In 1972 the classic movie “The Godfather” hit theaters, Don McLean sang about Buddy Holly in “American Pie” and Nixon was president. That same year, the Arizona legislature established our current insurance coverage minimums, and the minimums have never changed.
The world has changed since 1972. There was an assumption that insurance minimums would be adjusted every few years, to keep pace with the cost of medical care and vehicles.
46 years later, longer than many Arizona drivers have even been alive and we still have the same minimum amounts in place.
What are the current insurance amounts that must be carried by Arizona motorists?
-$15,000 in liability coverage for a single person injured or killed in a crash
-$30,000 in liability coverage for multiple people injured or killed in a crash
-$10,000 in liability coverage for property damage in a crash
A piece of legislation was introduced in Arizona this week that would finally increase the minimum amount of car insurance coverage required for liability policies. A Senate panel endorsed expanding the amount of liability insurance that drivers must purchase in Arizona.
House Bill 2165, was introduced in the state House by Victoria Steele and Ethan Orr, both representatives from Tucson.
How much of an increase could motorists be facing?
HB 2165 would increase minimums by requiring drivers to have at least:
-$25,000 in liability coverage for a single person injured or killed in a crash
-$50,000 in liability coverage for multiple people injured or killed in a crash
-$20,000 in liability coverage for property damage in a crash
Most states require auto insurance minimums by law to ensure that drivers are financially protected in the event of a crash.
Insurance minimums in many other states are significantly higher, so Arizona would be bringing itself in line with other states. The Insurance Research Council estimates that 12% of Arizona drivers don’t have any insurance at all.
Insurance premiums will most likely increase. However, if you are involved in a crash, drivers will have more significant coverage. $15,000 is often an inadequate amount to protect other motorists. Today’s medical costs can easily exceed $30,000 if you’re injured in a crash.
Kudos to the Arizona Legislature for advancing this bill out of the judiciary committee.