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Arizona’s mandatory automobile insurance law requires that all drivers have at least a minimum amount of liability insurance in case of an accident. This means that drivers must have minimum liability coverage of at least $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. Due to the transient nature of our state, however, what the law requires often varies from what drivers actually have. When it comes to automobile accidents, too many Arizona drivers have no insurance.

To make matters worse, according to a state report, subject of a news story by KVOA television news in Tucson, one out of every five accidents involves a hit and run driver. This means that if you are involved in car accident and suffer injury, chances are great that the other driver will either have no insurance or will flee without providing assistance or insurance information. Realistically, you cannot rely on the other driver to have sufficient insurance coverage in case you become involved in a car accident.

What can you do to protect yourself from this very real risk of an accident with an uninsured driver? Fortunately, insurance companies must offer optional protection to you and your family known as uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. If you purchase this coverage, it provides coverage to you in two distinct situations. First if you are injured in an accident with a driver who has no insurance, your own insurance company will step in and provide protection known as uninsured motorist coverage. Also, if the other driver has insufficient insurance coverage which is not enough to cover all of your injuries, your own insurance company will provide you with underinsured motorist coverage to assist in making up the difference. Although these coverages are optional, your insurance carrier must offer them to you in writing up to the same limits of liability you have under your own policy. For example, if you have 15,000 in liability coverage, your carrier must offer you the same amount of uninsured and underinsured coverage. The KVOA reporter in Tucson suggests that you can obtain the protection of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage:

One way to protect yourself financially is to purchase uninsured and underinsured protection. It’s designed to pay for injuries and property damage that at-fault drivers cause.

With so many hit-and-run collisions in our state, the insurance keeps getting more expensive, and no amount of money can compensate a family who loses a loved one to a hit-and-run driver.

I also strongly urge you to accept these coverages in Arizona and by so doing, protect your families in times of loss. Click here to find the most recent automobile crash statistics for the State of Arizona as compiled by the Department of Transportation.

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