What you need to know about California Car Insurance
California is known for its strict car insurance laws, which aim to protect drivers and passengers on the road. Each state has minimum car insurance requirements. Those minimum requirements can greatly effect any claims that are filed as a result of a car accident. In this blog, we will take a closer look at the laws and regulations that govern car insurance in the Golden State, as well as some tips for your California Car Insurance needs.
Is California an “At Fault” State?
First and foremost, it’s important to understand that California is an at-fault state. This means that the driver who is responsible for a car accident is liable for paying the costs associated with the accident. These costs could be things like medical bills from physical injuries. Additionally, property damage sustained by the victims of the accident. The victim in a car accident can file an insurance claim to the other driver’s insurance, or sometimes their own.
California Car Insurance Minimums
Each state will have their own laws regarding car insurance minimums. If you live outside of California, it is important to note that your car insurance minimums will likely be different.
Here are the minimum liability insurance requirements (per California Insurance Code§11580.1b):
- $15,000 for injury/death to one person.
- $30,000 for injury/death to more than one person.
- $5,000 for damage to property.
Liability insurance compensates a person other than the policy holder for personal injury or property damage.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Another aspect of California Car Insurance laws is that all drivers have the option to carry uninsured motorist coverage. This coverage will pay for your damages and injuries in the event that you are involved in an accident with a driver who does not have insurance. The minimum limit for uninsured motorist coverage is $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident.
Optional California Car Insurance Coverages
In addition to the minimum California Car Insurance laws covered above, there are optional coverages that drivers can purchase in California. These include the following.
California Collision Coverage
Collision coverage in California will pay for damage to your own vehicle in the event of a car accident.
California Comprehensive Coverage
Comprehensive coverage in California will cover damages caused by non-collision events such as theft, vandalism or natural disasters.
What Happens If My Car Insurance Doesn’t Fully Cover The Claim?
It is important to understand that if you are in a car accident and injure another person, these California Car insurance minimums may not be enough to cover the full extent of damages in a serious accident. Because of this, it is highly recommended that you do not purchase only the minimum insurance requirements. If your insurance minimums do not cover the cost of injuries and damages, the other party may be able to sue for the costs that insurance does not cover.
The Best Car Insurance in California
When it comes to finding the best car insurance in California, it’s important to shop around and compare quotes from different insurance companies. Be sure to consider not only the price of the California Car Insurance coverage, but also the reputation and financial stability of the company.
Discounts on Your California Car Insurance
There are several ways that you may be able to lower your insurance premiums in California. Not all insurance companies will offer discounts. But, be sure to check with to see if any of the following programs will help lower your rate.
Defensive Driving Course
By taking a defensive driving course you can likely save some money on your insurance premiums. Usually, these courses are online and relatively easy to complete.
If you have several drivers in your family on the same insurance plan, you may be able to receive a multi-driver discount on your insurance premiums.
Maintain Good Credit History
If you can prove that you have a good credit history, and pay your bills onetime, some companies will consider you lower risk for your premiums and offer a small discount.
Maintain Good Driving History
This may be an obvious one. Good driving history means less risk for your insurance company. There are several companies that will “reward” you for good driving history by keeping your rates at a minimum.
What Are the Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in California?
The California Department of Motor Vehicles will suspend the registration of any vehicle for which required proof of insurance hasn’t been received, and that vehicle can’t be driven or even parked on public roads until proof of insurance is received.
What Are My Options After a Car Accident in California?
If you have been in a car accident in California you may be wondering what your next steps are. If you’ve suffered an injury as a driver, passenger, or pedestrian you have options. You are entailed to compensation for your damages, including medical bills, lost income, property damage, and emotional distress.
Submit a Claim On Your Own Insurance Policy
Depending on which insurance coverage you decided to go with, you may be able to file a claim against your own insurance policy.
File a Claim On the “At-Fault” Insurance Policy
If you have been in an accident and can prove “fault” against another driver, you will be able to file a claim against their insurance.
Hire a Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been involved in a car accident and are injured, it is highly recommended you hire a car accident lawyer. Most car accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, so you typically won’t have any upfront costs.
Contact a Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you have been involved in a Los Angeles car accident don’t hesitate to reach out to a highly rated Los Angeles car accident attorney. B|B Law Group is a group of experienced Los Angeles Car Accident Attorneys that can help ensure your legal rights and get you the compensation you deserve.
At B|B Law Group, our goal is simple: preserve and protect the legal rights of the people of Southern California. Our award winning team of attorneys are experienced in the fields of personal injury, employment and habitability law, and it is our mission to provide our clients with the best legal representation.
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