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Dawson and Rosenthal
Dawson and Rosenthal

Arizona Senate approves minimum auto insurance increase

If it becomes law, a new bill before Arizona lawmakers could raise the minimum auto insurance liability drivers must carry for the first time in 45 years.

The Arizona Senate passed the bill by a vote of 18-12 on Feb. 23. The bill would require motorists to carry enough liability insurance to cover at least $25,000 in damages due to a single injury or death in a car crash, and $50,000 for multiple fatal or nonfatal injuries. Currently, the law requires $15,000 in coverage for injuries to an individual and $35,000 for multiple victims. These minimums have been in place since 1972.

Sen. Kate Brophy McGee, R-Phoenix, sponsored the bill. She says the increases are necessary to “protect the most vulnerable in our society.” Sen. David Farnsworth of Mesa, who opposed the bill, said it would lead to increased premiums for all drivers and put people in jail.

The bill now moves to the House. Its future is not clear, but if it passes, people who have been seriously injured in auto collisions will stand a better chance of being fully compensated through insurance. Of course, this assumes that insurers will deal with all claims in good faith.

Experience has taught us that this is not always the case. Making money, not helping customers, is the insurance industry’s top priority. Sometimes, this leads to insurers treating claims in bad faith, rejecting or low-balling the claim without a legitimate excuse.

To learn more about insurance bad faith and your legal options, please contact a bad faith insurance attorney.