Keys Left in Car? Arizona Bill Would Allow Insurance Hit

March 20, 2006

The Arizona Senate wants to provide a financial incentive for motorists to think twice before leaving keys in an unattended vehicle.

The Senate has approved, 16-13, a bill (SB1059) sponsored by Republican Sen. Linda Gray of Glendale to allow automobile insurance companies to charge a triple deductible for claims for automobiles stolen when the keys were left inside.

One out of five vehicles stolen in Arizona had keys left in them, Gray said.

Sen. Barbara Leff, R-Paradise Valley, voted against the bill. “The whole purpose of insurance is to cover those human mistakes and human frailties.”

The bill originally would have allowed insurers to outright exclude coverage for auto-theft claims if the policy holder left the keys in a vehicle, but Gray had the bill amended to instead allow triple deductibles under such circumstances.

The bill includes exceptions in cases where the vehicle is left in a locked garage, in a valet parking area, an emissions testing facility, car wash facility or repair shop.

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