Auto insurance is simply a necessity of life if you plan to drive a vehicle on Arizona roadways. It helps protect you against financial loss if you become injured or sustain property damage as a result of a motor vehicle accident. It also helps protect you against legal liability to other drivers and passengers if you cause an accident in Arizona roads.
Arizona law also requires you to purchase and maintain certain coverages before you can legally operate a vehicle in this state. Specifically, you must carry at least $15,000 in coverage to pay for injuries to any one person if you cause an accident, and $30,000 if you injure two or more people. You must also carry $10,000 in property damage liability to pay for the other driver’s car and personal property if you are at fault in an accident.
Although car insurance is a necessity in Arizona, it can also represent a significant financial expense. If you live on a fixed income, it might be difficult for you to pay your insurance premiums to keep your car insured and meet Arizona’s legal requirements. There are several strategies you can use to help keep your insurance premiums down, freeing up more money for groceries, utilities, housing and other expenses.
First, keep in mind that, while your agent might want you to buy an auto insurance package, this represents a larger insurance expense. Coverages such as medical payments, comprehensive and collision coverage provide additional protection against financial loss; however, each additional coverage you purchase will cost you more money. Talk with your agent to determine which coverages are right for you.
For example, comprehensive and collision coverages, which pay to fix or replace your car, might be worthwhile if you have a new car or are still making loan payments. Conversely, if you drive a 10 year old car and do not owe any money on the vehicle, these optional coverages might not be worth the extra expense.
Similarly, if you have a low-deductible health insurance policy, you might not need to purchase medical payments coverage. This coverage option is designed to provide a limited benefit to pay for your medical expenses, regardless of whether you at fault in an automobile accident.
Another good way to save money on your car insurance premiums is to contact an Arizona insurance agent or broker to help you compare rates. These professionals typically work with multiple companies, and can find the best coverage for your needs at the lowest rate possible. This can also help you save hours that you would otherwise spend shopping for coverage on your own.
If you prefer to handle insurance comparison tasks on your own, check the websites of insurance companies authorized to do business in Arizona. You can typically obtain quotes from these websites at no cost, and can compare quotes and coverages to get the best deal. Some companies will even give you a discount for buying a policy online, because they do not have to pay commissions to an agent.
Check with your agent or broker to find out about discounts you might qualify for – discounts can help significantly reduce your Arizona auto insurance premiums. If you are a non-smoker, some companies will reduce your rates by up to 5 percent. You might also qualify for a discount if you have a clean driving record, take a driver improvement course or install an anti-theft device in your vehicle. Insuring all of your cars on the same policy, or insuring your home and car on the same policy, might also earn you a discount to lower your car insurance rates. Some companies also offer other discounts – if your car has certain safety equipment, such as anti-lock brakes or an emergency notification device, you could save even more.
If you have a newer car or your lender requires you to carry comprehensive and collision coverages, you can opt for a higher deductible to save a few dollars. A $1,000 deductible policy will cost substantially less than a $0 deductible policy. You must keep in mind, though, that your deductible is the amount you will have to pay out of pocket for the repair or replacement of your vehicle if you have an accident.