Auto Insurance for High-Risk Drivers in Arizona

Drivers with a history of tickets face more expensive car insurance rates. Learn how to save and compare rates today.

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If you've been deemed at-fault after a car crash, filed an insurance claim, or received a ticket for a serious moving violation, you could be a candidate for high-risk auto insurance. Car insurance for drivers with poor records is typically costly, but the degree of extra cost you receive depends on your insurance company, your driving record, and the state in which you reside.

High-risk car insurance in Arizona — table of contents:
  1. At-fault accidents
  2. Speeding
  3. Distracted driving
  4. Racing
  5. Reckless driving
  6. View Arizona driving laws

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Auto insurance after an at-fault collision in Arizona


If you are deemed accountable for causing an auto collision, you should expect your auto insurance rates to skyrocket. In Arizona, the average insurance premium following an at-fault crash is $1,936, versus the national average of $2,012. A major incident such as an at-fault crash will stay on your insurance record for as long as three years.

LocationWith At-Fault Accident — Annual RateNo At-Fault Accident — Annual RateYearly Rate Increase
U.S. Average$2,012$1,397$615

The best auto insurance company after an at-fault accident in Arizona is USAA, offering a typical premium increase after an accident of $421. This equates to a total rate 22 percent less expensive than the average of all major companies. If you’ve caused an accident in Arizona, steer clear of Allstate and American Family, which sit at the pricier end of the spectrum.

CompanyAnnual Premium After an At-Fault Crash
State Farm$1,767
American Family$2,350


Does getting a speeding ticket in Arizona result in higher car insurance rates?


One of the common violations earning drivers the "high-risk" tag is speeding. In Arizona, you can expect to see your rates rise by $440 per year after a speeding ticket, up to an average per-year rate of $1,688.

LocationWith a Speeding Ticket — Annual RateNo Speeding Ticket — Annual RateAnnual Rate Increase
National Average$1,727$1,397$330

The best way to get affordable car insurance after a speeding citation is to shop around and compare different quote options. The most affordable auto insurance after a speeding ticket in Arizona is available via USAA. The company’s average premium after a citation is $380 less than the state average. If you have been caught speeding in Arizona, Progressive is worth avoiding.

InsurerAnnual Rate With a Speeding Violation
American Family$1,507
State Farm$1,600


How does a distracted driving ticket impact car insurance costs in Arizona?


If you are issued a distracted driving citation, your car insurance won't be cheap. In Arizona, car insurance prices typically increase by $309 each year. That amounts to a 25% increase from the average yearly rate in Arizona and 79% more than the national average cost of auto insurance after a distracted driving offense.

LocationWith Distracted Driving — Annual RateNo Distracted Driving — Annual RateAnnual Rate Increase
National Average$1,570$1,397$173

The best way to get cheap auto insurance after a distracted driving ticket is to compare different carriers. The cheapest auto insurance company following being ticketed for distracted driving in Arizona is GEICO, with a typical rate of just $905 per year, 42% lower than the average distracted driving insurance premium from all insurers.

Insurance CompanyAnnual Rate After Distracted Driving
State Farm$1,338
American Family$1,507


How does a citation for racing impact Arizona car insurance rates?


Racing is considered an exceptionally serious offense. Auto insurance carriers typically penalize racing convictions severely — in fact, Arizona car insurance rates increase by $1,827 per year following a citation for racing. That's a 147% increase versus the typical annual car insurance rate in Arizona.

LocationWith a Racing Citation — Annual RateNo Racing Citation — Annual RateYearly Rate Increase
National Average$2,397$1,397$1,000

If you've been ticketed for racing, do your due diligence and find the cheapest rates. In Arizona, start with Allstate, offering rates 14 percent cheaper than the state average for drivers found guilty of racing.

Insurance CompanyAnnual Rate With Racing
American Family$2,319


Does a citation for reckless driving in Arizona raise car insurance rates?


As one of the most serious driving violations, reckless driving is a certain way to end up paying more for auto insurance. Auto insurance companies raise prices by an average of $928 each year after reckless driving. That's 74% more than than the average auto insurance rate in Arizona, and 4% less than the national average price increase for a reckless driving ticket.

LocationWith Reckless Driving — Annual RateNo Reckless Driving — Annual RateYearly Rate Increase
National Average$2,395$1,397$998

If you're looking for car insurance after a reckless driving ticket, compare insurance companies to get the most affordable rate. In Arizona, the most affordable carrier after reckless driving is USAA.

Insurance CompanyAnnual Rate With Reckless Driving
State Farm$2,103
American Family$2,319

If you're looking for car insurance as a high-risk driver, the best thing to do is to shop around and find an affordable policy.

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Arizona driving laws

Traffic laws in Arizona are meant to prevent dangerous situations that result from unsafe driving. Arizona traffic laws stipulate when you are speeding, driving recklessly or distracted, racing, or at-fault for an accident. Fines and penalties vary depending on the offense and its severity in an attempt to incentivize against breaking traffic laws in Arizona.


Speeding in Arizona

Arizona requires drivers to maintain “reasonable and prudent” speeds for the conditions in which they’re driving. This stipulation applies to both minimum and maximum speed limits.


When are you speeding In Arizona?

You are speeding in Arizona if your speed exceeds:

  • 15 miles per hour when approaching a school crossing
  • 25 miles per hour in a business or residential district
  • 65 miles per hour in other locations
  • Any posted speed limit

Local authorities may alter the speed limit within their jurisdictions, so it’s important to pay attention to and follow any posted speed limit signs.

Excessive speeding in Arizona is a class three misdemeanor and happens if you exceed:

  • 35 miles per hour when approaching a school crossing
  • A posted speed limit in a business or residential district by 20 miles per hour, or exceed 45 miles per hour if no sign is posted
  • 85 miles per hour in other locations


Penalties for speeding in Arizona

The exact fine incurred for speeding in Arizona varies on the county in which you’re stopped and the rate of speed you are driving. In general, a speeding ticket will cost around $250.

Excessive speeding is a criminal offense and can result in a fine of $500 and up to 30 days in jail.

Speeding in Arizona will result in the accumulation of three points onto your license. Receiving eight points within a year will subject you to a license suspension of up to one year.

In lieu of paying a fine and receiving points against your license, you may be able to attend traffic school at your own cost.


Reckless Driving in Arizona


What is reckless driving in Arizona?

Reckless driving in Arizona is not strictly defined. Drivers may be considered to be driving recklessly if they are driving with little concern for the safety of others.

Aggressive driving in Arizona is a more severe offense. Aggressive driving occurs when a driver commits two or more of the following violations:

  • Failure to obey traffic control devices
  • Overtaking or passing another vehicle on the right by leaving the main traveled portion of the road or driving off the pavement
  • Unsafe lane changing
  • Following a vehicle too closely
  • Failing to yield the right-of-way


Penalties for reckless driving in Arizona

Reckless driving in Arizona is a class two misdemeanor and results in:

  • Possible license suspension for up to 90 days
  • Mandatory attendance in traffic survival school

A second reckless driving charge within 24 months is a class one misdemeanor and results in:

  • Up to $700 in fines and surcharges
  • 20 days to four months in jail
  • License suspension

Violators who are sentenced to jail but attend school or work may be released from jail to attend school or work for up to 12 hours a day and not more than five days per week, serving the remaining time in jail.

Aggressive driving in Arizona is a class one misdemeanor. A first offense leads to:

  • Fines
  • Potential jail time
  • License suspension for 30 days
  • Mandatory attendance in traffic survival school

A second aggressive driving charge within 24 months is also a class one misdemeanor and results in stricter penalties and fines. Additionally, your driver’s license may be revoked for one year.

Both reckless and aggressive driving charges result in the addition of eight points to your driver’s license.


Distracted driving in Arizona

There is no statewide distracted driving law in Arizona. Instead, legislation has been left to individual municipalities — at least for the time being. When traveling through Arizona, pay attention to the distracted driving laws of the areas through which you will be driving.

In contrast, however, Arizona does not permit teenage drivers to use a wireless device, except in an emergency. Drivers with a class G graduated license may not use wireless devices while driving for a period of six months of receiving their license, except for GPS or emergency use.

Read here for more on texting and driving statistics.


Racing in Arizona

Racing in Arizona is defined as the use of one or more vehicles in an attempt to outgain or outdistance another vehicle or prevent another vehicle from passing.


What is racing in Arizona?

Drag racing in Arizona is defined as two or more vehicles starting from a point side-by-side and accelerating in a competitive attempt at outdistancing one another. It may also mean comparing the relative speeds or acceleration of vehicles over a selected course within a certain distance or time limit.

While racing is illegal in Arizona, organized and properly-controlled races may be authorized with prior notice and approval.


Penalties for racing in Arizona

A first-time conviction for racing in Arizona is a class one misdemeanor and subjects offenders to:

  • $250 to $2,500 in fines
  • Up to six months in jail
  • License suspension for up to 90 days
  • Possible requirement to perform community restitution

A second or subsequent offense for racing in Arizona within 24 months of a previous conviction is a class six felony. Violators will not be eligible for probation, pardon, a suspended sentence, or release until serving at least 10 days in jail and up to one year in jail or two years in prison.

In addition to jail time, a second or subsequent offense will result in:

  • $500 in fines
  • Possible community restitution requirement
  • Revocation of driving privileges


At-fault accidents in Arizona

What is an at-fault accident in Arizona?

Arizona is a fault-based state, so the responsibility for an accident may be assigned to a specific driver. You may be responsible for an at-fault accident in Arizona if you:

  • Failed to exercise a duty of reasonable care (such as breaking traffic laws)
  • Were negligent in your duty to exercise reasonable care
  • Injured someone else or damaged another’s property

In some cases, fault is assigned to multiple parties based on the degree to which they were liable for causing an accident.

Additionally, Arizona is also considered a state of comparative negligence. If your own actions were negligent and contributed to your own injuries or damage sustained to your property, any compensation you receive may be reduced by the percentage of your own fault.

Arizona requires drivers of all motor vehicles, including golf carts, motorcycles, and mopeds, to be covered by liability insurance. The minimum level of liability insurance in Arizona is:

  • $25,000 bodily injury liability for one person
  • $50,000 bodily injury liability for two or more people
  • $15,000 property damage liability

Drivers are not required to report at-fault accidents in Arizona. Instead, this duty falls to law enforcement. Reports will be filed when an accident results in:

  • Death or injury
  • Property damage exceeding $1, 000
  • Issuance of a citation


Penalties for at-fault accidents in Arizona

Driving without insurance and being found at-fault for an accident in Arizona results in:

  • A $500 fine
  • License and plate suspension for three months for a first offense.

A second offense results in:

  • A $750 fine
  • License and plate suspension for six months

A third offense leads to:

  • A $1,000 fine
  • License and plate suspension for one year

In all cases, you will also be required to have an SR-22 certification for two years.


Sources and references:

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Ava Lynch
Ava Lynch LinkedIn

Ava worked in the insurance industry as an agent for four-plus years. Currently providing insights and analysis as one of The Zebra’s resident property insurance experts, Ava has been featured in publications such as U.S. News & World Report, GasBuddy, and Yahoo! Finance.