How Do I Sign Up for Insurance in Arizona?
Respected Phoenix trial attorneys explain what you need to know about keeping yourself safe
When the subject of insurance – any insurance – comes up, most people cringe. Insurance companies are not exactly easy to deal with when it comes to even just checking rate prices and coverage limits. Policies can be expensive and it seems that you need to have coverage for almost everything life brings these days.
If you live in Phoenix, you are more than familiar with the damage and chaos that can be caused by dust storms and monsoon season in general. Highways are closed because of low visibility risks posing grave danger to drivers. Property damage can be costly from high-speed whirling wind and sand. Mudslides can cause widespread damage when the heavy rains mix with dirt, dust and other debris. The violent weather that we’ve become accustomed to living with can cause car accidents, personal injury, and even premises liability issues.
Like it or not, insurance is a necessary part of life and is supposed to be there to financially protect you when you need it. However, insurance companies make money by taking full advantage of the fact that policyholders who are in the position of having to file claims are at their mercy. When insurance bad faith occurs, Plattner Verderame, P.C. is there to enforce your rights under your insurance policy.
Auto insurance coverage that Phoenix residents need
Minimum coverage auto insurance is mandatory in many states. In Arizona, auto insurance is optional, but there’s a catch. You must show financial responsibility by putting up a $40,000 certificate of deposit in the event that you cause damage to property or injure someone. Considering many people don’t have a spare $40,000, you should speak with an insurance agent to ensure you have the appropriate coverage.
In Arizona, there are required limits on a basic auto insurance policy:
- $15,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $30,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $10,000 property damage liability per accident
There are various benefits that can be included on your policy, too:
- Uninsured motorist coverage (UM). This protects you when an uninsured driver hits and injures you and/or your passengers, and causes property damage. It allows you to make a claim under your own policy to pay for medical expenses and vehicle repairs.
- Underinsured motorist coverage (UIM). This benefit provides you with additional financial resources to cover your losses from medical and property damage claims when an at-fault driver doesn’t carry enough insurance to make you whole again.
- MedPay. If you are new to insurance, or to certain policy benefits that you may have been unaware of, MedPay works similarly to personal injury protection (PIP). It covers the medical expenses of everyone inside the vehicle who has been injured, regardless of fault. You simply send your medical bill to the insurance company and receive a reimbursement check, which can be used to cover your deductibles or other out of pocket expenses.
Both UM and UIM coverage can be waived, but for the nominal amount they add to your monthly premium, talk with your insurance agent about incorporating the coverage into your policy. It’s always better to be safe than sorry in the event that you are hit by someone who only has minimum coverage, or is an out-of-state driver who isn’t required to carry insurance at all.
Learn more: Auto Insurance Coverage in Arizona
Maricopa County residents are not required to carry homeowners’ insurance unless their mortgage company requires it – but you should do it, anyway. Failing to insure your home and its contents can be a catastrophic choice that you wouldn’t risk a second time if you were suddenly faced with having to replace your home and all of your belongings out of pocket.
Typical homeowners insurance policies include coverage of the structure, and the general contents of your home. There are special coverages that you can add on to your policy for items like artwork, jewelry, electronics, guns, and furs in the event that they are stolen or otherwise lost based on policy limitations. Other coverage to speak with an insurance agent about includes:
- Flood insurance. In Phoenix, less than two percent of homeowners carry flood insurance on their property despite the flooding that occurs annually during monsoon season. Floods can leave your property and your life in total devastation. Making a flood plan, documenting your belongings with photos, and talking with an insurer about adding a flood policy will help ensure that you are protected. Go to FloodSmart.gov to determine your flood risk by entering your address.
- Additional living expenses. If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having to rebuild your home, you’ll need alternate accommodations in the meantime. This coverage will help you cover the cost of hotels, meals, and other living expenses while your home is under construction.
- Liability coverage. When you, your pets or dangerous conditions on your property cause injury to others, you will need to pay for legal fees and potential damages. While most policies include a minimum standard of $100,000 worth of liability coverage, speak with an insurance carrier to determine whether you should increase that limit to $300,000 or more.
- Phoenix Attorneys Handling Homeowner’s Insurance Claims
- Homeowners Insurance Covers a Wide Range of Injuries
Health insurance in Phoenix
According to a 2018 census, 10.6 percent of Arizona citizens had no health insurance. Medical care can become prohibitively expensive and even cause bankruptcy when you have been severely injured or become ill. Currently, there are health insurance options under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and short-term health policies if you are unable to secure health insurance through an employer, or do not qualify for state Medicaid benefits.
Short-term plans can provide coverage for up to 364 days when you:
- Don’t otherwise have health insurance
- Experience gaps in coverage and find they need temporary coverage
- May be coming off your parents’ policies
- Are between jobs
- Missed the annual open enrollment period for purchasing major medical insurance from the federal Health Insurance Marketplace
Accidents and illnesses happen. Making sure your finances are protected by carrying health insurance is in your best interest. Unfortunately, sometimes insurers may look for loopholes in the policy to avoid payment of benefits. Our skilled insurance bad faith attorneys can help you enforce your policy.
The reality that no one enjoys talking about is planning for end of life. It’s uncomfortable, but you can plan for that day by taking out a life insurance policy. The average number of citizens in the United States who don’t have life insurance is 40 percent. That means 40 percent of families will have to plan for final expenses, including payment of medical bills and burial costs that they didn’t anticipate.
Should you pass away unexpectedly due to a wrongful death, settling a lawsuit can take quite some time and your loved ones will need financial support. Maybe you have a spouse who might wind up battling the mortgage company to remain in your home, or maybe you have a child who attends college and would be unable to complete his or her education. Your absence means that your family now has to somehow come up with the funds, which could cause them a financial hardship.
There are also typical conditions under which payment can be withheld. It is important that you understand your policy terms, so that if the insurance company refuses payment or cancels your policy in bad faith, you know that you can turn to a knowledgeable attorney for legal help.
We handle difficult Phoenix insurance claims, so that you don’t have to
Life can throw many curveballs and you don’t get to choose when they come. You need to be prepared and financially protected in the event of catastrophe. The Phoenix insurance dispute attorneys at Plattner Verderame, P.C. will be there when you need someone to stand by you to fight the insurance companies. Call us today at 602-783-8793 or reach out to us through our contact page.