Liability insurance covers bodily injuries and property damage caused by the insured individual and sustained by someone other than the insured. In other words, if you cause a car accident, your liability insurance pays for the other person’s injuries and damages.
Arizona requires that every motor vehicle on the road be covered by liability insurance. In addition to cars and trucks, this includes golf carts, motorcycles, and mopeds.
The required minimum amounts of liability coverage in Arizona are:
$15,000 for bodily injury or death of one person in an accident
$30,000 for total bodily injury or death in an accident (i.e., for all persons harmed in one accident)
$10,000 for property damage per accident
All vehicles registered in Arizona must be insured by a company licensed to do business in Arizona.
Enjuris tip: The amounts listed above are the minimum requirements. You always have the option to purchase more coverage. Remember, you’re personally liable for the damages incurred above the policy limits. So, the more coverage you have, the more you’re protected.
Penalties for being uninsured
Failure to maintain the required liability insurance can lead to fines and suspension of your vehicle registration and/or driver’s license. Reinstating these privileges can be expensive and time consuming.
On top of that, if your license or registration is suspended in Arizona, you may not be able to obtain a license in another state. You may also be prevented from obtaining insurance in another state.
What happens if the other driver doesn’t have liability insurance?
Despite the fact that liability insurance is mandatory in Arizona, an estimated 12% of drivers in Arizona are uninsured.
Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage: provides coverage for bodily injury and property damage sustained by you or the passengers in your vehicle as a result of an accident involving an uninsured driver
Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage: provides coverage for bodily injury and property damage sustained by you or the passengers in your vehicle as a result of an accident involving a driver who has insufficient insurance to cover the damages
Enjuris tip:Arizona law prevents insurers from raising the rate of your insurance premium if you file a claim for UM or UIM benefits after an accident caused by another driver.
If you don’t have UM or UIM coverage, you have the option of suing the driver. You can also sue the driver for any amount of damages you sustain in excess of the applicable policy limits.
The problem with suing an uninsured driver is that a driver who doesn’t have money to purchase insurance generally doesn’t have money to pay a judgment. Regardless, there are a number of legal tools an attorney can use to collect money from a defendant and you should speak to an attorney about your options.
Enjuris tip: If an accident occurred and the other driver’s insurance wasn’t available (for example, you forgot to ask for it or the other driver claimed to have left it at home), you can submit an Insurance Information Request with the ADOT along with the date of the accident and a $3 fee. The ADOT will release any insurance information on record for the date of the accident.
Optional car insurance coverage in AZ
While your liability insurance covers damages sustained by other people involved in an accident, it doesn’t cover your damages. Even in cases when you didn’t cause an accident, it can take a long time to receive money from the at-fault driver.
In these situations, you would benefit from having a policy that covers your damages regardless of who caused the accident. Fortunately, there are a handful of these optional coverage policies available in Arizona, including:
Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage: provides up to $10,000 in coverage regardless of who’s at fault (what’s covered depends on the specific policy)
MedPay coverage: provides coverage for medical expenses incurred by you and your passengers regardless of who is at fault
Comprehensive coverage: provides coverage for losses other than those caused by a collision (vandalism, falling objects, fire, etc.)
Have more questions about your rights in a car accident case in Arizona? An Arizona personal injury lawyer can help. If you have questions about your auto insurance policy, we recommend contacting your insurance provider.