To Raise or Not To Raise?
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Over recent years there have been several attempts to pass a law raising Arizona’s minimum limits for auto liability coverage. Recent attempts to raise the limits have failed. Currently Arizona’s minimal coverage limits rank as one of the lowest in the United States. In last year’s legislative session Republican Kate Brophy McGee introduced SB 1111 which passed in the State Senate, but did not even make it to a vote in the State House. This year Sen. McGee has again introduced legislation aimed at raising the current limits to $25,000.00 per person for injuries or $50,000.00 total for injury or death to two or more and $25,000.00 for damage to property. Compare those to the current limits (which were enacted in 1972), which are $15,000.00/$30,000.00/$10,000.00. For perspective in 1972 you could buy a Cadillac for $7,569.00. Average yearly income was $11,800.00. Also consider in 1972 the national health spending was $92.7 billion. In 2015 that number was $3,205.60 billion. Meaning if you were injured in an accident in 1972, $15,000.00 went a long way to compensate you for injuries, lost work and pain and suffering. In today’s society, an injured driver who is taken to the hospital by ambulance could be saddled with a medical bill in well excess of $15,000.00.
Opponents of the bill (in the past) have claimed it is a tax on poor people because it would require them to spend more on insurance. They also argue the net result could be an increase in to the nearly 500,000.00 uninsured registered vehicles in the State.
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