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Tucson, Arizona Car Insurance


When moving to Tucson, you may be in for some sticker shock on your insurance bill, depending on the area where you lived before. Those coming from major cities like New York, Los Angeles or San Francisco will find rates reasonable. Someone moving in from rural Ohio may feel like someone kicked him in the chest when he gets his first quote. There are many reasons for this imbalance, including Arizona’s geographical location, population densities and crime rates.

Being situated on the border with Mexico, Arizona is plagued with a high number of uninsured drivers. Tucson is especially vulnerable to the problem, being located in the southern part of the state. While it is impossible to count how many uninsured drivers are on the road, the Arizona Insurance Information Association estimates that 16% of the cars on the road are uninsured. This ends up costing everyone else higher premiums.

While much of Arizona hosts a sparse population, the areas from Flagstaff and traveling south to Tucson are densely populated. High populations naturally give rise to more vehicular accidents. According to the Arizona MVD, in 2008 alone, there were 119,588 reported accidents in Arizona. Among those, 842 were fatal. There were more than three times as many urban accidents as rural. But even in rural areas, where accidents are less common, they are more severe. More than half of all accident fatalities occurred in rural parts of Arizona.

Crime rates have historically been a problem for Tucson as well. In 2008, it had the 13th highest theft rate of any area in the country. In 2009, that dropped to 24th, based on information from the Arizona Automobile Theft Authority. One hopes this trend will continue, but higher insurance rates will remain in place until lower theft rates become the norm, not the exception.

Long-time Tucson residents know that insurance is expensive in their state, so they take steps to ensure they are paying as little as they possibly can by following some simple procedures. To get the best rates, be sure to get multiple quotes, at least three, from different Arizona insurance companies. You can enter your Tucson area code in the box at the top of this page to secure a quote yourself.

Make sure you get quotes every year to make sure you are always getting the best rate. Some Arizona residents report noticing their rates slowly climb after a few years. Before they know it, they are paying $1,000 more a year than they need to for car insurance. Just because a company is cheaper one year, does not mean it will be cheaper every year. Rates change based on many factors, including the number and severity of crashes each year and the various indexes companies use to rate individual drivers. Some companies are known to check your credit before they ever check your driving record. This allows them to offer a quote quickly and make adjustments once your driving record is in hand.

Tucson, Arizona, is the second largest city in the state with just over half a million people living in the city itself. The greater metropolitan area has just over a million people, which makes it the largest city by far in southern Arizona. Although much of the city's development has stemmed from the University of Arizona, which is still the second largest employer, much more has come from the military and related industries. Home to both a major Air Force base and the US Army Intelligence Center, a number of defense contractors and related businesses have also set up operations in Tucson.

Overall, Tucson is not a bad place for drivers and it has consistently had a lower average of fatal accidents than the state average, which is somewhat surprising for a major urban area in a largely rural state. The sole exception to this since 1995 was 1997, but otherwise Tucson has done better than much of the state when it comes to traffic fatalities. Nevertheless, residents of Tucson will be expected to pay higher premiums than those in less urban areas simply because the odds of accidents, thefts, or other insurable problems happening is always higher in major urban areas. This is true for both the city of Tucson itself as well as much of the surrounding metropolitan area.

Residents of Arizona frequently have a lot of interaction with Mexico, so it is important to note that Arizona minimum liability coverage does not meet Mexican insurance requirements. Arizona minimum coverage can offer some limited liability insurance within twenty-five miles of the Mexican border, but in general motorists wanting to drive to Mexico, even for a day trip, are required to have Mexican insurance sold by a Mexican insurance company. Failure to have Mexican insurance can result in your arrest in Mexico as well as heavy fines if you are involved in an accident during your visit. This is an important thing for Arizona drivers to keep in mind.

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