Do We Have Socialized Auto Insurance in Arizona?

October 30, 2009

Did you know that about 25% of the drivers in Arizona do not have auto insurance? Yes, for every four cars on the road, one of them is not insured! For those of us that play by the rules and are responsible for our actions, we pay an additional fee for uninsured motorists in our insurance premium payments! Essentially, we are paying for them, kind of like auto insurance socialism! Now that should send a chill up your spine!

On my 13 year old pickup truck, my insurance company charges me $77.00 a year for uninsured motorist coverage and an additional $76.00 a year for underinsured motorist coverage. So that’s over $150.00 a year that I am paying for this socialized system! And that’s just for one of my vehicles!

Remember years ago when you could not get license plate renewal tags for your vehicle if you did not have proof that you had insurance coverage? If you changed insurance carriers, you would likely get a letter in the mail from the Department of Motor Vehicles asking you for proof of insurance! Why is it that they were able to monitor insurance coverage back then but can’t do that today after computer technology has evolved by leaps and bounds?

Finally, just a few days ago on October 1st, a brand new law has taken affect that will put some teeth in to our laws about driving without insurance. For those caught driving without insurance, they will be fined $500 on their first offense and up to $1,000 for their second offense. They might even lose their license if the judge is feeling rather ornery that day.

The minimum coverage that is mandated by this new law is $15,000 for bodily injury coverage and $10,000 for property damage coverage. So, with those low coverage amounts, it will barely cover six hours in a hospital emergency room and you better hope that you hit a 5 year old Chevy Impala instead of a new $90,000 Mercedes Benz.

Well, they say that it will reduce the premiums of those that have auto insurance but I’m not holding my breath! Once the accident claim goes well beyond their limits of coverage, the person with minimum coverage will probably skip out on any judgment against them. Heck, if they couldn’t afford to cover their vehicle in the first place, why should we think that they would make good on a judgment?

Did our legislators just pass a feel good law with no teeth in it after everything is said and done? If you can’t afford to be a responsible driver, stay off the roads and take public transportation or ride with a friend. I’m tired of paying for those people who can not be responsible for their actions!

There has also been talk about adding a gasoline fee which would provide all drivers with insurance. I am also opposed to this because it takes away our ability to choose our insurance providers and would be government run. I’d like to hear your thoughts on this!

Cary Lockwood of www.yourautonetwork.com is an automotive consumer advocate and the host of Your Auto Network’s Calling All Cars radio show on KXXT 1010 AM Phoenix and KXEG 1280 AM Phoenix. Cary is also on the Better Business Bureau’s Auto Repair Advisory Committee. Cary has over 30 years in the auto industry as an engineering technician at G.M. as well as being an auto repair shop owner for 10 years. You can download the radio show by going to www.yourautonetwork.com You can also post your automotive questions through the contact page of the website.

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