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Arizona Car Insurance

When driving a State of Arizona registered vehicle, insurance is required. Arizona minimum car insurance requirements are:

  • Auto Insurance policy with limits of at least 15/30/10, meaning:
    • Liability coverage
    • $15,000 of bodily injury to another person
    • $30,000 of bodily injuries to all other persons
    • $10,000 of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident

While some choose to stick with the Arizona state required insurance coverage, many opt to purchase additional coverage, such as collision, comprehensive, and personal injury protection for added assurance.

Alternative Options to Insurance:

Self Insurance Certificates are available in Arizona. The requirements are:

  • You or your company must have at least 10 registered vehicles
  • You must qualify by application through Insurance Unit of the Motor Vehicle Division:
    • Mail Drop 535M
    • Insurance Unit
    • Motor Vehicle Division
    • PO Box 2100
    • Phoenix, AZ 85001-2100

In Arizona, you have the option to use a certificate of deposit instead of insurance if the following requirements are met:

  • Certificate of deposit for at least $40,000

Required Proof of Insurance in Arizona

Insurance Card provided by Insurance company including all of the following:

  • Name of Insurance Company
  • Insurance Policy Number
  • Effective Date/Expiration Date of Policy
  • Accurate description of year, make/model of registered vehicle
  • Name of Insured Driver

Self Insurance certificates are issued by the state and must include the following:

  • Certificate Number issued by Department of Licensing
  • Effective Date of Certificate
  • Accurate description of year, make/model of registered vehicle
  • Name of driver covered by certificate

Certificate of Deposit must include the following:

  • Certificate number issued by State Treasurer
  • Name of driver covered by certificate of deposit

Liability Bond must include the following:

  • Name of company issuing bond
  • Bond number
  • Name of driver covered by bond

Arizona State Department of Insurance

2910 N. 44th Street, Ste. 210 (2nd Floor)
Phoenix, AZ 85018-7269

Obtaining a Driver’s License

Here are the requirements to obtain your license if you are 18 and under:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Be a resident of Arizona
  • Have class G permit for at least 6 months
  • Have completed at least 30 hours of supervised driving practice (10 of those at night)
  • No traffic violations within 6 months of applying for license
  • No conviction of alcohol/drug offense while holding permit
  • Pass a written and road test at the MVD. This must be done before 3:00.

Once you meet the requirements, visit your local MVD and apply for a driver’s license. Bring the following:

  • Social Security Number, though the card is not necessary unless being used for ID purposes.
  • 1 form of primary photo ID, such as a birth certificate or passport. Must be original or certified copy.
  • 1 form of secondary ID, such as a picture school ID card and social security card. Must be original or certified copy.
    • If you do not have any ID with a picture, 3 forms of ID must be provided.
  • If natural parents are married, one parent must sign the Parental Authorization Affidavit form at the MVD office in front of a licensing service representative. If natural parents are not married but share custody, both must sign the form. If one natural parent has sole custody, then only that parent needs to sign the form.
  • The guardian signing in-person at the office must provide photo ID documentation as proof of identity (driver’s license, passport), as well as proof of relationship to the license applicant (birth certificate, school records). Must be originals or certified copies.
  • Application fee paid by cash, check, traveler’s check, or money order. Some MVD locations accept MasterCard, American Express and/or Visa.

Here are the requirements to obtain your first license for residents over the age of 18:

  • Be a resident of Arizona
  • Complete a driver license application
  • Pass knowledge test (must complete before scheduling driving test)
  • Pass vision screening and color recognition test
  • Pass driving test before 3:00 p.m.

The following documents are required for application:

  • Proof of identity
  • License fee paid by cash, money order, traveler’s check, or check. Ask local MVD to confirm if they accept MasterCard, American Express, or Visa.
  • Social Security Number, photo instruction permit, or current ID Card

Completing Driver Education

When a child reaches the age of 15 years and 6 months of age, they may enroll in a Traffic Safety Education Program. To be eligible, a student must have the following:

  • An instruction permit, issued by the State of Arizona
  • If between 15 ½ to 17, a student must pass the knowledge test and have parental permission.
  • If the student is over the age of 18, they must pass the knowledge test

To complete a program a student must meet the following:

  • A total of 30 hours of instruction, 10 of which must be at night.
  • Complete a written test
  • Complete a driving exam

It is recommended that you research any driver-training program that you enroll in. You want to make sure they meet the following standards:

  • Instructors are licensed and have certificates from the State of Arizona
  • They meet the state curriculum requirements
  • Check if they have received any disciplinary action for violations
  • Make sure there are enough instructors to meet student needs

You can also check if your student’s school offers any driver training programs. These programs typically meet the state requirements and have licensed instructors.

Knowing the Rules of the Road

Arizona provides their rules of the road online. Carefully obey these rules to quality for the lowest possible car insurance rates:

  • Alterations of speed limits by local authority: 28-703
  • Child passenger restraints and penalties: 28-907
  • DUI – Impaired Driving: 28-1381
  • Duty on striking unattended vehicle: 28-664
  • Emerging from alley, driveway, or building: 28-856
  • Failure to comply with police officers: 28-622
  • High occupancy vehicle lanes: 28-737
  • Minimum speed – Requirement to turn off road: 28-704
  • Mopeds: 28-2513
  • Motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles – General seating and passengers: 28-892
  • Motorcycles – Noise level rules: 28-955.02
  • Motorcycles – Operation of motorcycles on laned roadway: 28-903
  • No passing zones: 28-727
  • Racing on highways: 28-708
  • Reasonable and prudent speed: 28-701
  • Special speed limitations: 28-706
  • State highway work zone safety: 28-710
  • Towing trailer, lateral sway: 28-896

Residents of Arizona can expect to receive insurance rates that are often directly correlated with their driving record. Typically, those with the least risk – such as drivers who have perfect records and no previous drug or alcohol convictions – will receive the lowest auto insurance rates in Arizona. Those with a few driving incidents on their record, whether it is traffic accidents or speeding tickets, will receive slightly higher insurance rates. Finally, those with a chronically poor driving record and drug or alcohol-related charges will receive the highest insurance rates because they are the most risky to insure. However, insurance companies also factor in other things when determining your rate, such as the ones outlined below.

Know Your Rates

Auto insurance rates are determined after carefully reviewing all of the licensed drivers in the household. This includes those who are not related by blood, such as roommates and spouses. After calculating a base rate, insurance companies will adjust that base rate depending on several things, including:

  • Driving record and claims history. The more past accidents and violations you have had, the riskier driver you are to insure. That means that unless you have a perfectly clean driving record, you will receive higher rates.
  • Daily commute figures. Those who spend more time on the road invariably increase their chances of becoming involved in an accident. Insurance companies will want to know how much time you spend driving each day, as those who drive less will receive lower rates for the lowered risk, whereas those who drive more will receive higher rates for the heightened risk.
  • Location of driver and car. Cars kept in a part of town that is has a high rate of vehicle theft and/or traffic collisions are riskier to insure, so drivers of those vehicles will likely receive higher insurance rates
  • Make, model, and year of the vehicle. Pricier vehicles will receive higher rates because they are more likely to be stolen or otherwise damaged. In addition, those driving vehicles prone to breakage may also see their insurance rates increase.

Lower Your Rates

There are some aspects of insurance rates that consumers cannot control. After all, insurance companies essentially determine their customer premiums based on the statewide pool of losses that the company experiences, according to the Arizona Department of Insurance. But while you cannot help some factors that determine your insurance rates, there are some things that you can control to ensure that you at least receive low cost car insurance in Arizona.

Meet with an insurance agent and talk about exactly what you need for your insurance plan to cover. Discuss the price you are paying now for those services and coverage so that your agent can determine whether or not you are receiving the most benefits for what you are willing to pay.

Shop around and compare different rates and packages offered by various insurance companies. Compare auto insurance rates in Arizona by looking at what different companies offer. To find out if a company or agent is properly licensed, you can call the Arizona Department of Insurance at 1-800-325-2548. Understand exactly what you need and determine which companies offer those types of coverage for the least amount of money. Do not forget to take customer complaints into account – learning from past customer experiences can help you avoid signing up for a difficult insurance carrier.

Ask about discounts, as most insurance companies offer lower rates for those with multiple vehicles, anti-theft devices, a good driving record, and/or with low mileage on their car. In addition, young drivers can take advantage of “good student” discounts, as well as driver’s education discounts for those who completed a formal driver’s education program. If you plan to bundle your insurance plan with other types of insurance, such as home insurance, you may receive a discount from the company as well, which can all lead you to affordable auto insurance in Arizona.

Picking an Insurance Agent/Broker

The difference between an insurance agent and an insurance broker is simple – agents work with specific insurance companies to sell policies for commission, whereas brokers work with individual clients to sell policies for commission. Both are great resources for auto insurance information. Your agent or broker will consider your insurance needs and your budget to help you pick the best insurance package

However, before you settle with a particular agent, ensure that he or she is credentialed and licensed with Arizona’s Department of Insurance. You can contact the Department of Insurance directly for information, or use the department’s “License Search” tool to look up the agent or broker online. In addition, if after you work with an agent, broker, or insurance company and have had an unsatisfactory experience, you can choose to file a complaint online or call it in. This way, the Department of Insurance can look into your complaint and pursue any disciplinary actions necessary.

After an Accident

Whether it was your fault or not, accidents happen and you must take the correct steps afterwards to ensure that you have all of the documentation and information you need to inform your insurance company about it. Sometimes, the procedure you should follow after an accident is printed on your insurance card. However, if not, then the general rule is that after any collision – particularly one involving another vehicle or person – you should notify the police. In the event that someone is injured, you should also request emergency medical services.

Stay at the scene of the accident until the police arrive. In the meantime, swap information with the other driver. You should take down his or her name, address, telephone number, and license plate number, even if the driver has no car insurance in Arizona. If there are witnesses to the accident, get their information as well.

It is important that you do not admit fault at the scene of the accident, or to even discuss the details of what happened except to police and your insurance company. Be courteous, but do not let the other driver persuade you into admitting fault when you do not yet have the full details about what occurred.

Notify your insurance company and cooperate in answering all of their questions to the best of your ability. Keep a record of who you officially talk to regarding the accident, such as insurance agents or the police. Make a note of any decisions they may tell you.

After your case has been reviewed, your insurance company will likely provide you with a list of several vehicle repair shops you may visit to get your car fixed. However, if you choose to go to another shop where the price to fix your car is significantly higher than most of the other shops around you, then you may be required to pay the difference in costs yourself.

Insurance for High-Risk Drivers

Those who have decidedly less-than-sterling driving records may find themselves with few options for insurance. High-risk drivers, meaning those with a history of traffic collisions, tickets, or driving under the influence, can be turned away from many typical insurance companies. However, there are some insurers that specialize in covering high-risk drivers:

The premiums for high-risk drivers will undoubtedly be much higher, so if you fall into that category, be aware of this as you shop around. If you cannot find an insurer that will cover you, you can contact the Arizona Department of Insurance at 1-800-544-9208. They may be able to help you find insurance.

Additional Help

The Arizona Department of Insurance is a great resource for anyone looking to learn more about auto insurance. They will answer any questions you may have about auto insurance laws and procedures, investigate complaints about insurance companies, agents, or brokers, and even enforce insurance law on your behalf if necessary. You can call them at 1-800-544-9208.

Online resources include: