Arizona Tow Truck Insurance Rules and Regulations

Rules and Regulations – you just can’t get away from them, especially if you support your customers with Tow Truck services! 

The Arizona Department of Public Safety had a number of regulation changes as far back as 2008 – having been approved by the Governor’s Regulatory Review, and included in the Arizona Administrative Code, Title 13, Chapter 3. I doubt you are going to run to the library and search the statutes; this is just the kind of information I know most rig owners don’t count as casual, or even interesting, reading, but certain feel it warrants a summary view – just to keep you informed.

Much of the language addresses the inspections required, including “unannounced, in-service inspections of a tow truck at the roadside, at the company’s place of business, or any reasonable time and place to determine condition of the tow truck.”

Arizona Tow Truck Insurance

Arizona Tow Truck InsuranceI also want you to be correctly informed about Tow Truck Insurance – it obviously is a “must have” since the financial risks you incur in operating one can far exceed those of a personal vehicle. It is extremely important, then, that you have the right insurance to protect both yourself and your towing business from potential risks.

One important fact you should keep in mind  when considering commercial insurance is that not all towing companies are created the same!  What may be necessary for Dave’s Duo Drivers down the street may not be requirements for your particular level of service.  Fortunately, as an Arizona Independent Insurance Agent, I have access to the requirements and the coverages – allowing me to help you customize your policy to exactly fit your business’ needs.  I will review your needs, relative to the bodily injury and property damage requirements of Liability Insurance, and determine which collision, comprehensive, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is adequate.

Not only do you have to worry about your own asset, you assume responsibility for the vehicles you are towing, which opens the conversation to other types of insurance, such as On-Hook Towing and Garage Keepers Legal Liability. Fortunately, unlike Colorado and a number of other states, Arizona does not require you submit filings to certify your tow truck meets the state’s required insurance laws! The commercial insurance carrier is responsible for that submission; you can count on my knowledge, to discuss this issue should you have any concerns.

Another issue I find some new towing service operators are not fully apprised of…  the impact of towing repossessed vehicles. It is not uncommon to have a difficult time securing coverage, due to the extra risked related to what is often considered an unsavory event. As an Independent Insurance Agent, I have the privilege of having multiple carriers to shop from… finding the commercial policy that will work for you – saving you time and confusion of shopping it alone.

Jan Vitale

Independent Insurance Agent
Proudly serving her clients and her industry for 30+ years


Arizona Contractor’s Bond Rulings Changed


Arizona Contractors Bond Fotor01030130346Arizona Contractor’s Bond Rulings Changed by Recently Settled Lawsuit

A long time coming, and a lawsuit probably many contractors have been watching was recently settled by the Arizona Supreme Court – addressing just who held “priority” on a multi-million dollar Phoenix condo project. The battle kept contractors and banks on the alert – beginning 2008 – and stretching at the understanding of the merits of mechanics’ liens outlined in [Arizona Revised Statutes] § 33-992(A).” Lower courts held to support the contractor; The Arizona Supreme Court reversed those decisions, and in the process changed a ruling that will forever change how contractors choose to do business.

The future of Arizona Lien law now follows the guidelines of the following changes:

  1. “When equitable subrogation occurs, the superior lien and attendant obligation are not discharged but are instead assigned by operation of law to the one who paid the obligation.”
  2. “Because an equitably subrogated lien ‘attaches’ when the superior lien was recorded, § 33-992(A) does not require that an intervening mechanics’ lien be given priority.”
  3. “[N]othing in § 33-992(A) suggests that the legislature intended to preclude equitable subrogation in the mechanics’ lien context. … When a lien that is superior to a mechanics’ lien is assigned to another through equitable subrogation, the mechanics’ lien remains in the same position it occupied before subrogation.”
  4. “[P]ermitting equitable subrogation of a lien that is superior to a mechanics’ lien is consistent with the legislature’s treatment of junior lienholders’ interests in foreclosure actions.”
  5. “[A] prospective subrogee is required to discharge only the portion of an obligation that is secured by the property at issue.”

What does this mean to you, the contractor, holding a mechanic’s lien and guided by Arizona Contractor’s Bonds? I would say the biggest issue is you have to increase your “guard” against possible subrogation, and more diligently assess the owner or developer’s financial capacity before accepting a project. This outcome may heighten the reality that bonds and other alternatives may be a first line of action against potential loss.

Source: JD Supra Business Advisor

Jan Vitale
Arizona Independent Insurance Agent

Does Your Arizona Homeowner Policy Leave You Confused?

Does your Homeowners Policy Leave You Confused?A good question…

Does your Arizona Homeowner Policy read as though the company took all the bad things that can happen in the world and make an arbitrary decision about what is covered and what it not? Are you surprised that you are covered for the damages of fire, malicious mischief, lightening… and, oh, under “Additional Coverages” you have scoped out that even a volcano spewing lava into your home is included?

Are you then dismayed and disheartened when you review the section, “Losses NOT Insured,” which may point out that: “War, including any undeclared war, civil war, insurrection, rebellion, revolution, warlike act by a military force or military personnel … “

Correlated Risk

I am hoping to shed a little light on this anomaly… Insurers have to assess what events may be a “correlated risk.” This refers to the fact that whatever damage you may suffer in the case of a war is highly likely to include a lot of other homes in a wide area surrounding you are also going to be damaged at the same time. Can you imagine… these insurers could go for decades with no claims, and then suddenly be faced with more than they could ever pay out? Earthquakes and floods – all things which neither you nor the insurers have any control, but would devastate everyone involved.

Moral Hazard

I bet you wonder why insurance companies won’t cover something like bedbugs, which are certainly not on a scale of earthquake, flood, or war damage. What on earth could be their reason for not offering this coverage? Do you suppose it is possible they just want homeowners to be responsible about how they manage the contents of their homes – because that is possible? Actually, this type of coverage comes under the term “moral hazard,” which essentially holds you responsible for not being “less-than-careful” simply because you know your insurance company would coverage any damage. This probably explains why you are protected from falling objects– only if they first damage the roof or exterior wall of your home. You would, then, not be able to expect to be paid on a claim for a large object, carelessly left on a shelf above your television… rolling down and breaking your expensive entertainment unit.

The Pragmatic Approach

I know… policies are difficult to understand; however, if you really take a pragmatic look at some of the scenarios, you should be better able to determine the why of some of these confusing issues. The best advice I can provide is: a) Read your policy, even though it is not exciting, b) know exactly what coverage you do and do not have, and c) if you are still confused about something you think you really need to be protected from… give me a call!

Jan Vitale
Independent Insurance Agent
Proudly serving her clients and her industry for 30+ years

Car Insurance Requirements in Gilbert, AZ

If you are looking for auto insurance in Gilbert AZ, you will need to maintain the state minimums set by the Arizona Department of Transportation. You may elect to purchase additional coverage as well.

The state requirements for car insurance also apply to all other vehicles that may be on the roadways, including golf carts, motorcycles, and dirt bikes (mopeds).

All of the coverage detailed below (all required coverage in Arizona) is liability only. This means that the following coverage will only apply if you are the person who caused the accident, and if other people are hurt and/or other vehicles are damaged. Liability coverage will, at no time, cover your own personal medical damages or damages to your own vehicle.

Licensed drivers in Arizona are required to maintain $15,000 in bodily injury coverage. This applies to accidents in which only one person is injured. Drivers are further required to maintain a minimum of $30,000 in bodily injury coverage for the accidents in which two or more persons are injured.

The property damage coverage minimum is $10,000. This will apply to any situation in which you are at fault for damage to another person’s vehicle. Property damage coverage will also apply in cases where you are driving your vehicle and you run into a stationary object, a building, or some other type of structure or property that belongs to someone else.

While you are only required to get liability coverage to meet the Gilbert, AZ minimum auto insurance requirements, you may want to consider personal coverage as well. This will protect your own vehicle and will provide for you if you need to get medical care after an accident.

It’s easy to find the best auto insurance coverage for your budget by comparing insurance quotes with Lifetime Investments Insurance online in minutes. We offer quotes from multiple major insurance carriers, free of charge, via our live comparison tool.

Water Damage: Arizona Homeowner and Auto Coverage

Arizona Insurance - Storm DamageWater Damage: Arizona Homeowner and Auto Coverage is important in our state; especially with the increase in desert storms we seem to be experiencing…

I am finding it rather amazing, since the flooding we have had of late – the huge knowledge gap among Arizona residents regarding the various elements of flood insurance. Categorically, standard homeowners insurance is provided only under a separate policy backed by the Federal government and sold through certain allocated companies.

Storm Damage to Homes

Another distinction is noticed by the coverage for damage by water “flowing on the ground” versus other moisture intrusions, such as a leaky roof. The good news, however, is that if your roof was in good shape before the storm, your carrier will accept that the heavy winds pushed the moisture under the shingles and into your home – ultimately causing the leaks. The carrier will also approve claims should the roof be damaged by tree branches, and leaking ensues. The key: the condition your roof was in before the most recent storm damage.

Storm Damage to Vehicles

Damage to vehicles is covered under separate auto policies; comprehensive coverage often extending to water damage – even if the driver could have avoided water damage in certain circumstances – such as recklessly driving into a wash, where we see them on television in a rescue scene! I was recently made aware that an estimated 20% of Arizona motorists are driving around without sufficient comprehensive coverage – and just plain out of luck should there be any storm-related damage to their vehicles.

KNOW Your Insurance Coverage…

A lack of awareness of their policies prevents many insured from submitting claims for smaller, yet valuable items such as a laptop that might have received damage directly related to the storm – such as the leaking on the roof dropping down and shorting out the laptop. The type policy that needs to be in place is either a homeowners or renter’s policy. Carriers will have to confirm the damage was the direct result of a covered “peril.”   The amount of the claim – as related to the deductible – comes into play when any claim made by the homeowner is sufficient to cause them to absorb a major cost “out of pocket.” However, if the cost to repair or replace the damaged property is indeed negligible – the homeowner is wise to absorbing the loss – submitting claims for higher-value assets when damaged.   Multiple small claims made in the year could cause the carrier to send a “notice to renew” and at higher rates. Most property owners are not aware that they may be better off to utilize those “unreimbursed losses” as deductibles on their tax returns.

Arizona Rates – They are Better Than You Think!

A final word of wisdom: take photos and keep receipts whenever you experience storm (water) damage – and be prepared for the natural occurrence of premium increases after major storms or national disasters. If your rates should happen to increase, find comfort in the fact that Arizona ranks in the top 10 states with the lowest homeowners insurance rates – and residents pay roughly 30 percent less for coverage than the national average.

If you have questions about whether you should submit a storm damage claim and really want to weigh all the facts, please do not hesitate to contact me and have a discussion.

Jan Vitale
Independent Insurance Agent
Proudly serving her clients and her industry for 30+ years

Be the “informed” insured!