Over forty years have passed since Arizona enacted its minimum requirements for auto insurance coverage (1972). On May 1st, 2018 the house transmitted to Governor Ducey HB2254. The bill raises the minimum limits required for liability coverage from $15,000.00 per person or $30,000.00 total for injuries caused and $10,000.00 for damages caused to personal property (the other car or any object damaged) to $25,000.00 per person or $50,000.00 total for injuries caused and $25,000.00 for property damage. Assuming it is signed by Governor Ducey, the bill will become effective June 2019, it would apply to any insurance policy that a carrier issues starting 01-Jul-2019.
For perspective in 1972 the average car would cost you about $3,100.00. Compared to 2018, in which the average price of light vehicle is $35,444.00. So in 1972 if someone caused an accident and your vehicle was totaled the $10,000.00 would be sufficient to compensate you for your loss. Fast forward to 2018, $10,000.00 would probably be insufficient to merely repair your vehicle. Another way to view it, today $15,000.00 has the same buying power equal to $2,488.00 in 1972.
Today the average visit to an emergency room with transportation via ambulance can cost between $5,000.00 and $8,500.00. In 1972 that range would be approximately $835.00 to $1,419.71.
****Update**** Governor Ducey has veto’d the legislation, citing concerns that an increase in limits would result in those with minimum limits deciding to forgo insurance due to the rate increase that would result. However the likely increase would be minimal. The reality is the current limits leave many without an adequate source of compensation when injured due to another driver. In the end it place more burden on those who are injured by underinsured or uninsured motorist.