By Brian C. Dault, Burg Simpson Associate
Arizona State Bill 1087 Seeks to Increase Liability Car Insurance Minimums
A piece of legislation recently introduced in Arizona would increase the minimum amount of car insurance coverage required for liability policies. Arizona currently has some of the lowest requirements for minimum insurance coverage in the country, and the 2019 limits have been in place since 1972. The proposed increase in rates would bring Arizona closer to the national average.
Arizona state law now requires that drivers have a car insurance policy that provides the following minimum requirements:
- $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
Those in favor of the price hike have said that insurance minimums need to be in line with 2019 prices and costs. According to internet sources, in 1972, the price of a new car was about $3,500, and in 2018, the price was ten times that amount. If minimum insurance requirements increased at the same rate, Arizona drivers would be required to purchase: $150,000 in liability coverage for a single person injured or killed in a crash, $300,000 in liability coverage for multiple people injured or killed in a crash, and $100,000 in liability coverage for property damage in a crash
Arizona State Bill 1087, however, proposes a significantly more modest increase. This measure, which has been approved by the Senate Committee on Transportation and Public Safety, mandates that anyone who owns a vehicle must purchase a policy that provides for a more moderate price hike that would begin on July 1, 2020.
- $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
- $15,000 in liability coverage for property damage in a crash
State Bill 1087 has passed in the Senate by a very strong margin, and it must now be approved by the House and the Governor.
Important points for Arizona to consider are:
- It has been 47 years since insurance liability coverage limits were raised.
- The cost to those who purchase minimum policies would likely amount to the price they pay for “two cups of coffee” per month.
- The cost to the State of Arizona for those who drive with the current minimum policies is significant.
- Premiums would likely decrease for those who purchase policies that exceed the minimum limits.
- A trip to the ER after an accident in 2019 could easily exceed current minimum liability limits.
Lobbyists who represent groups to endorse the higher limits have indicated that they believe premiums would increase by less than $10 per month, and rate hikes would only affect those who purchase the bare minimums. Insurance providers, however, say the costs to vehicle owners will depend on a variety of risk factors.
Similar bills regarding requirements for minimum insurance coverage in Arizona have failed in the past based on concerns from insurance industry lobbyists that higher bills would result in some drivers refusing to buy any amount of automobile insurance. But this year’s House bill 1087 offers relatively low increases in hopes that Arizona would increase the minimum amount of coverage required for liability policies for the safety and protection for everyone living and driving in the State of Arizona.
Brian Dault’s practice focuses primarily on Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury litigation. He has effectively represented a significant number of clients in State and Federal Court, and firmly believes that patients have a right to receive proper treatment for their medical conditions, whatever they may be. Mr. Dault is dedicated to providing focused, honorable, and zealous advocacy on behalf of his clients and holding powerful interest accountable for the damages they have caused.
Mr. Dault is a member of the Arizona Trial Lawyer’s Association and the National Trial Lawyers: Top 100, a professional organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from across the country who exemplify superior qualifications as civil plaintiff trial lawyers.