Car insurance is a legal requirement for all motor vehicle owners in Arizona. Vehicle owners must show proof of automobile insurance before they can register a new vehicle or renew an existing registration. Drivers must also show proof of insurance during traffic stops conducted by law enforcement officers. Purchasing car insurance can be confusing due to the variety of options. Below is a summary of the most common types of coverage.
Two types of automobile insurance are mandatory or legally required under Arizona law: bodily injury and property damage liability insurance. Bodily injury insurance pays for the medical bills of another person if you are found to be at fault for a car accident that injured someone else. The required amounts of bodily injury insurance in Arizona are currently $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident (to cover multiple people). These amounts were increased from $15,000 and $30,000, respectively, as of July 1, 2020.
The other mandatory type of car insurance for drivers in Arizona is property damage liability coverage. Like bodily injury insurance, this is a third-party type of coverage, meaning it pays for the property damage of another party rather than the policyholder. The minimum required amount of property damage liability insurance in Arizona is $15,000. This will pay for the property damage of others if you are found to be a fault for a car accident.
Uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage pays for property damage and medical expenses after a collision with a motorist who does not have the required amounts of car insurance. UM/UIM insurance is optional and can pay for your own losses if you get into an accident with a driver who has insufficient insurance. This insurance also covers hit-and-run car accidents. In this case, your car insurance company would treat the accident as if the hit-and-run driver stuck around but did not have insurance. In such a situation, it may be wise to consult with a Scottsdale car accident lawyer regarding your legal options for compensation.
Medical payment insurance, often shortened to Med Pay, pays for a policyholder’s own medical expenses if he or she suffers an injury in an accident. This coverage is available regardless of who is responsible for the accident. The policyholder does not have to prove that the other driver caused the crash to be reimbursed for medical expenses with Med Pay insurance.
Collision coverage is an optional type of insurance in Arizona that will pay for the policyholder’s property damage repairs after a car accident, regardless of fault. If you are not at fault for the crash, the other driver’s property damage liability insurance will most likely pay for the damage to your vehicle. If you are at fault or this is not an option, however, collision coverage can pay for this loss.
Comprehensive coverage is similar to collision insurance in that it pays for the policyholder’s own property damage. However, it is used if a vehicle is damaged by something other than a car accident, such as an act of god, fire, flood, theft or vandalism.
Sometimes, a car accident causes so much damage that a motor vehicle is deemed a “total loss,” meaning the price of repairs exceeds the value of the vehicle. If the pre-crash value of your vehicle is more than the coverage limit on your insurance policy, you may need additional insurance to pay for the difference. This type of insurance is known as total loss coverage.
For more information about car insurance coverage and how to file a claim after an accident in Arizona, contact Stone Rose Law for a free case consultation.