Arizona has an exceptionally low liability requirement for car insurance, and that means rates in the state are generally lower than the national average. While that’s great news, the better news is that you might still be able to squeeze a few more dollars out of your monthly premium. All it takes is some willpower and an hour’s worth of comparison shopping.
When you do your research, you may discover that Geico has the best yearly rate for annual coverage for $1,336. Liberty Mutual comes close to that rate. Geico and Liberty Mutual might be the lowest for you, too, but it’s worth it to compare quotes nonetheless since everyone’s situation is different.
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Insurance companies analyze a ton of factors when calculating your rate, like your age, your vehicle’s make and model, your driving history, and even your ZIP code. What’s more, each insurer weighs those factors differently. That’s why, even though it would be nice to recommend one provider that’s always the cheapest option, the only way to find out which one offers the cheapest car insurance for you is to get the quotes. It’s a good idea to get at least five.
As long as you know your vehicle’s basic information (make, model, configuration, etc.), quotes are easy to apply for and only take about 10 minutes each. You can even apply online instead of waiting on hold for a phone representative. Quote requests don’t affect your credit, so dive in and don’t be shy about compiling as many as you can. It can take less than an hour to research all of your options, and that can be worth it since you may be able to save more than $75 a month.
Our Top 4 Picks for the Best Cheap Car Insurance in Arizona
For the lowest possible premiums and the best car insurance out there, here are four different companies that have excellent customer service ratings and are financially secure.
Since J.D. Power is an authority in customer satisfaction — and you really do want the customer service for your car insurance to be great — start your search with its rankings for auto insurance agencies in the Southwest. This region has fewer well-ranked companies to choose from than most, so you should add all agencies ranked three stars or more to your list. Then cross-reference your list with A.M. Best Rating Services, a site that grades the financial solvency of insurance providers. If all of the companies on the list score well, then you can request quotes from these four national brands.
Why does financial solvency matter? When it comes time to pay your claim, you want a company that has the financial strength to pay. Otherwise, you’re likely in for a headache trying to get your funds. There’s no way a cheaper premium would be worth the trade-off in this instance.
Quotes for the minimum required auto insurance from State Farm and Geico are nearly identical, but it’s a little surprising how expensive the Geico and American Family quotes are — a $1,510 difference. If you have the budget to spend a bit more, it’s smart to upgrade cheap car insurance with a less expensive company rather than spending more to get the exact same coverage from a different insurance brand.
Some insurance providers still require you to speak to a live agent on the phone, but all four of the above companies have online quote tools. It’s not only more convenient to request a quote online, but it makes it even easier to check and uncheck boxes for any additional coverage that you might need or be considering. You’ll have a much better idea of what your insurance covers if you’re able to go through these options at your own pace, rather than listening to an agent list them out over the phone.
Requesting a quote online takes only about 10 minutes, so you should dedicate an hour to comparing as many online as you can. If you have questions or need advice, you can always call an agent at any of these insurance providers, even those with online quote tools.
Arizona’s Minimum Coverage Requirements for 2020
To be in compliance with Arizona state law, you must be insured for $15,000 for the injury or death of one person in an accident, $30,000 for more than one person, and $10,000 for the damage of another person’s property. This is often referred to as a 15/30/10 plan. That’s one of the lowest state-minimum car insurance requirements in the nation.
Although Arizona law requires you to have liability insurance of only $15,000, the average cost of a disabling injury caused by a car accident is $93,800. And that doesn’t include the cost of a damaged car. With state-minimum insurance, you’d be covered for only $10,000 worth of someone else’s property damage and $0 of your own.
You should also look into upgraded coverage that includes up to $50,000 for the injury/death of one person in an accident, $100,000 for more than one person, and $50,000 for the damage of another person’s property (a 50/100/50 plan). This is a good place to start for more comprehensive insurance, although you can look into 100/300/100 premiums, too.
This additional coverage insures you at more than triple the rate of the state’s cheapest car insurance, but it costs only $36 to $140 more a year, depending on the carrier. It’s an easy decision to pay slightly more for peace of mind. On average, a driver has an accident about every 18 years. In that time, you would be pay between $648 and $2,520 extra to make sure you’re not on the hook for more money than you’ve got in your savings account. Run the numbers and see which option makes the most sense for you.
If you’re caught driving without auto insurance in Arizona, your vehicle registration and driver’s license may be revoked. And you don’t have to get pulled over to be caught. The Arizona Department of Transportation receives automatic notification if your insurance lapses. You’ll have 10 days to correct the problem if your insurance was suspended in error.
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Why are Arizona’s rates so affordable?
While Arizona’s crash statistics are slightly higher than the national average, insurance rates are an average of 25 percent lower; Arizona has 1.4 fatalities per 100 million miles driven compared with 1.1 as a national average. Still, drivers pay $380 less per year than the average American. This discrepancy is likely due to Arizona’s low minimum requirement for car insurance, which is one of the lowest in the nation. This drags down the average payment.
What if I’m not a full-time resident?
If you live in Arizona at least seven months of the year, send your kids to school without paying nonresident tuition, or work a non-seasonal job, you need to have your car registered with the state and insured to state minimums. If you’re not an Arizona resident, make sure your car is registered in the state of your primary residence and insured to that state’s minimums.
Is Arizona a no-fault state?
Arizona is not a no-fault state, meaning you have to prove a car accident is the other person’s fault in order to get compensated for your injuries or any damages. In addition to Arizona being a fault-based state, it is also a comparative negligence state. This means if you were negligent in an accident, your compensation will be reduced, depending on your degree of negligence.
What is SR-22 insurance?
Not every law requires SR-22 insurance, but Arizona does require it by law. There are two types of SR-22 insurances in Arizona. One is a certificate that shows financial responsibility if you do not own the vehicle. And the other is a certificate showing financial responsibility if you do own the vehicle.
Even If You’re Happy, Shop for a New Policy Every Couple of Years
You know how your cable company jacks up your rates when you’re not looking, and then magically lowers your bill as soon as you threaten to cancel? Car insurance companies have a habit of doing the same thing. “Price optimization” is the euphemism for this unfair practice, and if you don’t stay on top of your rates, you could be punished for your loyalty and complacency. Insurers analyze your online data and personal information to predict your tolerance to a price increase. One of the ways they do that is by checking to see if you’ve been shopping around. Luckily, there’s an easy way to put a stop to this.
If you shop around for a new policy once every year or two, you’ll show up on their radar as someone who might change insurance providers. Considering other car insurance companies should keep your bill from increasing. And if you find a lower rate for a similar policy, but would like to keep your current company, give the insurer a call — it’s likely to lower your premium.
Robert Hunter, director of insurance for the Consumer Federation of America, said, “Shopping around will foil price optimization because if you shop around, the insurance company’s going to say, ‘This guy’s going to leave if I raise the price, so let’s hold it down.’”
Fifteen states have spoken out against price optimization over the past few years, and some have even made the practice illegal. Unfortunately, Arizona has yet to take a stand. Until that happens, it’s up to you to make sure you don’t fall prey to this practice.
Besides price optimization, you should shop for a new policy if your circumstances change. Here are some examples:
- Good Driver – If you have had a clean record for three years or more, it’s time to shop for a new insurance policy. Why? You’ll get a lower rate if you do. There are two kinds of discounts to look for. One is an accident-free discount and the other is a safe-driver discount.
- Low Credit Driver – If you have been good about paying off your credit card debts, student loans or mortgages, you should shop around to see what new quotes you’ll get. Good credit should lower your insurance premiums, as drivers with bad credit do pay more for their insurance policies.
- Older Age Bracket – Unfortunately, younger drivers have higher premiums because they are a greater risk on the road. As you age out of high-risk age brackets, shop for a new policy. When you hit your 30s, shop for a new policy. When you hit your 40s, shop again.
Best Car Insurance in Arizona
- Liberty Mutual
- State Farm
- American Family
Arizona auto insurance customers have a wide variety of price points to choose from, but without shopping around there’s no way to find out just how big that spread is. You should be able to find the best car insurance possible by comparing quotes from several different agencies (and asking about the premium increases you’d have if you upgraded your coverage). It’s worth it to upgrade your insurance to make sure you’re fully covered in the event of an accident.
There’s no need to pay more for the same level of insurance, though, so choose one of the cheaper companies and then use what’s left in your budget to add additional coverage for protection and peace of mind. While every situation is different, setting aside just an hour to research and compare quotes can save you over $1,500 a year. Dive in and collect as many quotes as you can.