Vehicle insurance is critical. Not only is insurance a legal requirement in every state throughout the country, but this also helps protect drivers’ financial interests. Here, we want to discuss what Arizona law says about insurance requirements for drivers. Additionally, we want to discuss the penalties for not carrying insurance, as well as whether or not you should consider carrying additional types of protection beyond what is legally required.
Arizona Requirements for Insurance
Just like every other state across the country, drivers in Arizona must maintain insurance amounts that meet or exceed the following minimum coverage requirements:
- Bodily injury liability coverage: Minimum $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
- Property damage liability coverage: Minimum $15,000
When we look at these coverage amounts, we want to point out a few things. First, this is not much coverage. If you choose to carry the minimum insurance coverage in Arizona, you may still find yourself in financial jeopardy. $25,000 for injury expenses and $15,000 for property damage expenses may not go far, particularly for severe accidents. We encourage you to examine your “risk appetite” when choosing whether or not to carry higher insurance coverage amounts.
Additionally, uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage are not required in Arizona.
- Uninsured motorist coverage is designed to cover your medical bills and property damage expenses if you are struck by an uninsured driver.
- Underinsured motorist coverage helps pay your expenses if the at-fault driver’s insurance limits do not cover all of your expenses.
We encourage you to examine these types of insurance and consider purchasing it as a part of your policy.
We do want to point out that if you do not want to purchase auto insurance, you do have an option to self insure. To insure yourself, you have to provide a bond in the minimum amount of $40,000. When you register your vehicle, you have to prove that you have auto insurance or that you have a self-insured bond.
Penalties for not Carrying Car Insurance
Failing to carry insurance in the state of Arizona has consequences. If you are stopped by a law enforcement officer when driving and are asked to provide verification of auto insurance or self-insurance, and are unable to do so, you could face a citation and additional penalties.
For every uninsured driving citation, you can expect three different penalties (for a first offense) if convicted:
- A fine of at least $500
- Having your driving privileges suspended for three months
- The requirement to carry an SR-22 certificate on your insurance for two years
These penalties will increase for second and subsequent offenses. For example, a second offense will carry a fine of at least $750 and a six-month loss of driving privileges, along with the requirement for an SR-22 certificate. For third and subsequent offenses, the fine will increase to $1,000, a one-year loss of driving privileges, along with the SR-22 certificate requirement. We do want to point out that SR-22 insurance certificates will certainly cost you more money on your monthly insurance bill.
In addition to these penalties set forth from the state of Arizona, failing to have insurance could have disastrous consequences in the event you cause an accident. If you do not have insurance at the time you cause an accident on the roadway, you could be held personally liable for injuries and property damage expenses that you caused to other parties. These other individuals will likely file a personal injury lawsuit against you. If you lose, you may have to pay these expenses out of your personal assets.