Last updated on April 26th, 2018
In the state of Arizona there are a variety of different rules and regulations concerning car insurance. Like every other state Arizona has legally established minimum amounts of coverage that must be maintained on a vehicle in order for it to be legally drivable. Fortunately for those that have a vehicle registered in Arizona the state’s minimum insurance requirements are some of the lowest in the country. Drivers in Arizona are required only to have $15,000 in bodily injury coverage for a single individual and $30,000 for two or more people while also only requiring $10,000 in property damage coverage for a vehicle. In some cases these amounts are as little as 10% of the minimum coverage required by other states. Additionally, Arizona law allows for the purchase of uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage which protects against financial loss if a driver is involved in an accident caused by someone without insurance or someone that does not have enough coverage to pay for the damages. Because the minimum coverage requirements in Arizona are so low, and the unlicensed immigrant population is so high, both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage have proven to be good investments for Arizona drivers
While the minimum coverage requirements in Arizona may be below the National average the penalties that are incurred for failing to meet those requirements are just as severe as in most other states. If an Arizona driver is pulled over and is found to be driving a vehicle that is uninsured, or underinsured, the penalty is a mandatory $500 fine in addition to the suspension of the driver’s license, registration and license plates for a minimum of three months. A second violation within three years will result in a $750 fine and a six month suspension of the license, registration and plates. A third violation within 36 months will be met with a $1,000 fine as well as a suspension of the license, registration and plates for a period of at least one year. In order to get the license and registration reinstated after the suspension period has been lifted the owner of the uninsured vehicle must pay any required fines and possibly submit future proof of financial responsibility to the Arizona MVD. Future proof of financial responsibility in Arizona will most often come in the form of an SR-22 that is issued by the insurance company. An SR-22 is basically a form that states that a driver meets and is maintain the minimum coverage requirements as established by the state of Arizona, or whichever state the driver was in when the requirement to have an SR-22 was handed down. In Arizona a driver that is required to have an SR-22 as a proof of maintaining car insurance is required to keep the form on them for a period of three years. When a driver with an SR-22 is pulled over or involved in an accident they will be required by law to present both the SR-22 and proof of insurance to a law enforcement officer.
Unlike some other states, Arizona has no grace period when it comes to purchasing car insurance for a new vehicle. Even if the vehicle is newly acquired it must be registered with the state and it must have insurance immediately. Drivers that just purchased a new vehicle and have not yet purchased car insurance will be subject to the same fines and penalties as those that have been driving without insurance for months or even years. On the other hand, while most states require proof of insurance at the time a vehicle is registered Arizona car insurance laws allow give the owner of the vehicle 30 days to provide proof of insurance to the DMV. This particular law is often interpreted as allowing Arizona drivers a 30 day grace period to obtain insurance but in reality it is just a grace period to actually provide proof of insurance to the DMV. If a driver is pulled over or is involved in any sort of accident within that 30 day period he or she will still be required to provide proof of insurance to the police officer. The only types of vehicles that do not have to meet the minimum car insurance requirements in the state of Arizona are vehicles that were not designed for travel on the highway, such as dirt bikes and four wheelers, and vehicles that are not currently drivable. Additionally, Arizona is one of a handful of states that will allow the owner of a vehicle to obtain a De-Insured Certificate. This certificate can be obtained for vehicles that a resident of Arizona owns but is not currently driving, allowing the owner to keep registration of the vehicle active while avoiding having to pay costly insurance premiums for a vehicle that is not being driven.