Arizona law requires liability coverages for drivers that meet certain minimum limits for bodily injury and property damage. The minimum required limits are as follows:
- Bodily injury coverage: $25,000 for each person/$50,000 for each incident
- Property damage coverage: $15,000 per incident
Continue reading to learn more about these requirements and how Arizona law may affect both parties in the event of an accident.
Arizona Minimum Liability Limits for Auto Insurance
As is the case in most states, Arizona drivers must maintain car insurance amounts that at least meet the minimum liability requirements. The Arizona limits are often abbreviated as 25/50/15.
The $25,000 minimum is for one person’s bodily injuries or death, the $50,000 minimum is for two or more persons’ bodily injuries or death, and the $15,000 minimum is for damage to another party’s property.
Please keep in mind that 25/50/15 is not much insurance. If you carry only the state minimums, you may end up with financial problems if you cause a collision. First, those limits don’t go far, especially in severe accidents. Second, the limits are for liability and won’t cover damages to your own vehicle.
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Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in Arizona
Breaking the mandatory insurance law in Arizona has expensive and inconvenient repercussions. If you get pulled over by law enforcement and cannot produce proof of insurance, you could incur a hefty fine and other penalties. If convicted, you will face three penalties for your first offense:
- A minimum fine of $500
- The suspension of your driver’s license for 90 days
- Having to carry a certificate of insurance (SR-22) for 24 months
The penalties will be higher for repeat offenders. For example, the next offense may cost you $750 or more, a revocation of your driving privileges for six months, and a mandatory SR-22 filing. The consequences will be even more severe for subsequent offenses, and you’ll likely feel the cost of an SR-22 when you receive your next insurance statement.
Getting Into an Accident Without Insurance
On top of facing the above penalties put in place by the Arizona Department of Transportation, failing to comply with the mandatory insurance requirement might be disastrous if you end up causing a collision. If you are uninsured during an at-fault accident, you will likely be sued for the property damage and injuries you cause to the other people involved.
If the court rules in their favor, you may be required to pay for their expenses from your own assets, including your home.
We do want to mention that if you do not wish to purchase car insurance, you have the option to self-insure. To insure yourself, you must provide a bond in the minimum amount of $40,000, and you’ll have to prove you have this when you go to register your vehicle.
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The Importance of Adequate Insurance When an Accident Happens
Although the minimum coverage is cheaper to purchase, it rarely reflects how much you need in serious motor vehicle accidents. The consequences of being underinsured in a severe injury accident are devastating. It means that someone will be unable to pay their medical bills and may not be compensated for pain and suffering, lost income, and other damages.
Even though auto insurance is required in this state, more than 11% of Arizona drivers are uninsured, and many others only carry the minimum coverage.
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Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
If you get into a car accident, and the at-fault driver is uninsured or does not have enough insurance to pay for your damages, your uninsured motorist insurance may cover some or all of your losses.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages are designed to cover your medical bills and property damage expenses if an uninsured motorist hits you, or the at-fault driver’s insurance limits do not cover all your damages.
Because this coverage is so beneficial, insurance companies in Arizona are legally obligated to provide you with the option to purchase it as part of your auto insurance policy. As experienced injury accident attorneys, we strongly encourage you to include these essential coverages.
Trying to Collect From an Uninsured Driver or Your UM Policy
If you don’t have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages because you declined those options when you purchased your policy, you can sue the uninsured, at-fault driver. Suppose the driver is underinsured, meaning their insurance limits only cover a portion of your damages. In that case, you can sue for the additional damages that are above the driver’s policy limits.
The drawback with going after an uninsured motorist is that an individual who can’t afford insurance may not have the funds available to pay a court judgment. Still, there are a few ways to try to collect from the at-fault driver, so you should discuss those options with an attorney.
Most drivers who carry UM coverage assume their car insurance company will automatically pay out on an uninsured motorist claim. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. Even recovering damages from your own insurance policy is never a guarantee.
Free Personal Injury Consultations in Arizona
After a severe car accident, you need a personal injury law firm to help you recover the maximum compensation for your pain and suffering. Zanes Law is committed to getting accident victims the restitution they need after a devastating collision.
If you were injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, Our Arizona car accident lawyers might be able to help. We could help you claim the benefits laid out by your UM or UIM policy. Or if you don’t have those coverages, we can go after the at-fault party. Contact us today for a free consultation.