Automobile insurance is an important type of financial protection for all motor vehicle operators in Arizona, including motorcyclists. Insurance can help relieve the financial burden of an accident by contributing to the costs of medical bills and vehicle repairs. Furthermore, if you are legally required to carry insurance on your motorcycle, failing to do so can result in a fine and the suspension of your operator’s license.
Do You Legally Have to Carry Motorcycle Insurance in Arizona?
Yes. The law in Arizona requires all motor vehicles that operate on state roads to be protected by liability insurance. This includes motorcycles, as well as mopeds, motorized scooters and golf carts. Operating a motorcycle without the required amount of insurance is against the law. A motorcycle is defined in Arizona Revised Statute 28-101 as a motor vehicle with a seat or saddle for rider use that has no more than three wheels on the ground.
The required amount of vehicle insurance for a motorcycle in Arizona is a minimum of $25,000 per person in bodily injury liability insurance, $50,000 per accident in bodily injury insurance and $15,000 in property damage insurance. A motorcyclist must purchase these types and amounts of insurance from a company that is authorized to operate in Arizona.
Liability insurance will protect a motorcyclist from having to pay out of pocket for someone else’s health care costs and vehicle repairs after an at-fault vehicle accident. Rather than the motorcyclist being on the hook for the costs of the crash personally, his or her insurance company will cover the costs, up to the policy’s limits.
If the motorcyclist wants coverage for his or her own damages after an accident, however, additional insurance is necessary. First-party benefits come from optional types of insurance, not liability insurance. Examples include comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, medical payment insurance, and uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance.
What Are the Penalties for Riding a Motorcycle Without Insurance in Arizona?
Operating a motorcycle without insurance is prohibited by law in Arizona. If you are caught riding a motorcycle without at least the minimum required amounts of insurance, you could face a fine of $500 for a first offense and $750 for a second offense. You could also have your motorcycle registration and license plate suspended for three to six months. If you are caught without insurance three or more times within three years, the penalties increase to at least $1,000 in fines and one year of registration/plate suspension.
State law also requires motorists to carry proof of insurance on their person. If you are pulled over by a police officer, you must show your license, registration and proof of insurance. If you have insurance but do not have proof of coverage, your motorcycling privileges may be suspended until you can appear in court with proof of insurance. You may also have to pay a fine for failing to have this proof during a traffic stop.
Who Pays for a Motorcycle Accident in Arizona?
If you get injured in a motorcycle accident, it is important to understand who is responsible for paying for your losses. After a motorcycle accident, both drivers involved in the collision will seek financial compensation from the automobile insurance provider of the at-fault party. This is how the insurance rule works in fault states like Arizona.
Arizona’s fault-based or tort-based insurance law states that the person or party at fault for causing the crash is responsible for paying for related losses, including a victim’s past and future medical bills, property repairs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If the motorcyclist is at fault for the crash, his or her insurance will pay for the other party’s damages. If the other driver is to blame, the motorcyclist will receive coverage for these losses through the driver’s insurance. Without the proper insurance, the at-fault party must pay out of pocket.