Shopping around for car insurance can be a hassle. You never know which factors are going to influence your insurance rates the most. And you don’t just want to get the lowest monthly cost. You also want to get the best bang for your buck with an insurer that has great customer service ratings and financial stability.
So if you’re shopping for insurance in Arizona, look no further. We’ve done the digging around online for you to compile the best car insurance options in the state of Arizona, accounting for both price and these other factors. Once you finish reading this article, you’ll know where you should go for a car insurance quote if you live in Arizona.
Table of Contents:
Compare Car Insurance Plans in Arizona
Our Top 5 Picks for the Best Car Insurance in Arizona
There are lots of options to choose from for auto insurance in Arizona. There’s also a lot of variety with smaller companies, too, and the larger companies have a smaller market share here than they tend to elsewhere.
That’s both great and a little frustrating because sorting through all those quotes can really take some time and energy. Luckily, this review can tell you where you might begin when you’re looking for the right car insurance for your needs.
We’ve looked at the data to find the five best companies for car insurance in Arizona, in our opinion, based on a few key factors like cost, customer service rating, and financial strength. Here’s what we found:
Best Overall Satisfaction: State Farm
Best Customer Service: USAA
Lowest Premiums: Dairyland
Great if You Have a Perfect Record: Safe Auto
Best if You Have a Less-Than-Perfect Record: Dairyland
Arizona Car Insurance Requirements
Each state has its own car insurance laws and requirements. So before you can shop for policies in Arizona, you need to know exactly what you have to shop for. Knowing Arizona’s mandatory insurance laws will ensure you don’t get fined as an underinsured driver, even if you have car insurance.
Often, it’s a good idea to buy more than the required coverage so that you’re covered if you have a severe accident. But you should always at least have the minimum coverage in the state you’re dealing with. In Arizona, the mandatory coverage is as follows:
|Coverage Type||Coverage Amount|
|Bodily Injury Liability||$15,000 minimum|
|Bodily Injury Liability 2+ People||$30,000 Minimum|
|Property Damage Liability||$10,000 minimum|
Property damage liability is intended to repair or replace someone’s property, like their vehicle, home, building, or other objects, if you’re responsible for an accident. You might notice that $10,000 doesn’t sound like a lot if you total a brand new car, which is why it’s always a good idea to consider bumping up your insurance from the bare minimum.
Bodily injury liability covers the medical and other expenses of individuals if you cause a car accident. Again, this is another bare minimum, and $15,000 won’t go far for a hospital visit. You can be held liable for expenses beyond what your insurance will cover, so that’s something worth thinking about as you choose your insurance policy.
If you’re a large enough business or individual with enough money, you may be able to self-insure in Arizona. Self-insurance basically ensures the state that you can personally, or through your business, take care of costs incurred by auto accidents, which then means you don’t have to carry insurance. For a business to qualify, it must have an annual payroll of at least $2,000,000, total assets of at least $50,000,000 or a cash flow ratio of at least .25, and have conducted business in Arizona for at least five years.
Penalties for Being Uninsured or Underinsured
Uninsured and underinsured drivers are a problem for everyone, and in Arizona they can be steeply penalized for driving without the proper insurance. If you’re asked to provide your insurance by a law enforcement officer or in an accident but are uninsured or underinsured, you could have your driver license or vehicle registration suspended. And then you may need to have an SR22 form filed, which can make your insurance costs skyrocket.
If you continue to violate these rules after your first violation, you may face even harsher penalties and an increased time for suspension. And remember that even if you do have insurance, you can be sued for the difference between the costs that someone else incurs because of an accident and what your insurer actually pays out. So, again, be sure to examine your options carefully and to consider getting more than just the minimum insurance coverage allowed.
Required Proof of Insurance
In Arizona, as in most states, you have to have proof of insurance before you can drive a vehicle. When you go to register your vehicle with the state, you’ll have to prove that you already have insurance before you can legally register it.
As in any state, your best bet is to keep your proof of insurance with you at all times. It will include information like your name, the vehicles covered by the policy, the policy number, the dates of valid coverage, and your insurance company’s name and contact information. This is helpful if you get pulled over, but also helpful if you need to contact your insurance company to make a claim.
Average Cost of Car Insurance in Arizona
Creating an “average” for any kind of insurance coverage is tough, as there are just so many factors at play. But QuoteWizard has compiled broad data for the state to come up with an average cost of coverage for Phoenix, Arizona. This coverage costs about $1,126 a year for men and about $1,178 a year for women. In Arizona, more broadly, that average cost is $843 per year, which is a bit lower than the national average of $889 per year.
As you can see, location makes a huge difference in the cost of car insurance. In Phoenix, average costs are well above the national average, but for all of Arizona, they’re much lower.
QuoteWizard breaks out the costs of the different types of insurance for men and women in Phoenix below:
Keep in mind that the top line, liability, is all that’s required by the state of Arizona. The state doesn’t care so much if you can replace your own car after an accident. It just needs you to be able to pay for the person’s car you ran into.
The second and third coverage options are, well, optional. Collision insurance covers your own vehicle should you get into an accident that is not covered by the other drivers’ insurance, whether because they don’t have any or because it’s your fault. And comprehensive insurance covers your vehicle against things not related to car accidents, like hail and theft.
These options may be required by your lender if you have a note out on a vehicle. But they aren’t required by the state. Still, it’s typically a good idea to consider paying for comprehensive and collision insurance if you couldn’t afford to replace your car on your own if something should happen to it.
And remember that these numbers are only averages. Your own quotes could vary widely depending on your driving record, your car, where you live, and other factors.
Cheapest Car Insurance in Arizona
Again, remember that car insurance quotes will vary dramatically depending on all sorts of factors. And insurance companies have different tolerances for different types of risks. One company might be kinder to elderly drivers while another severely raises their rates. And one company could make it easy to add a teen driver to your policy while another makes it impossibly expensive.
But we wanted to look at which companies are consistently cheaper in Arizona. So we started with a sample policyholder, Chris, a 30-year-old man living in Flagstaff. He drives a 2013 Chevy Malibu, is single, and has a clean driving record. Also, since Arizona allows insurers to look at credit scores, which we’ll talk about momentarily, note that Chris has a good score in the 700 range. Here’s what we found when we looked at annual premiums for state-mandated minimum coverage:
What would Chris’s premiums look like if he lived in Phoenix, instead?
As you can see, Chris is paying a lot more for insuring a car in a more urban area. And this just shows you how much of a difference in premiums you can see from one company to the next, too. Liberty Mutual gave a middle-of-the-road quote for Flagstaff but a very high one for Phoenix.
Cost of Auto Insurance in Arizona
As you can see from our single example above, it’s hard to know exactly what your insurance might cost in Arizona. Insurance companies all look at slightly different information and weigh that information differently. But common variables in the process include:
- Marital status
- Driving record
- Vehicle(s) covered
- Vehicle financing status
- ZIP code
- Whether you own or rent your home
- How many miles you drive per year
- How much coverage you need
In some states, Arizona being one of them, your credit score can also impact your insurance costs. Auto insurers don’t get the same type of credit score that mortgage lenders might. But if you have a serious history of being behind on your bills, auto insurance companies are likely to increase your rates to protect their own bottom lines.
The best way to figure out what your insurance might cost in any given situation is to run the numbers. But we’ve tried to narrow down the process a bit here by comparing insurance quotes for four different driver profiles. These aren’t exactly you, but you can probably find one profile that you identify with more than the others, so you can see about what you’d expect to pay for insurance.
We’ve chosen four different subjects to test out how much car insurance is likely to cost each of them. For our purposes, we’re using the Scottsdale, Arizona zip code 85262 for everyone.
One is Little Timmy, a stereotypical high-risk driver. He’s just 22 and is in college, where he rents an apartment. He drives about 15,000 miles per year, but at least he has a sensible 2012 Chevrolet Impala, which he makes payments on faithfully. In the last three years, he’s gotten two speeding tickets.
The second is a couple, John and Jane Smith. They’re 42-year-old parents with bachelor’s degrees and solid credit. They drive about 16,000 miles per year each in two vehicles, a 2011 Chevrolet Equinox, which is paid off, and a 2014 Toyota Sienna, which is financed. Jane had a minor accident in the last year.
Our third subject is Straight-Laced Sally. She’s a 35-year-old professor with a clean driving record and great credit. She has a 2010 Toyota Camry, paid off of course, and drives about 10,000 miles per year. She lives in a condo that she owns.
Finally, we have Grandpa Joe. He’s 65 with a clean driving record and a paid-off 1998 Honda Civic that he only puts about 8,000 miles a year on. He has a bachelor’s degree, excellent credit, and owns his own home.
None of these profiles probably match you perfectly, but they can help you figure out how your insurance might change based on your individual characteristics. Here’s how the rates compare for each profile, with quotes provided by The Zebra.
|Little Timmy||John & Jane Smith||Straight-Laced Sally||Grandpa Joe|
Arizona’s Unique Car Insurance Rules
As with all states, Arizona has some unique car insurance rules besides its own insurance minimum requirements. Knowing about these rules can help you navigate the process of finding car insurance.
Fault Car Insurance
Unlike some states that have no-fault rules for car accidents, Arizona is a fault state. This means that the person responsible for causing a car accident is also responsible for paying for the harm caused by the accident. However, Arizona can divide fault among multiple drivers. So if you’re 60% responsible for an accident, and the other driver is 40% responsible, you’ll divide the total costs of the accident accordingly.
Often times, your insurance companies and the police will work out this process, though sometimes you can end up going to court to settle who is responsible for what portion of the accident.
Arizona Automobile Insurance Plan
In Arizona, high-risk drivers can get coverage through the Arizona AIP (Automobile Insurance Plan). This plan was formed in 1952 to allow high-risk drivers to have access to insurance coverage. The AIP assigns licensed Arizona drivers to different auto insurers in the state, spreading the risk around between different companies. All car insurance companies that operate in Arizona are required to participate in this plan.
Basically, if you can’t get coverage directly from an insurance company because of a history of accidents, DUIs, or other risk factors, you may need to apply through the AIP. These plans are definitely not cheap. But if you are a high-risk driver and need to be able to drive, you’ll have to have this type of insurance to get around.
Your Credit Can Be a Factor
Arizona is one state where your credit history can count towards your car insurance quote. Insurance companies can pull a specialized version of your credit report. It’s not the same as a hard inquiry from, say, a mortgage lender, and it has more limited information. But the insurance company can use an algorithm to assign a risk factor score to your credit history. If you have tons of debt or a history of unpaid bills, you may get a higher car insurance quote than if you had an excellent credit history.
Top Car Insurance Companies in Arizona
According to QuoteLab, the most popular car insurance carriers in Arizona are:
- State Farm – 14.2%
- Farmers – 8.4%
- American Family – 6.1%
- Progressive Advanced – 5.2%
- Geico General – 4.1%
- Allstate – 3.9%
- Progressive Preferred – 3.3%
- USAA – 2.8%
- Geico Indemnity – 2.5%
- USAA Casualty – 2.4%
Of course, the popular options aren’t necessarily the best. So we’ll look at each of these companies to see how they rate for customer satisfaction and financial strength
As in many states, State Farm holds a big market share of insured drivers in Arizona, and for good reason. It’s a solid company with excellent customer reviews.
AM Best – “A++” (Superior) financial strength rating and “aa+” long-term issuer credit rating.
JD Power – #2 in the region with a 4-star overall satisfaction rating.
Again, Farmers isn’t unusual to find on a list of insurance companies that are popular, and it’s very popular in Arizona.
AM Best – “A” (Excellent) financial strength rating and “bbb+” long-term issuer credit rating.
JD Power – #9 in the region with an overall score of 3 stars.
Starting here, the market share for popular Arizona car insurance companies starts to decline. But, still, American Family holds a large portion of drivers in Arizona, and it’s well-rated for customer service.
AM Best – “A” (Excellent) financial strength rating and “a+” long-term issuer credit rating.
JD Power – #4 in the region with an overall rating of 3 stars.
Arizona has two popular Progressive insurance companies in its best-of list. We’re combining them for the purposes of this review, as JD Power and AM Best also look at them collectively.
AM Best – “A+” (Superior) financial strength rating and “aa” long-term issuer credit rating.
JD Power – #10 in the region with an overall 2-star score.
Getting insurance from Geico is simple, and Arizonians must know it because many of them use this company for their car insurance. Again, though, the ranking has two subsidiaries of Geico listed, and we’re combining them for this review.
AM Best – “A+++”, which is the highest possible financial strength rating, and “aaa” long-term issuer credit rating.
JD Power – #7 in the region with an overall 3-star score.
Allstate ranks very high on the JD Power study, which speaks to its excellent customer service.
AM Best – “A+” (Superior) for financial strength, and “aa” for long-term issuer credit ratings.
JD Power – #3 in the region with an overall rating of 3 stars.
Here’s one more company listed twice on our breakdown of the most popular insurance companies in Arizona. But the truth is that many may not know which version of USAA they’re getting, and everything goes back up to the parent company. So, again, we’re combining them for this review.
AM Best – “A++” (Superior) financial strength rating and “aaa” long-term issuer credit rating.
JD Power – USAA isn’t actually ranked on the study because it’s only available to a small segment of the population, but those who can access it always rate it highly, so it has a 5-star score.
If you have more questions about car insurance in Arizona, check out the Arizona Department of Transportation’s website, which offers online services and a variety of FAQs to check out.