Until the passage of a state senate bill, you might have thought that paying for liability insurance meant you are covered for the costs of your accident. Sen. Kate Brophy McGee (R-Phoenix) knew otherwise. She therefore introduced SB 1111, which effectively raises the cost of liability for all the insured motorists in Arizona, but by doing so, ensures that motorists are indeed covered for all costs above the deductibles.
If you are uncertain about this bill’s intent and what its passage means, you should learn more about it. Further, if you should soon fall victim to an accident that results in injury, you should definitely hire a personal injury lawyer in the wake of this new law, because it has fomented resistance from insurers.
SB 1111 Spells Changes in Liability Insurance
Several lawmakers joined Sen. Brophy McGee in raising liability insurance, otherwise untouched for 44 years. The law originally stated that the insurance covering a driver must pay $15,000 in personal injury liability to every single person in another auto that the driver hit. Furthermore, the total liability for all injuries and deaths maxed out at $30,000. The covered payment for cars and properties of others capped at $10,000.
Effectively, SB 1111 raises insurance liability coverage by $7 to $8 a month. The minimum personal injury liability, however, rises $25,000 per person. Moreover, total coverage would jump to $50,000 as a result of property damage coverage rising to $25,000.
Advantages of SB 1111 for Drivers and the State
Past insurance benefits are insufficient for all the likely costs of a car accident, so, a higher premium presents better coverage. For example, under the previous law, if you had totaled your car and needed to buy one to replace it, the purchase price of even a used or lower quality vehicle might exceed the $10,000 coverage on your former, newer vehicle. You would be paying every dollar above $10,000 out of your own pocket.
As a side-benefit, when government property (read: signage) is destroyed in an auto accident, SB 1111 requires the driver and insurance company to pay for replacement of the damaged property. The higher premium also allows for this requirement. Indeed, a recent study reported that before this passage of SB 1111, out of $16 million of property damage incurred by the government due to automobiles, $6 million was not recovered, mainly because motorists lacked enough insurance and possessed no personal means to pay for damages.
Why You Would Need a Personal Injury Lawyer Once SB 1111 is Enacted
A nod to SB 1111 vaults the importance of hiring a Phoenix personal injury lawyer when injuries or damage results from an accident, mainly because insurance companies are resisting the bill itself, promising future challenges from insurers. David Childers, a lobbyist for the Property and Casualty Insurance Association, opposes the bill, claiming that it might result in more motorists driving without insurance. He claims the increased premium is an unnecessary burden to low-income car owners.
The bill’s sponsors, however, argue that these insurance companies simply don’t want to pay more in claims. It is believed insurers will protect the best interests of their shareholders, instead of their customers. Childers used a study which found that insurance claims for 85% of bodily injuries reached only $7,200, while property damages were settled for $4,000 at the most. The problem with Childers’ cited figures is that personal injuries can cost well beyond $15,000 in the face of rising healthcare expenses.
Instead of personally wrestling with influential giants—mainly insurance companies—as they use any means and power at hand to fight the senate bill, you are wise to hire a personal injury lawyer who will see that once the bill is ratified and fully implemented, you are not reaching into your own pocket for damage or injury expenses.
Don't wait to contact an Arizona personal injury attorney for help today!
“Arizona motorists required to buy more liability insurance,” azdailysun.com
“Bill would raise minimum insurance required for Arizona drivers,” tucson.com