Arizona's Minimum Insurance Limits
The minimum amount of automobile insurance required in Arizona is $15,000 per person or $30,000 per accident and $10,000 in property damage. This amount was put into place by Arizona lawmakers in 1972. In 1972, the average new car cost less than $4000. In 2010, the average cost of a new car was just under $30,000.
In 1970, Americans spent a total of $75 billion on healthcare. In 2010, that number was $2.7 trillion.
Arizona’s antiquated minimum insurance limits are grossly inadequate. Many of the Rockafellow Law Firm’s clients receive ambulance transportation following an accident. It is rare to see an ambulance bill less than $1000. Furthermore, if you arrive by ambulance, most hospitals charge a “trauma” fee to the tune of about $4000. A simple MRI to determine if you have fractured your spine will cost anywhere from $1000-$2000. Ten weeks of physical therapy will cost about $3500.
About once a year, I take the time to explain to my readers just how inadequate minimum limits insurance policies have become. A simple rear end collision resulting in an ambulance ride to the emergency department of a local hospital, followed by ten weeks of physical therapy will easily cost upwards of $8000. This is only for whiplash injuries. Add some broken bones and a surgery and the medical bills easily top $15,000.
Arizona lawmakers continue to refuse to raise these required insurance limits despite the harm they cause innocent accident victims. If a driver with a minimum limits policy causes you to incur $20,000 in medical bills, you will rarely see more than $15,000 in compensation. If you do not carry health insurance, you are personally responsible for the $5000 difference. This is simply not fair.
Furthermore, if your $20,000 car is totaled, you will only receive $10,000 from the at-fault driver’s insurance policy.
Fortunately, you can protect yourself by purchasing Collision, Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Insurance as an add-on to your vehicle insurance policy. These policies protect you in the event you are injured by a driver with inadequate minimum limits insurance.
The Rockafellow Law Firm recommends that everyone carry at least $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident /$50,000 property damage policies with $100,000/$300,000 UM/UIM as well as collision coverage to protect themselves and their vehicle in the event of an accident. These limits will pay for your injuries above and beyond $15,000 and will protect your assets up to $100,000 if you cause someone else to be injured. Be sure to contact the Rockafellow Law Firm if you have any questions about your existing car insurance policy.