’re looking for more coverage and peace of mind. Optional coverages can include collision coverage, comprehensive insurance, roadside assistance and Med Pay. If you’ve caused personal injury in an auto accident, we can help you navigate both your own policy and the at-fault driver’s insurance policy to help you fight for all you deserve!
If you have questions we can answer about Arizona’s auto insurance laws, don’t hesitate to contact us!