Phoenix is one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the United States, which is good news for the state of Arizona but bad news for motorists looking for cheap car insurance. While most larger Arizona cities like Scottsdale, Tucson, and Chandler have car insurance rates below the national average, Phoenix is the most expensive city in the state. According to research, the average car insurance premium in Phoenix is around $1,850 annually – almost a full $200 more than the national average.

Get the best cheap car insurance for Phoenix and enjoy the desert landscape. Photo by Johnny Jet

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Finding Cheap Car Insurance in Phoenix

What’s a budget-conscious driver to do? You can’t go without car insurance in Arizona. But, you can track down discounts and cheaper rates by shopping around for the best deal. Not all insurance companies will price policies using the same criteria. In fact, you might get a wildly different quote from separate companies even if you provide everyone the same information.

Before starting your shopping spree, it’s important to understand Arizona’s insurance laws and how auto policies are created and priced.

Arizona Insurance Laws and State Minimums

The federal government requires each state to set laws for purchasing car insurance. However, it leaves those specific requirements up to the states themselves. Every state has its own laws and insurance minimums. Arizona happens to be a state with very low minimums. In insurance terms, this is expressed as 15/30/10, which actually means:

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

These are the minimums required to get on the road, not the recommended level of coverage drivers should purchase. Buying only the state minimum could leave you exposed to lawsuits if your insurance doesn’t cover the full cost of the damages. Also, minimum coverage will do little to replace any injuries or damages you sustain in an accident that you cause.

We recommended full coverage policies of 100/300/100 with comprehensive and collision coverage.

Fault State

Arizona is a “fault” state, meaning that someone is declared responsible for every accident. It falls on them (and their insurance company) to fix the damages. Arizona uses a system of “comparative fault” to determine responsibility in an accident.

To understand comparative fault, pretend the insurance payout is a big pot at a poker game. If you’re in an accident and its determined the other driver was 75% at fault, you’ll receive 75% of the pot. However, because you were deemed 25% responsible, the remaining 25% of the pot goes to the other driver.

These are the three courses of action you can take in Arizona following an accident:

  1. File a claim with your insurance company
  2. File a claim with the other driver’s insurance company
  3. Sue the other driver via a personal injury lawsuit

No-fault states require drivers to go through their own insurance company first. This limits the options accident victims can pursue. Even if the other driver was 100% responsible for the accident, you’d still have to seek reimbursement from your own insurance company first in a no-fault state.

Factors Used To Determine My Auto Insurance Rate

The formula for calculating insurance premiums in Arizona depends on several factors. Some are more critical than others, but the main ones to concern yourself with are:

  • Age – One of the biggest factors is also one completely outside your control. Younger drivers are more expensive to insure than older ones – especially teenagers. Insurance rates steadily decline until you reach age 60, then begin to creep back up.
  • Driving History – Your driving history is also important to the calculation. The focus here is on speeding tickets, moving violations, and other infractions. DWI is especially frowned upon by insurance companies. Expect your rates to skyrocket if you get caught driving under the influence.
  • Location – It’s not just the city you live in that matters. Insurance companies use your zip code to price your premium by factoring in things like crime rates and claim rates.

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Most and Least Expensive Zip Codes for Auto Insurance in Phoenix

Here are the five most and least expensive zip codes for car insurance in the Phoenix area:

Most Expensive

  • 85017 (Alhambra / Central Phoenix)
  • 85009 (Estrella / South Phoenix)
  • 85019 (Central Phoenix)
  • 85031 (Maryvale)
  • 85015 (Alhambra / Central Phoenix)

Least Expensive

  • 85048 (Ahwatukee / South Phoenix)
  • 85045 (Ahwatukee / South Phoenix)
  • 85044 (South Phoenix)
  • 85086 (Anthem / Maricopa County)
  • 85087 (New River)

Providers will price premiums differently, but more densely populated areas will always be more expensive for car insurance.

The Best Insurance Providers in Phoenix

Most Affordable: GEICO – Geico has the cheapest rates for Phoenix drivers across the board, even if you have speeding tickets on your record and teenage drivers on your policy. Geico has a direct-to-consumer methodology that eliminates the need for insurance agents. This, therefore, cuts down on overhead costs.

Best Customer Experience: The Hartford – According to JD Power, the Hartford Insurance Company provides exceptional customer service along with a variety of policy options. With a five-star customer satisfaction ranking, Hartford is the JD Power award winner for the best insurance provider in the southwest United States.

Best Overall: Progressive – Phoenix residents would be wise to turn to Flo when insurance shopping. Progressive not only receives high marks for customer service, policy options, and prices, but it also offers discounts. They don’t ding drivers too fiercely for speeding tickets or moving violations either. Progressive is the third-largest insurance provider in Arizona.

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Choosing The Best Auto Insurance Policy

Buying car insurance is required by law, but deciding on a policy is a personal decision. A married mother of two children driving an SUV obviously will want different things from her auto insurance policy than a single 25-year in a two-door sedan. 

Remember, always buy more than the state minimum, especially if you live in a densely populated city like Phoenix. State minimums might save you a couple of hundred bucks now, but driving with minimal coverage is a risk. If a major accident occurs and you’re held responsible, the money supplied by a minimum coverage plan will evaporate quicker than a puddle on a hot July day.

If you’re looking for more articles like this, check out our other car insurance guides and resources.

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Johnny Jet Editorial