Buying car insurance in Arizona can be confusing, especially when you hear terms like “full coverage” thrown around. What exactly constitutes full coverage and is it something you need?
This guide will explain everything you need to know about full coverage car insurance in AZ, including:
- What full coverage means
- What types of insurance full coverage includes
- Whether full coverage is required in Arizona
- How much full coverage costs
- When you might want full coverage vs minimum coverage
- Tips for getting the best full coverage insurance rate
What is Full Coverage Car Insurance?
Full coverage is an informal term used to describe a policy that includes more than just basic liability insurance. There is no single definition for full coverage, as policies vary between insurance companies.
However, full coverage typically refers to a policy that includes:
- Liability insurance
- Comprehensive insurance
- Collision insurance
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
Some insurers may also include extras like rental reimbursement or roadside assistance under their definition of full coverage.
Liability insurance is required by law in Arizona. It covers injuries or damage that you cause to others in an accident where you are at fault.
- $25,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $15,000 property damage liability
Liability insurance does NOT cover your own vehicle repairs or medical bills. It only pays for the other party’s expenses when you are liable.
Comprehensive coverage pays to repair or replace your vehicle if it’s damaged by something other than a collision. This includes:
- Falling objects
- Hail damage
- Animal collisions
Collision insurance covers repairs or replacement if you damage your car in an accident, regardless of fault. This includes accidents where:
- You collide with another car, object or animal
- Your vehicle rolls over
- You hit a pothole
- You back into something
Collision coverage will pay whether you or the other driver caused the accident. But your rates may increase after an at-fault accident.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) pays your medical bills and repairs if you’re hit by a driver with no insurance or insufficient coverage.
Arizona requires uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage in the same amounts as your liability coverage.
Many insurers include UM/UIM when you purchase full coverage. But you may need to add it separately if not automatically included.
Is Full Coverage Required in Arizona?
Arizona only requires all drivers to carry liability insurance at a minimum. So full coverage is not mandatory by law.
However, your auto lender will likely require you to have comprehensive and collision if you finance or lease a vehicle. This protects their investment in your car.
Full coverage may also be required by rental car companies, employers with company cars, or other entities that have a financial interest in your vehicle.
But as the owner, full coverage is ultimately your choice in Arizona. The decision comes down to your budget, assets, and risk tolerance.
How Much Does Full Coverage Insurance Cost?
Full coverage insurance costs more than minimum liability, but how much depends on factors like:
- Your age
- Driving record
- Credit score
- Type of vehicle
- Coverage amounts
On average, full coverage in Arizona costs around $2,111 per year. Minimum liability-only coverage averages just $720 annually.
Here’s how premiums typically break down by coverage type for full coverage in Arizona:
- Liability: $815
- Collision: $382
- Comprehensive: $187
- UM/UIM: $727
Rates can be much higher or lower than these averages, however, based on your specific risk factors.
For example, a 55-year old with excellent credit may pay only $1,500 for full coverage on a used sedan. But a teenage boy buying full coverage on a sports car could pay over $5,000 per year.
Using online quotes to compare rates from multiple insurers is the best way to find a competitive price.
When to Get Full Coverage vs Minimum Coverage
Should you stick with minimum liability insurance or pay more for full coverage? Here are some guidelines on when each option makes sense:
Consider Minimum Coverage If:
- You have an older, low value vehicle not worth comprehensive/collision premiums
- You have significant assets to self-insure and cover repairs or replacement
- The vehicle is just a secondary or recreational one you wouldn’t rely on
Consider Full Coverage If:
- You have an auto loan or lease
- Your vehicle is newer and/or higher value
- You couldn’t easily afford repairs or replacement out-of-pocket
- You need your vehicle for commuting to work or transporting family
Ultimately, it’s a personal choice based on your finances and risk tolerance. But full coverage provides more protection if your vehicle gets damaged or stolen.
Tips for Finding the Best Full Coverage Rates
Here are some tips to get the cheapest full coverage car insurance in Arizona:
Compare quotes from at least 3 insurers – rates can vary significantly between companies.
Maintain good credit – insurers view this as sign of responsibility and offer better rates.
Ask about discounts – such as good driver, defensive driver, good student, multi-policy, etc.
Increase deductibles – higher deductibles mean lower premiums.
Limit coverage on older cars – consider dropping collision/comprehensive on cars worth less than 10 years old or worth less than $3,000.
Review policy annually – make sure you still need each coverage type and have optimal limits/deductibles.
Check rates every 3 years – insurers change algorithms and new deals become available.
The Bottom Line
Full coverage insurance generally refers to a policy with liability, comprehensive, collision and uninsured/underinsured motorist protection. It’s not required in Arizona but often recommended to fully protect your assets.
Carefully consider your vehicle value, finances and risk tolerance when choosing between full coverage and minimum liability. And shop around to find the best rate you qualify for.
With the right policy for your situation, you can drive with confidence knowing you have the optimal insurance coverage in place.
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