Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Arizona: Do You Need It?

Drivers aren’t required to carry uninsured motorist coverage in Arizona, but not investing in it can mean treading into risky territory.
Written by Andrea Barrett
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
drivers aren’t legally required to purchase
uninsured motorist coverage
. Still, with nearly 12% of drivers not having sufficient insurance coverage, it’s an affordable way to keep you safe on the road and out of financial trouble. 
Per Arizona's car insurance laws
, every driver is required to carry a minimum amount of
liability insurance
, consisting of
bodily injury liability
property damage liability
. Although insurance limits may be higher than in some states, they’re generally not enough to cover the entire cost of an accident, especially if you’re hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver. That’s why investing in uninsured motorist insurance is a wise idea—it can help keep out-of-pocket expenses to a minimum.
Luckily, the
car insurance
comparison tool
has all the details you need about uninsured motorist coverage in Arizona—and why not purchasing it could be risky. We’ll also reveal the best way to reduce your Arizona car insurance costs without sacrificing
coverage and quality
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Do you need uninsured motorist coverage in Arizona?

Arizona does not require drivers to purchase uninsured motorist coverage—but do you need it? 
According to statistics published in 2019 by the
Insurance Information Institute
, roughly 11.8% of drivers in Arizona don’t have car insurance or don’t meet the minimum requirements. Although AZ may not rank in the top 10 states with the highest number of uninsured drivers (it ranks 24th) it’s still relatively high.
Why does that matter to you? If you’re involved in a car accident in Arizona, there’s more than a one in 10 chance that the driver doesn't have insurance or doesn't have sufficient insurance to cover the cost of your medical payments. And when you add on the drivers that have insurance but don’t meet the state’s minimum
car insurance required
, it can become a headache. 
That’s why uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage is so important. Uninsured motorist coverage is an affordable option that offers peace of mind on the road and picks up where other drivers’ insurance leaves off. This coverage helps cover the costs of medical bills, lost wages, physical therapy, and more if you’re involved in an accident and find that the at-fault driver is uninsured. 
But perhaps the best part is that UM/UIM coverage is cheap. Adding this coverage to your Arizona car insurance policy costs around $50 to $75 annually
However, like any other type of insurance, uninsured motorist premiums will vary based on your risk factors and how much coverage you decide to purchase. The good news is coverage tends to be cheaper in Arizona compared to states like
, and
, all of which have uninsured driver rates over 20%. 

How uninsured motorist insurance works in Arizona

Before we dive into the details of uninsured motorist coverage in Arizona, let’s first look at Arizona's car insurance laws. As with all states, drivers are required to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance coverage. 
The insurance minimums in Arizona follow a 25/50/15 pattern—$25,000 of bodily injury liability per person, $50,000 of bodily injury liability per accident, and $15,000 of property damage liability per accident. However, liability only covers the costs of medical expenses and physical damages for the other driver if you’re at fault for the accident.
Keep in mind: Sticking to the state-mandated limits is a great way to keep your insurance costs low, but it also leaves you vulnerable to a large amount of risk.
Arizona has some of the highest healthcare costs in the United States, with the average annual healthcare plan costing $8,060 in 2019. That’s roughly 14.3% of the median household income in Arizona and above the national average of 11.7%. 
On top of that, you also have to account for the
average cost of an ER visit
. Again, Arizona makes the top 10 with $2,283 per visit. So, when you tack on ambulance bills, surgical expenses, rehabilitation costs and time, lost wages, and more, the cost of a severe accident injury adds up to well over the minimum limits set by Arizona state laws. 

What’s available

All of that said, what kind of uninsured motorist coverage should you purchase in Arizona?
The UM/UIM insurance available in Arizona is classified into two categories:
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage (UM): Covers medical expenses related to an accident for you (and your passengers) after an accident where an uninsured driver is at fault
  • Underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage (UIM): Covers your medical expenses if the at-fault driver doesn’t have sufficient liability insurance to cover your costs 
While UM and UIM aren’t required by Arizona state law, all insurance companies must offer a minimum of 25/50 in UM/UIM coverage. To reject this coverage, drivers must decline it in writing

What it covers

Generally speaking, the UM/UIM bodily injury coverage in Arizona covers the cost of personal injuries—and those of your passengers—caused by a negligent driver without or without sufficient insurance. But it’s not just immediate medical costs that UM/UIM covers. You’re also protected against:
  • Future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Long-term rehabilitative or nursing care
  • Medical devices such as wheelchairs
  • Retrofitting your house to accommodate a disability caused by the accident
  • Services such as yard work or cleaning that you’re no longer able to do
  • Pain and suffering (under certain circumstances) 
If you or a loved one is involved in a serious accident and incurs significant injuries, you don’t want to worry about finding money to cover medical expenses. For a reasonable annual fee, uninsured motorist coverage protects you against the financial burden of accident-related medical expenses. It’s an easy, budget-friendly way to stay safe on the road and limit additional or unexpected expenses.

How to make a claim 

If you’re involved in a car accident with another driver, exchanging insurance information is one of the first things you’ll want to do. While we always hope that the other driver has proper insurance coverage, sometimes they don’t—and sometimes they have no insurance.
Don't worry, the good news is that filing a claim is a straightforward process and can be done over the phone or sometimes in your insurance provider's app. Once you provide your claims adjuster with all the information about the accident, they handle the rest. If they find out that the at-fault driver is uninsured or has insufficient insurance, they will automatically start making payouts under the applicable coverages.
However, UM/UIM isn't the only coverage that can help.
Medical payments coverage (Medpay)
is an optional coverage that will provide the initial payments towards medical expenses resulting from an accident regardless of fault. If you selected this coverage, your UM/UIM will kick in up to your policy limits after Medpay is exhausted.
Then, your health insurance should cover any medical expenses that exceed the limits on your car insurance policy.
What about your car? Who pays for that?
Collision coverage
is what you need to have your vehicle repaired or replaced from any accident. If you don't have collision on your policy, you will have to pay for the repairs out-of-pocket.

Why it’s a good idea to buy uninsured motorist insurance in Arizona

Adding uninsured motorist coverage to your insurance policy is convenient and can be a big money-saver in the long run. The obvious short-term drawback is cost—adding uninsured motorist insurance to your policy will cost more than simply sticking to the Arizona state minimums. 
And we hear you—after all,
exists to help drivers reduce insurance costs—but there are several reasons why investing in UM/UIM coverage is a good idea. Here are a couple.

Arizona has a high accident rate

In 2021 alone, the
Arizona Department of Transportation
reported a whopping 121,345 crashes, with 100,518 involving multiple vehicles. With a high accident rate, having UM/UIM coverage can protect you if you’re involved in an accident with someone who doesn't have sufficient insurance coverage. 
Whether they stick around the scene or not, lack of insurance means your insurance provider will have to cover the costs up to the amount of insurance you’ve purchased. If your expenses exceed your insurance limits, you’ll be left on the hook to cover the rest. That’s why having uninsured motorist coverage—and having sufficient limits—is so important. 

More than one in 10 Arizona drivers are uninsured

Although Arizona doesn’t quite rank up there with Mississippi, Tennessee, or even
, they have an unusually high number of uninsured drivers on the road. Although certain cities are worse for uninsured drivers than others, that doesn’t mean you’re scot-free if you live in a small town. 
Regardless of where you live, your risk of getting into an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver is relatively high, which justifies the additional expense of adding UM/UIM coverage to your policy.

How to save on uninsured motorist coverage in Arizona

For many people, investing beyond the minimum state requirements is something that goes by the wayside for one reason: cost. With insurance rates already being as expensive as they are, the additional costs of UM/UIM can add more financial strain. But in the grand scheme of things, an extra $50 to $75 per year for more protection on the road doesn’t seem like a big ask—especially when you’re getting the best rate by shopping with
. As the
trustworthy insurance comparison super app
, Jerry is here to save you money.
How? Jerry partners with over 55 of the country’s best insurance providers to find you the coverage you need at the most affordable rate. Whether you’re looking for liability and uninsured motorist coverage or the whole shebang, Jerry finds you the best rates personalized for your driving profile. 
All you have to do is download the app, plug in your driving details, and scan your personalized quotes. Once you find the right car insurance policy, a Jerry agent will help you secure your rate and get switched over. Best of all, the average annual savings for Jerry users adds up to more than $800 a year—more than enough to pay for your UM coverage and still save money! 
was spot on. I’m young with one rear end on my record. Still, they dropped my monthly insurance rate from $468 to $250. This really saved me money.” —Jason M.
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