Do I Still Need Arizona Insurance for an Older Auto?
To drive a motor vehicle in Arizona, no matter the age of the car, motorists must be able to demonstrate that they meet state financial responsibility requirements. These laws require vehicle owners to purchase a policy with at least minimum levels of protection or to at least prove to the state that they have enough money to pay for damages they cause while operating a motor vehicle.
There are multiple types of car coverage available, but residents are required to purchase a policy that includes only bodily injury and property damage liability with minimum limits of 15/30/10. Liability coverage pays for other parties’ injuries and property damages that the policyholder is at-fault for, up to the limits of the plan.
This means that if residents with the minimum amount of Arizona liability car insurance are at-fault for a collision that results in over $10,000 worth of property damage, they may have to pay any remaining costs out of pocket. While older vehicles may not have high monetary value, they are still capable of doing extensive damage in an accident, so it may be beneficial to get a policy with a higher-than-minimum coverage threshold.
Consider the Necessity of Comp and Collision Insurance for Older Vehicles
Although higher liability limits can help protect drivers of old and new cars alike, some additional types of coverage—like comprehensive and collision—may not be worth the premium for drivers of older autos.
Damage to a policyholder’s vehicle that is caused by another motorist likely will be covered by the at-fault driver’s liability policy (if he or she is insured), but other types of damage will only be covered by either comprehensive or collision coverage. Collision should cover damage to the insured car that is caused by the policyholder. The comprehensive segment generally covers a wider variety of damages, such as those caused by falling objects, flooding, fire, vandalism, and theft.
Drivers should note that these coverages pay up only to the value of the automobile, minus the deductible. So if an AZ motorist owns an older vehicle worth only $1,200 and has comprehensive and collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible, he or she may only receive $200 from the insurer if the car is totaled. That payout may not justify the additional cost of such protection.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners estimated that in 2008 the average combined premium for comprehensive and collision was about $500 in AZ, though that price will vary based on the driver and car. Residents with lower valued automobiles are encouraged to make Arizona auto insurance comparisons both with and without comprehensive and collision coverage to find more adequately priced polices.