Arizona Increases Minimum Car Insurance Limits to Provide More Protection for those Injured in Car Accidents
On July 1, 2020, a new law took effect that amended the minimum amount of car insurance coverage required for Arizona drivers. Effective July 1, 2020, the minimum amount of liability insurance that insurance companies can offer on an auto insurance policy is $25,000.00 per person, $50,000 per accident and $15,000 for property damage. In the insurance industry, this is known as a 25/50/15 policy. This increases the minimum amounts from $15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident and $10,000 for property damage. The former minimum policy limits were known as a 15/30/10 policy.
Arizona Revised Statute 28-4009 sets forth these new requirements. Specifically, section (A)(2)(b) states the new minimums as follows:
(i) $25,000 because of bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident.
(ii) Subject to the limit for one person, $50,000 because of bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident.
(iii) $15,000 because of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident.
What Does the Change in Car Accident Insurance Coverage Mean?
This change in the law means that there is more insurance coverage for those who are injured or harmed in a car accident. Now, anyone with valid car insurance who causes a car accident that results in injury, will have up to $25,000 to pay for an injured person’s pain, suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, etc. If a person causes a car accident where two or more people are injured, all those injured will have no less than $50,000 in coverage to split up with no one person being able to obtain more than the $25,000 per person limit. Of course, this is all dependent on whether or not the car accident is considered a covered event by the insurance company.
All auto insurance policies written after July 1, 2020 will require 25/50/15 limits. All policies that have the old minimum limits of 15/30/10, will automatically increase to 25/50/15 policies when they renew. This is not optional, but is mandatory. Since some policies may not renew until late in 2020, this means that there will be vehicles and drivers operating cars throughout the second half of 2020 with the old policy limits. However, by January 1, 2021, all vehicles and drivers in Arizona, that have car insurance, should be covered by 25/50/15 policies.
Will Insurance Premiums Increase?
It is likely that insurance premiums will increase since more coverage will be provided. According to a consumer alert issued by the Arizona Department of Insurance, “your renewal premiums will likely increase to correspond to the increase in coverage.” However, at the same time, some auto insurance companies have lowered premiums and even issued refunds for premiums paid due to COVID-19.
COVID-19 has resulted in more people working from home and less workers making a daily driving commute. As a result, there are less vehicles on the road, less car accidents, less injuries caused by car accidents and less risk to car insurance companies. Since car insurance companies are exposed to less risk and facing less claims to pay out on, several have reduced premiums as a result. This reduction could help offset the increase in premiums caused by the increased coverage limits. However, this offset will likely be temporary and disappear when Arizona’s workforce returns to its normal commute and driving patterns.
How Does Arizona’s Minimum Car Insurance Requirements Stack Up to Other Southwest States?
Arizona’s new minimum policy limits will help it catch up to the minimum limits of the states surrounding it. Other than California, the states that border Arizona, including Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah all have laws that require minimum limits of 25/50/15 or higher. Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico all require minimum car insurance limits of 25/50/15. Utah requires even higher minimum car insurance limits of 25/65/15. California on the other hand, only requires 15/30/5.
Is the Increase In Arizona’s Minimum Car Insurance Limits a Good Thing?
The car accident attorneys at Scottsdale Injury Lawyers strongly believe that the increase in the minimum limits is a good thing and far overdue. For years, Arizona trailed its neighboring states in requiring adequate car insurance coverage for those injured in car accidents. Now, the State has caught up to its counterparts and requires its drivers to obtain more insurance to protect others on the road.
Our law firms encounters far too many situations where our clients suffer injuries and the at-fault driver does not have adequate insurance limits to cover those injuries. While this new law may increase premiums, those increases should not be significant when compared to the benefits. Here, those benefits include increased protection for everyone on the road and more funds available to pay victims who are injured by the negligence of another while operating a motor vehicle.
Contact A Scottsdale Car Accident Attorney Today
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident because of the fault of another, contact Scottsdale Injury Lawyers today. A knowledgeable car accident attorney is available now to discuss your case. A consultation is free and if we take your case, we only earn a fee if we recover for you. It costs you nothing up front to speak to an attorney and to obtain skilled legal representation. We advance all costs and if we do not prevail in your case, you owe us nothing in return. Do not hesitate to reach out with your questions today.
About the author: The content on this page was written by Scottsdale personal injury attorney and civil rights lawyer Tony Piccuta. Piccuta graduated with honors from Indiana University-Maurer School of Law in Bloomington, Indiana (Ranked Top 40 US News & World Report 2020). Piccuta took and passed the State bars of Arizona, California, Illinois and Nevada (all on the first try). He actively practices throughout Arizona and California. He is a trial attorney that regularly handles serious personal injury cases and civil rights lawsuits. He has obtained six and seven figure verdicts in both state and federal court. He has been recognized by Super Lawyers for six years straight. He is a member of the Arizona Association of Justice, Maricopa County Bar Association, Scottsdale Bar Association, American Association for Justice, National Police Accountability Project and Consumer Attorneys of California, among other organizations.
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