The Best Arizona Auto Insurance

Arizona has some of the lowest minimum requirements for auto insurance in the country (only four states require less), but that doesn’t mean you can afford to skimp. If you do, you run a high risk of having to pay out-of-pocket — either for someone else’s medical bills and damaged property if you cause an accident, or for your own if you’re hit by an uninsured driver.

How We Found the Best Arizona Auto Insurance

We researched Arizona’s biggest auto insurers (by market share), and compared their financial strength, coverage options, and customer service using methodology similar to our review on nationwide providers. Since claims satisfaction is at the heart of great insurance, we also checked J.D. Power and Consumer Reports to see how each company’s customers rated their claims experience, as well as the Arizona Department of Insurance to see how many complaints were filed against each provider in 2017 (the most recent year with data available). Then we collected quotes from each company, taking note of available endorsements and discounts.

The 4 Best Auto Insurance Companies in Arizona

State Farm

Elite financial strength, competitive pricing and extensive coverage options are all good reasons why State Farm has the largest share (17%) of the Arizona auto insurance market. But the company’s record of claims satisfaction is what secured it our top spot. Not only did it rate higher in J.D. Power’s rankings than any other insurer, but Consumer Reports’ readers gave it high overall marks, including for “Simplicity of Process” and “Timely Payment.”

When it comes to premium costs, data from the Arizona Department of Insurance shows that in 2017, State Farm was also among the cheapest providers in the state across a range of coverage levels and drivers. Coverage options are thorough and include a unique offering called Payoff Protector®. It’s similar to gap coverage, which helps pay off your auto loan in the event that your car is totaled, but it cancels the outstanding balance due if you took out your loan with State Farm. While State Farm’s website and online quote process are straightforward enough, we would’ve liked a Live Chat feature so we could raise any questions with a representative.

Allstate

At 7.6%, Allstate’s market share is the smallest of our top providers in Arizona, but its claims reputation is second only to State Farm’s. Both J.D. Power and Consumer Reports readers reported hassle-free filings and quick payments from Allstate, and their 2016 complaint ratio was in line with other top providers in the state. The company’s website is easy to navigate and does a good job explaining various coverages, including their “gap” protection for new cars.

As for pricing, Allstate’s 2017 Arizona premiums were on the high side among the state’s biggest providers, particularly for married couples. It seems you can count on solid coverage and smooth claims-handling, but you pay more for it than you probably would with State Farm. Still, Allstate seems like a safe and reliable choice to insure your ride.

Progressive

Progressive is another solid option for Arizona auto insurance, but it lags slightly behind our other top picks in both financial strength and claims satisfaction ratings. The differences are small enough that they likely won’t have an impact on most customers’ experiences, but they nonetheless make it hard to justify Progressive over State Farm or Allstate on the basis of anything except, possibly, price. Still, we liked how easy it was to get a quote through Progressive’s website.

Progressive has a slew of available discounts, ranging from multi-policy, multi-vehicle and homeowner discounts, to being a safe driver, a good student, and going paperless. There’s even one for adding a newly licensed teen driver to your existing auto policy (noteworthy, given that teenage drivers are among the riskiest to insure). But a policy loaded with discounts isn’t necessarily cheaper than a non-discounted policy, and 2017 data on premiums show that Progressive is, on average, significantly more expensive than State Farm and Allstate in Arizona.

Farmers

Farmers has the fourth-largest market share in Arizona (8%), and a Consumer Reports overall score of 89. It also had the lowest complaint ratio of Arizona’s top insurers in 2016, which speaks well for its customer service. Still, there’s a bit of rust on the hubcaps. J.D. Power respondents rated Farmers below average for claims satisfaction, and the company’s financial strength is a couple of notches lower than the others on this list. That doesn’t mean they’re about to go bankrupt anytime soon; it’s just the difference between “quite stable” and “completely rock-solid.”

The bigger drawback for Farmers, at least in Arizona, is its high premiums. It was the most expensive provider on our list in six out of eight different driver profiles, spanning a range of ages and coverage levels. A notable exception was the lower premium for our profile of an 81-year-old woman, suggesting that Farmers may be cheaper for older drivers. It’s still worth getting a quote from Farmers since every person’s insurance profile is different.

Guide to Arizona Auto Insurance Companies

Arizona Minimum Liability

Before you start getting quotes from Arizona auto insurance companies, take a moment to learn about the minimum amount of insurance you need to drive in the Copper State:

  • $15,000 bodily injury coverage per person
  • $30,000 bodily injury coverage per accident
  • $10,000 property damage coverage per accident

These minimums are exceptionally low compared to other states, but unfortunately, they really don’t offer total peace of mind if you happen to cause an accident.

Don’t settle for the minimum

Consider what would happen if you collided with a luxury car. Damages to that vehicle could easily exceed Arizona’s minimum $10K of property damage coverage, meaning you’d be stuck paying the rest out of pocket. And if the other driver is injured, $15K of bodily injury coverage might not be enough for all their medical care, leaving you responsible for that difference too.

That’s why, especially in Arizona, it’s a good idea to buy more than the minimum required insurance. A good rule of thumb is to buy as much as you can afford, and think of it as purchasing peace of mind. To find the best rates on your ideal coverage, you have to shop around for quotes, since personal details like your age, vehicle type, usage, and credit history all have an impact. But our reviews of Arizona’s top four providers are a good starting point in your search.

Beware of “Household” or “Family” exclusions on your liability coverage

Some auto policies contain an exclusion (commonly called a “Household,” “Family,” or “Intra-Family” Exclusion) which limits the bodily injury coverage available to your family members in the event of an accident. Arizona law lets insurers use it to limit such coverage to the state’s minimum liabilities of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident, regardless of whether you have higher liability limits on your policy.

This means that if you cause an accident which injures your family members, your policy might not pay up to the full limits you’ve set for their medical care. Make sure they’re covered by asking your insurer whether your policy contains this exclusion. If it does, you might want to purchase additional umbrella coverage.

Arizona Auto Insurance FAQ

Does Arizona require auto insurance?

Auto insurance is mandatory in Arizona. If you’re caught driving in the state without insurance, you could face a serious fine. Multiple offenses could even result in a 1-year suspension of your Arizona driver's license.

Is Arizona auto insurance expensive?

This depends on how comprehensive your coverage is along with a range of factors, including the provider you choose, your age, the type of car you drive, and even whether or not you own your home. More coverage usually means more money but you don’t want to necessarily skimp on coverage options. If you are worried about cost, look into available discounts.

Do I need auto insurance to register my vehicle in Arizona?

Yes. But you can get around it if you really want to. You have to show proof of financial responsibility (in the form of cash, a bond, or a certificate of deposit) for the amount of $40,000. That said, depending on the circumstances, you could be on the hook for much more than that in the event of an accident, and you won’t have an insurance company to handle the brunt of the expenses.

The Best Arizona Auto Insurance: Summed Up

State Farm
Allstate
Progressive
Farmers
A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating
A++
A+
A+
A
Consumer Reports Reader Score
89/100
88/100
87/100
89/100
J.D. Power Overall Customer Satisfaction Score (Southwest Region)
829/1000
815/1000
812/1000
797/1000