From Fredonia to Nogales, Yuma to Bowie, Bullhead City to Winslow, Arizona has thousands of miles of roadways. They’ll take you to metropolitan Phoenix and Tucson, to Flagstaff ski resorts and the majestic Sonoran desert. On any given day, they’re used by nearly 5 million licensed drivers, who are involved in thousands of traffic accidents, including many that result in serious injury or death. Wherever you live and drive in the Grand Canyon State, carrying adequate car insurance is both a legal requirement and commonsense protection. This is your guide to Arizona’s basic vehicle insurance requirements and laws.
Arizona state law requires you to carry a minimum amount of car insurance. Failure to do so can result in severe penalties that may include monetary fines and jail time. Under Arizona’s tort system, you may also be liable for actual damages (expenses associated with property damage and medical costs), economic damages (lost wages and earning capacity) and emotional and physical pain and suffering.
The bare minimum car insurance requirement for Arizona drivers is:
$15,000 bodily injury per person per accident
$30,000 bodily injury for all persons per accident
$10,000 property damage liability
Arizona does not require you to carry additional coverage such as Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist, personal liability or Collision and Comprehensive. However, if you own property or other valuable assets, supplementing the minimum requirements can help you protect yourself from monetary loss.
Penalties for Failure to Carry Arizona Auto Insurance
You are required by law to carry proof of Arizona car insurance in your car and show it if a law enforcement officer asks to see it. The fine for a first offense is $500 and suspension of your license up to three months. Subsequent offenses carry heavier fines and suspensions. Repeat offenders can be required to surrender their plates, registration and driver’s license. Reinstatement fees can be assessed. In addition, you vehicle may be impounded and you can be charged towing and storage fees in your vehicle is involved in an accident and you are uninsured.
Arizona requires insurance companies to submit private vehicle insurance information to its database. If you do not have insurance, you will be notified and given 30 days to produce proof of Arizona auto insurance. Failure to comply may result in suspension of your registration.
Arizona conducts random survey checks on the vehicle insurance status of registered car owners and assesses the same penalties already mentioned.
Arizona Car Insurance Premiums
Although Arizona is the 3rd least safe state regarding driving in the country, Arizonians on average, only pay about 6% more for car insurance than the rest of the U.S.
*Defined as annual cost of insurance regardless of mix of coverage (liability, comprehensive, collision)
Vehicle insurance premiums are regulated by the Arizona Department of Insurance. Insurance companies are allowed to charge premiums and award discounts based on a number of factors that can include:
The type of car you are insuring
Prior auto insurance coverage
How much you drive
Your driving record
Your marital status
Your geographic location
How long you’ve been driving
Whether or not you use your car for business
Arizona also allows insurers to consider your credit history to determine your premium.
How to Get the Cheapest Arizona Car Insurance Policy
You may be able to lower the cost of your premiums in the following ways:
Multi-line: ask about available discounts for good driving habits, anti-theft devices, multiple cars on one policy, bundling your car insurance with your homeowners or renters policy, automatic or online payments and driving a hybrid or electric car
Online comparison: compare quotes from a variety of providers on this website
Low-cost auto insurance program: check to see if you qualify for any low-cost auto insurance program your state may offer
Telematics: install a device in your vehicle or download an app that monitors your driving, and receive discounts up to 15% based on your driving tendencies.
Distant Student: if your child attends school more than 100 miles from home, you could qualify for a discount.
Retirement Community: drivers that are above 55 years of age with a legal residence within a retirement community are eligible for a discount.
Youthful Driver: drivers that live in a household where there are other drivers that are under 24 years of age, could be eligible for a discount.
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New Arizona Driving Laws
Laws regarding driving and car insurance can change frequently. It is your responsibility to stay current about the legal requirements in Arizona. The following laws have recently been enacted in Arizona and may affect your insurance coverage decisions.
Arizona has redefined aggressive driver action to include speeding and at least two of the following: failure to obey a traffic control device, passing on the right out of regular lanes of traffic, unsafe lane change, following too closely, failure to yield right of way, and being an immediate hazard to another person or vehicle.
Under Arizona law, driving privileges will be revoked for any felony in which you use a vehicle, perjury relating to the ownership or operation of a vehicle, failing to stop and render aid at a traffic accident site if you were involved, drive-by shooting.
Your driving privilege will be revoked for two or more convictions of Arizona law involving reckless driving or racing on the highways.
Many states’ laws governing child transit safety are based on a child’s weight. Arizona’s law states that children under 5 years of age must ride in a car seat, and those between 5-8 years of age and under 4 feet 9 inches must ride in a booster seat.
Drivers can be cited for driving under the influence of alcohol; no amount of alcohol is exempt.
Citations can be issued if your license plate holder covers the name of the state on the plate.
Motorcyclists under 18 years of age must wear a helmet, while those older than 18 are not required to do so.
Drivers that proceed into a known flooded area, then subsequently require emergency assistance are fined.
Arizona Teen Driving
The Grand Canyon State has a staged process that allows drivers to partake in real-world driving scenarios in efforts to gain crucial driving experience. By the end of the process, Arizonians can obtain an unrestricted drivers license.
At 15 years and 6 months of age, a teenager can apply for a graduated instruction permit. They would need to visit a local exam office accompanied by their parent, and pass written knowledge and vision tests. If a graduated instruction permit is acquired, a teenager:
Can drive when accompanied by a licensed driver age 21 or older.
Is required to practice driving for at least 30 hours, including 10 at night, all while supervised.
Teenagers that have turned 16 years of age, have possessed a graduated instruction permit for at least six months and can provide proof that they have completed 30 hours of practice driving, can apply for a graduated driver license. They also must pass a behind-the-wheel driving test. Teenagers with a graduated driver license are:
Allowed to drive alone, but not between the hours of midnight and 5am (some exceptions are granted).
Prohibited from driving with more than one non-family member passenger under the age of 18, unless a licensed parent or legal guardian is with them.
If the teenager has no suspensions for the first six months of driving with a graduated driver license, they may drive without restrictions until they turn 18 years of age, and are then able to apply for a Class D driver license.