What are the Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in California?

February 8, 2023

What are the Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in California? Post Image

In California, all registered drivers are required to have a minimum California Car insurance. You can be fined if you are caught driving without the minimum insurance requirements. Car insurance in California is very important. If you don’t have insurance and you cause an accident, you could be held personally liable for the damages to others. This could be hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Additionally, if you are injured in an accident without car insurance, there may be no way to recover compensation for your losses. Although, each state has their own minimum requirements. This article will only discuss California’s minimum car insurance requirements.

Minimum California Car Insurance Requirements

In California, all registered drivers are required to have auto insurance or some form of financial responsibility before hitting the road. The state’s minimum car insurance requirements include $15,000 in liability coverage for a single other driver’s injury, $30,000 in coverage per accident and $5,000 in coverage for property damage.

Is Car Insurance Required in California?

Although car insurance is not required in California, you must prove that you can be held responsible for the financial requirements if in an accident. Even if the car accident wasn’t your fault. If you choose not to adhere to the minimum California insurance requirements, your other options are a surety bond, a certificate of self-insurance from the DMV or a cash deposit.

Alternative Forms of Coverage and Responsibility

Car insurance is the easiest way to meet the financial requirement for responsibility. But, you also have the option to choose an alternative form of coverage. If you’re caught driving without the minimum car insurance requirements in California, you will likely have to pay fines and surrender your driver’s license.

There are three other acceptable forms of responsibility in California. These are separate from car insurance. However, not every alternative is available to all drivers.

Cash deposit

Rather than paying for car insurance, in California the DMV allows you to make a $35,000 cash deposit to them. If you are at fault in a car accident the DMV will draw funds from that account for the damages you are responsible for. Going forward, you have to make sure there is always $35,000 in that amount. As you can probably gather, carrying the minimum requirement for California Car Insurance is a far easier/safer way to ensure financial responsibility if you re in a car accident.

Certificate of self-insurance from the DMV

You can get a self-insurance certificate from the California DMV if you own more than 25 vehicles in your name. The certificate states that you can cover medical bills, car repairs and property damage expenses as a minimum-liability policy would. Before issuing the certificate, the department may require evidence that you can meet these financial demands.

Surety Bond

Additionally, as an alternative form of financial responsibility, you can purchase a $35,000 surety bond. Which guarantees you’ll cover medical bills, car repairs and other property damage expenses. These expenses will be your responsibility in the event you’re at fault in the car accident. If you can’t pay for these expenses, the surety company will step in — but it will seek payment from you later. You can contact the California Department of Insurance for a list of licensed surety companies in California that offer this type of bond.

What Type of Car Insurance Is Required in California?

Now that you are familiar with the minimum requirements for California Car Insurance, you might be asking what kind of car insurance is required in California?

California liability insurance

All drivers in California must carry some kind of liability coverage. Instead of being held personally responsible this liability insurance pays for injuries or damage you cause in an accident where you are at fault. Undeniably, obtaining minimum California Car insurance is the easier.

Bodily injury liability insurance

This type of coverage pays for the other party’s medical expenses if the accident is deemed your fault. In California, you’ll need bodily injury coverage of at least $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident.

Property damage liability insurance

This coverage pays to repair the other party’s vehicle, up to $5,000 per accident, if you’re at fault.

Why You Should Not Get the Minimum Insurance Required in California

California has a low amount for the minimum car insurance requirements. But, those minimum limits will often not cover the full medical expenses or damage to another vehicle. Specifically, if you only have the minimum insurance requirements, you will likely have to pay the remaining costs. Nevertheless, it’s a good choice to get higher insurance limits to protect your assets.

Get in Touch With a Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer

If you are in a car accident and don’t have the minimum California Car insurance requirements, contact a car accident lawyer today. B|B Law Group is a group of experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyers. We settle many car accident cases and can help you settle yours with the best results.

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