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Arizona Auto Insurance Laws and Transferring Policies

By Breyer Law Offices on November 11, 2008

Moving to Arizona? Be care when purchasing auto insurance or transferring your policy.

As personal injury attorneys, we deal with insurance coverage disputes and issues almost every day. It seems we have at least one call each week from a prospective client that thought they had “full coverage” but found out – after they were hurt, after it was too late – that they did not have a certain type of insurance to protect themselves. For example, in some states underinsured motorist coverage applies to both underinsured AND uninsured motorists. In Arizona, however, these two coverages must be purchased separately.

We have seen occasions where someone moved to Arizona and asked their insurance agent to transfer their policy. The agent, not knowing any better, did not purchased the underinsured motorist coverage and thus the injured person basically lost that protection because each state handles insurance policies and coverage differently.

When an insurance agent fails to provide the proper insurance or makes a mistake like this, is that malpractice? When an insurance company denies coverage that an insured thought they had purchased, is that bad faith? Well, it depends on the facts of that situation, but it is best to avoid the question by making sure that the purchase of Arizona car insurance includes uninsured and underinsured coverage.

Also, when there is confusion, it is best to immediately consult with an Arizona personal injury lawyer that handles disputes with insurance companies. For instance, Arizona law requires insurance companies to have someone sign a “rejection form” when they chose not to purchase certain insurance coverage. We have had multiple cases over the years where the insurance company was not able to comply with Arizona law and had failed to obtain a rejection signed by our client. In these cases, we have been successful in getting our client the compensation the client thought they had purchased from the outset of the case.

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