Who are the biggest car insurance companies in Arizona?
According to statistics published by the Arizona Department of Insurance in 2010, State Farm is by far the largest car insurance provider in that state. In terms of market share, State Farm controls nearly 14.5%.
Rounding out the top three companies, Farmers Insurance Company and American Family Mutual have market shares of 8.41% and 6.45% respectively. Although the top 25 car insurance companies in Arizona are all doing well, these three command almost one-third of the state’s business.
Arizona is a great state for car insurance companies to do business because they are limited in regulation, taxes, and artificial market influences. In fact, according to several surveys Arizona ranked number 43 among all 50 states in terms of the cost of annual premiums. It is a good environment for both insurance companies and drivers alike. It’s important to note that Arizona is not listed among the 12 states operating under no-fault laws, which is something that goes a long way in keeping insurance prices down.
Car Insurance Requirements in Arizona
Arizona’s car insurance laws are similar to other states in some respects but different in others. In terms of the similarities, Arizona requires all drivers carry minimal amounts of coverage for bodily injury and property damage.
For bodily injury, the limits are $15,000 for single person and $30,000 for multiple persons. The minimum requirement for property damage is $10,000. Arizona suggests that drivers go above these limits, if they can at all afford it, given the cost of today’s medical care.
Furthermore, insurance mandates apply not only to four-wheeled motor vehicles; they apply to motorcycles, scooters, and mopeds as well. Golf carts that will be used anywhere other than on golf courses or private property must also be insured. That means if you live in a retirement community and plan to use a golf cart or moped to travel down the street to a friend’s house, that vehicle needs to be insured under this same state minimums.
Purchasing Car Insurance after Registration
One of the more unusual aspects of Arizona traffic law is in regards to when insurance is required. In most states, you must provide proof of insurance at the time of registration. In Arizona, that’s not the case. You may register your vehicle first and then procure insurance later, if you prefer.
The only catch is that you may not drive the vehicle until you have valid insurance coverage. On its website, the Arizona Department of Transportation suggests you avoid any complications by purchasing your insurance immediately after registration.
Along those same lines, Arizona also has an interesting option to accommodate vehicles taken off the road on a temporary basis. It is known as de-insuring your vehicle.
Under this option, you can temporarily terminate your insurance coverage without surrendering your registration and license plates if you are not permanently taking your car off the road. Drivers who would exercise this option, might be taking their cars off the road for extensive rebuilding or customization, or may be leaving the state for work or leisure purposes.
In order to exercise this option, an individual would simply fill out the appropriate form and submit it to the Department of Transportation. While it is in force, no one is allowed to drive the vehicle in question on Arizona roads. If anyone is caught doing so, the registration and plates are automatically suspended and fines imposed. To lift this restriction when the driver is ready to return the vehicle to the road; he simply fills out a new form and provides proof of insurance.
Shopping for a New Policy
Shopping for a new car insurance policy in Arizona is no different from doing so in any other state. It’s always a wise idea to get a number of quotes from several different companies so they can be compared side-by-side. Of course, you’ll probably start with big-name insurance providers first, but don’t forget smaller insurance companies. Sometimes the smaller companies that only work a handful of states can provide you a better deal.
One of the best ways to get quotes quickly is to use an online search engine. These types of websites work out agreements with insurance companies willing to post rate information in a central database. When you fill out online forms, the search engine will compare quotes from multiple providers based on your profile. Keep in mind that these quotes are not going to be 100% accurate in most cases. They will be close, but they are just estimates designed to give you a reference point. From these quotes, you can develop a short list of companies you want to look into further.
How to get precise car insurance quotes?
When you have multiple quotes, you can then contact individual companies to get quotes that are more precise. They will ask you for much more information that is detailed including:
- How often you drive your vehicle
- Where it’s stored overnight
- Information about any other licensed drivers in your home
They will also check your driver history through DMV records to ensure that the information you gave them is accurate. Once all of that is done, you’ll be given a final price for your annual premiums. Remember that your rates can always go up if you are prone to traffic violations or accidents.