How to Get a Car Insurance

Drivers in Arizona are required to maintain state minimums of automobile liability insurance. This mandate requires drivers to have coverage in place in case they cause bodily injury to others or property damage. The table to follow shows the current minimum levels that have not changed since 1972. Recent legislation was enacted to increase these minimums effective on July 1, 2020.

TypeCurrent RequirementsCurrent RequirementsAfter July 1, 2020
Bodily Injury Liability$15,000 per person$30,000 per accident$25,000 pp/$50,000 pa
Property Damage Liability$10,000 $15,000
Uninsured Motorist Coverage*$15,000 per person$30,000 per accident
Underinsured Motorist Coverage*$15,000 per person$30,000 per accident

*Note: Policyholders may opt-out of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.

Even those who have an existing policy may want to shop around or use a comparison tool to review options. A recent report suggested that nearly 40% of policyholders have not compared competitor rates in more than three years.

Information You Will Need to Have

When you obtain a price quote for car insurance, there is some basic information to keep on hand. Personal details include your birthdate, address, and social security number. The vehicle’s year, make, model, and vehicle identification number (VIN). They also may inquire about your driving history and employment status. You are also likely to be asked whether other people will be regularly using the vehicle.

Direct from an Insurer

Most insurance carriers will provide you a car insurance quote directly from their website or over the phone. In this scenario, you are generally not going to have a designated insurance agent or broker. If the quote is obtained online, you do not speak with a sales or customer service person unless you choose to. Although quotes obtained online are a good estimate, they could slightly adjust after the insurer more thoroughly reviews your driving history and other factors.

This is typically a good option for those who have a good basic understanding of car insurance. Many people prefer to avoid speaking with a representative or salesperson that may pressure them. Many buyers avoid this option because they prefer using a local agent.

Using a Captive Agent

Larger insurance companies such as State Farm or Allstate often have captive agents. These agents exclusively represent one carrier. A captive agent is likely very knowledgeable about their offerings and provides personal support.

One drawback is that the agent will be unable to consider options from other carriers that may better suit your needs. These agents generally receive sales commissions and may be inclined to sell you certain products that you do not need.

Using Independent Agents or Insurance Brokers

An independent agent differs from a captive insurance company agent because they can offer products from multiple car insurance companies. Those who have been comparing quotes can attest that insurance premiums do vary and are influenced by a variety of factors. Independent agents are able to clearly explain policy details, answer questions, and find you comprehensive coverage at a lower cost.

Being Added to an Existing Policy

Often younger drivers that live at home may consider being added as a driver on their parent’s existing policy. In this scenario, you may be able to benefit from discounts that are already contained in the policy. You also may not have to pay a down payment when simply being added to an existing policy.

Those Unable to Purchase Coverage

There is a small segment of consumers that have tremendous difficulty obtaining regular “voluntary” car insurance coverage. The primary reason that some individuals cannot find a source to buy car insurance is because they have a poor driving history. The majority of states now have a “residual market” that is used by less than 2% of motorists. These programs are not insured by the government; however, state governments may require insurers to participate to some extent in order to be able to sell traditional policies in the state.

The Arizona Automobile Insurance Plan (AZAIP) is a “high-risk pool” that is not a cheap car insurance option. This plan is overseen by the Western Association of Automobile Insurance Plans. To be eligible, you must have a driver’s license and not have any outstanding debt owed to an auto insurer. Those seeking this coverage will need to make at least an 18.5% deposit. The remaining premium may be paid in installments.

Possible Car Insurance Discounts

If you are shopping for car insurance, be sure to look for discount opportunities. There are potential discounts available for some of the following:

  • Student discounts or “good” student discounts
  • For those who complete a driving safety or defensive driving type class or course
  • Discounts are often available to those who belong to professional organizations, alumni associations, etc.
  • Good driving discounts are sometimes available to those with no recent traffic infractions
  • Consider “bundling” multiple insurance products from the same carrier such as homeowners or life insurance
  • Some discounts are available to seniors or active military members

Independent Insurance Agency in Casa Grande

The Gebhardt Insurance Group has been providing insurance solutions in the local community for many years. We represent dozens of insurance carriers and will find you comprehensive and affordable protection for your car, home, business, and more. Contact us at (520) 836-3244.

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Steve Gebhardt

Gebhardt Insurance Group was honored by AAA Insurance for being the top New Policy Agency in Arizona for 2013 and achieving the "Emerald Achievement Award."

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