If you’re planning on moving from California to Arizona or vice versa, you might wonder if your car insurance rates or coverage amounts will change. Many factors influence your car insurance rates, and the state you live in might be one of the most important. Additional factors include age, driving history, vehicle type, and more. Switching insurance carriers or selecting a new plan due to a move can be added stress in what should be an exciting time, but knowing more about car insurance in California vs. Arizona will help make the process easier.
The Main Types of Insurance Coverage
To best understand insurance premiums, you need to understand the various insurance coverages available. Here are the basics:
Liability coverage is a legal requirement in most states to drive your vehicle on a public roadway. Liability helps cover costs for damages from bodily injuries and property damage for others if you’re responsible for an accident. Most states require drivers to carry a minimum amount of liability coverage.
Collision coverage helps to cover damages to your vehicle if you’re in an accident with another vehicle or object, such as a mailbox. This coverage is optional unless you have a loan or lease on your vehicle and the financial institution requires it. Collision also features a deductible or out-of-pocket amount you agree to pay toward damages.
This insurance coverage pays for damages due to a collision with an animal, vandalism, or certain weather events. Comprehensive coverage also has a deductible and is optional unless required by your lending institution.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages will cover damages if you’re involved in an accident where the other party doesn’t have any or enough coverage to pay.
Additional Coverage Options
Other coverage options include medical payments, rental car reimbursement, personal injury protection, and gap insurance. Be sure to discuss your insurance needs when purchasing coverage.
Car Insurance Laws in California vs. Arizona
Most states have certain car insurance laws that outline the minimum levels of insurance allowed and the requirements necessary to drive a vehicle on the road. Driving without adequate insurance is against the law in California and may have serious consequences. Failure to provide proof of insurance can result in a ticket or having your license suspended. If you’re a driver in California, you’ll be required to carry at least the following minimum coverage policies:
- Bodily injury: $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident
- Property damage: $5,000
Minimum liability coverage is required in Arizona to drive your vehicle on the road legally. If your vehicle is not adequately insured and you’re caught driving without insurance or are involved in an accident, you could have your license suspended. Arizona is also an at-fault state — as is California — meaning that if you’re at fault for an accident, you’re responsible for paying for all injuries and damages. If you’re planning on driving in Arizona, you’ll need to find an insurance plan with the following minimums:
- Bodily injury: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
- Property damage: $15,000
You can select a plan with higher coverage limits to protect yourself fully.
Average Car Insurance Cost in California vs. Arizona
The cost of insurance coverage in California can vary significantly from person to person. Factors that are considered include age, where you live, type of vehicle, credit score, marital status, amount of driving, and previous driving history. Those living in heavily populated California cities such as Los Angeles will likely pay more than those living in Fresno. You can expect to pay between $1,159 and $2,032 for minimum insurance coverage, according to U.S. News & World Report. Full coverage will cost more, ranging from $1,373 to $2,466.
In Arizona, the cost of insurance can also vary significantly depending on the same variety of factors, as well as which insurance provider you choose. For minimum coverage insurance, U.S. News & World Report shares that you can expect to pay between $790 and $1,897, depending on your carrier. Full coverage insurance may cost you between $1,137 and $2,255, depending on how much additional coverage you purchase. If you live in a heavily populated city like Phoenix, you can expect to pay more for your insurance.
How Can I Lower My Insurance Rates?
Insurance may seem like an expensive bill, but the truth is that it’s necessary, and if you ever have to use it, you’ll be glad you have it. However, that doesn’t mean you should always pay the maximum for your coverage. Here are some tips to help you save money:
- Drive carefully. Improve your driving habits to avoid at-fault accidents or speeding tickets.
- Raise your credit score. This factors into your rates — the higher your score, the less you’ll pay.
- Bundle your insurance plans. Whether it be for another vehicle, a motorcycle, an RV, or your home, several insurance companies will provide you with bundled rates.
- Look for discounts. You may qualify for discounts for good students, good drivers, or specific safety equipment on your vehicle.
- Increase your deductible. Typically, a higher deductible for comprehensive and collision equals a lower annual premium.
- Carry minimum coverage. Your premium will be lower if you only carry the state’s minimum insurance coverage.
- Take a driving course. Many companies offer discounts if you take a driver’s education or defensive driving course.
Auto insurance is a necessity in California and Arizona. Shop around for coverage and get quotes from different insurance companies to compare rates. You may want to get coverage for the minimum insurance requirement as well as high coverage. Often, the difference in the annual premium between the two is less than you think. Shopping around will help you get the best value for your money on car insurance in California and Arizona.
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.