Drivers are required by law to buy auto insurance in Arizona, and residents of the state have about 19 major car insurance companies to choose from. If you're shopping for a policy, it's important to understand that no two insurers will give you the exact same price on coverage. You're going to have to compare multiple quotes from different providers to get the cheapest rates available. At Online Auto Insurance, we can help you do that quickly and efficiently. Just enter your ZIP code and hit "GO" in the form below to start getting Arizona auto insurance quotes.

If you want to learn about Arizona's coverage laws, minimum coverage requirements, and how your rate is determined, keep reading.

Mandatory Arizona car insurance law

Required minimum coverage

Arizona drivers are required to carry only a basic liability policy. Liability coverage won't pay for the medical bills of the driver who crashed your car, and it won't pay to have your car fixed. Instead, it pays for other people's medical and repair bills after an accident caused by the driver of your car. If you don't have insurance to pay for those bills, you could be held personally responsible for them and have to pay them yourself.

Your minimum liability insurance policies must provide $30,000 worth of bodily injury liability coverage for all injuries caused by an insured driver in a single accident. They also must provide $10,000 worth of coverage for all property damages caused by the insured driver.

AZ car insurance requirements

Coverage type Minimum amount
Bodily injury liability $15,000 for each person per accident
Bodily injury liability $30,000 total per accident

Penalties for driving uninsured

Arizona insurance law says that residents who are on the road without at least the minimum liability coverage are subject to the following penalties:

Violation License & registration suspension period Minimum fine
1st 3 months $500
2nd $6 months $750
3rd 1 year $1,000

Note that many drivers still do have less insurance than they need, which is why uninsured motorist insurance is a great idea.

Proving you have coverage electronically

As of August 2012, Arizona drivers can prove to police or government officials that they have coverage in place by showing them an electronic proof of insurance card on a device such as a smartphone or a tablet. Previously, drivers were required to show a hard-copy proof of insurance card. The law was passed unanimously by Arizona legislators.

To get an electronic copy of your proof of insurance, talk to your insurance provider. Some have apps devoted specifically to this purpose.

Policy cancellations and non-renewals

According to the Arizona Department of Insurance (ADOI), state law says that after securing coverage through a company, “There is a 60-day period during which automobile insurance may be canceled by the new insurer for any reason except for the zip code, age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin or ancestry of anyone who is insured.” This 60-day period is known as the "discovery period."

Unless it's within the initial discovery period, an Arizona insurance agency can only cancel or non renew your policy for a handful of reasons. Points 5 and 6 of the ADOI’s “Consumer Awareness Points” explain these reasons. Of course, that doesn’t mean they can’ t increase your rates if you get a speeding ticket.

You can read about when an auto insurer can non-renew your Arizona policy because of changes in your driving history here.

Arizona insurance companies

There are more than 280 insurance companies providing auto coverage to Arizona drivers, according to the latest report from state regulators, which refers to the market as “highly competitive.” Those 280-plus insurers together collected $3.28 billion worth of premiums in the state in 2011 alone.

Only 19 insurers had a market share greater than 1% in 2011. With so many options, you’re sure to find a company that can protect you from the costs of accidents, no matter what you financial situation.

Company complaint information

To see how frequently policyholders complain about a particular Arizona insurance company, you can view state regulators’ latest edition of Premium Comparison and Complaint Ratios for Automobile Insurance.

Safeway had the best customer-service track record of all major Arizona insurers in the latest copy of the complaint report. According to the report, Safeway insured more than 245,000 vehicles in 2012 and received only 10 total complaints. The reports contain data about complaints made to regulators - not complaints made to the insurers.

To use the document yourself, find the company name on the left-hand side of the green-and-white table. Then look at the complaint ratio (CR) listed in the far-right column. A low CR means policyholders were less likely to file a complaint against their insurer; in other words, more customers were content with their coverage. A high CR means they were more likely to file a complaint.

It’s best to look at the CR rather than the total number of complaints. That’s because the CR weighs the number of complaints by the size of the insurance company.

Rates

The average policy premium in Arizona in 2011 was $1,101, according to state regulators, up from $1,081 in 2010. Your insurance provider might determine your rates based on a variety of factors, including your zip code, driving record, age, and the type of vehicle you drive.

Comparison of shopping

Don't believe it's worth your time to shop around and compare quotes from multiple companies? Read what the ADOI has to say about it, and you might think twice: “The only way that you can make certain that you are not paying too much for your auto insurance is to shop around. Prices for the same coverages may cost two or three times as much with one company as another.”

Your credit can affect your rates

In Arizona, car insurers can take your credit history into account when determining both whether to issue coverage to you and how much to charge you for coverage. According to state regulators, some insurers have statistical information that establishes a correlation between certain types of credit histories and those drivers' likelihood of filing a claim. As a result, some of those companies incorporate credit standing into their pricing formulas. Generally, the better your credit, the lower your rates.

Arizona law stops insurers from charging you higher rates simply because you do not have a well-established credit history. Even so, you can always search for no-credit check car insurance.

Sample rate comparisons

You can comparison shop by getting personalized quotes through our quote form located toward the top of this page. It will give you car insurance quotes in AZ based on your specific driver profile from multiple companies.

If you want to get a broader understanding of how prices fluctuate by company, location, and driver, you can check out the sample rate comparison chart in state regulators’ latest edition of Premium Comparison and Complaint Ratios for Automobile Insurance.

For a more personalized comparison, however, use our quote form above!

Interstate travel

“In most cases, your Arizona insurance policy limits will be interpreted to provide at least the minimum limits required by the laws of the state in which you are operating your vehicle,” according to the ADOI. “You should review your policy to make certain this is the case.”

The Bottom Line

Whatever the legal requirements, you want an insurance policy that suits you. If you drive a lot, the likelihood you’ll get into an accident is higher, no matter how attentive you are. You can only do so much to avoid a collision with someone who is texting and runs a red light. If your car’s already been totaled and you just use it to commute a few minutes each day, you don’t want to overspend on a policy you don’t need.

Even if you already have a policy you’re happy with, you can still save a pretty decent chunk by switching providers. It doesn’t hurt to look, now that comparison shopping is so easy.