California law requires vehicle owners to maintain auto liability insurance in character they cause an accident. The insurance covers the other party ’ s medical bills, lost wages, car haunt bills and other damages, up to the limits of the at-fault driver ’ second policy. In California, the minimum liability coverage required by police is 15/30/5. [1] This means the insurance will pay up to :

  • $15,000 for the death or bodily injury of any one person;
  • $30,000 total for the death or bodily liability of all other people hurt the accident; and
  • $5,000 for property damage (including the other vehicle and stationary objects such as fences).

Most California car indemnity companies offer indebtedness indemnity with limits greater than 15/30/5. such extra coverage is optional. The higher the limits, the more expensive the policy and the greater the protection. Insurers besides sell extra optional coverage that can protect the driver and the driver ’ second passengers american samoa well as the driver ’ s own vehicle. such policies include :

To help you better understand California car insurance, our California personal injury lawyers discuss, below : young man and woman talking after they have been in a front end collision

1. How much auto liability insurance does California law require?

California ’ s fiscal responsibility laws require drivers to maintain at least 15/30/5 liability coverage. This indebtedness policy is mandatary for all owners and drivers of drive vehicles in California. Liability coverage causes damages to people in other vehicles or on the street when the policyholder causes an accident. 15/30/5 indebtedness coverage will pay up to $ 15,000 of bodily liability damages incurred by pedestrians or people in another vehicle, with a maximal of $ 30,000 account payable in full to all people in any individual accident. This is sometimes besides called “ 15/30 ” indemnity. The “ 5 ” in 15/30/5 represents property price account payable for damages to the non-fault driver or innocent third-parties. Most California insurers offer higher indebtedness limits than 15/30/5. In general, we recommend purchasing a a lot indebtedness policy as you can afford, particularly if you are a homeowner or have other significant assets.

2. What does my auto liability policy cover?

When a driver is at fault for an accident, the driver ’ s car liability policy pays the medical bills, property damages and other losses suffered by the innocent party or parties. It does not cover losses sustained by the person who caused the accident or anyone in that person ’ s vehicle. car insurance besides covers accidents where the other party is not in a motive vehicle, such as

3. What are the consequences of driving without insurance in California?

Driving without at least 15/30/5 liability insurance is against the law in California. A driver who is unable to show proof of indemnity will not be able to register his or fomite with the DMV. The California DMV may suspend the driver ’ randomness license. [2] Drivers besides face the possibility that a court will assess a ticket or even impound their vehicle. [3]

4. How much car insurance do I need?

Although California jurisprudence only requires 15/30/5 insurance, it may not be enough to pay for the other party ’ second losses. It is specially likely to be inadequate if the accident is dangerous or there are many people in the early vehicle. An at-fault driver is personally liable for damages that exceed the limits of his/her coverage. So it normally makes sense for a driver to purchase american samoa much liability policy as he or she can afford, particularly if the driver has significant assets ( such as a home ).

5. What if I was only partially at fault?

Under California ’ s “ shared defect ” police, besides known as its “ relative negligence ” or “ comparative defect ” police, a driver who is partially apt for an accident may still be able to recover damages. A commodity insurance company will fight for its policyholder, so that its driver will be assigned the lowest percentage of defect. The other driver will be responsible for the share of damages attributed to him or her. If the early driver has indebtedness insurance, his/her share of damages will be paid out of that policy, to a maximum of the policy ’ s limits. man holding his head which is wrapped in a bloody bandage

6. What if I am hurt in an accident that was my fault?

The best way to be protected for an at-fault accident is to have good health insurance. A driver who does not have health indemnity ( or whose deductibles and co-pays are very high ) can purchase California Med Pay Insurance and/or California uninsured / under-insured motorist coverage. We discuss both, below.

6.1. Med Pay coverage

“ Med Pay ” is short for medical requital coverage. It is a human body of optional “ no-fault ” policy that can be added to an car policy in California. Med Pay covers medical bills and funeral expenses ( up to policy limits ) for the policyholder and his or her passengers. It pays regardless of who was at demerit for an accident. The policyholder and his / her family can besides claim payments under a Med pay policy if they are :

  • Hit by a vehicle while they are a pedestrian,
  • Injured while a passenger in someone else’s car, or
  • Injured while taking public transportation.

master of education Pay does not cover damage to any vehicle or other property. In California, Med Pay is normally available with a terminus ad quem of $ 1,000, $ 2,000, $ 5,000, $ 10,000 or $ 25,000. Some large insurers ( such as State Farm ) may offer Med Pay in a higher come. Med Pay premiums are relatively low. It besides covers treatments that are not covered by all health indemnity ( such as acupuncture and chiropractic ).

however, people with good health policy may not need or wish to incur the expense of Med Pay.

6.2. Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UMC) /Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)

Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage ( known jointly as UMC / UIM ) pays for injuries to the policyholder and his or her passengers due to accidents caused by other drivers. UMC and UIM apply when the at-fault driver has no liability indemnity, or has coverage with limits excessively low to pay all the injured person ( south ) ’ bills. UMC/UIM pays for medical bills, funeral expenses and similar coverage for injuries to people. It does not pay for price to the driver ’ randomness vehicle or any other place. car insurers in California must offer their policyholders UMC / UIM coverage with at least the same limits as their indebtedness coverage or 30/60 bodily injury liability, whichever is less. [4] indeed a driver who has purchased the minimum 15/30/5 indemnity must be offered at least 15/30/5 uninsured / underinsured motorist coverage. A driver with 50/100/25 coverage must be offered UMC/UIM coverage that includes at least 30/60 coverage for uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury ( UMBI ) but may include more. Drivers are not required to purchase UMC/UIM coverage in California. They may decline it by signing a release confirming they were offered it but chose not to purchase it. If they elect the coverage, they will be charged an extra premium.

7. Collision and comprehensive coverage

collision and comprehensive policy are normally offered together in California. collision insurance pays for damage to your vehicle caused by your car colliding with something else while it is moving – for case, another vehicle, a fence, a parking divider or even a person. comprehensive indemnity pays for damage to your vehicle caused by something other than a collision that is outside of the vehicle owner ’ s command. Examples include :

  • Theft,
  • Vandalism,
  • Fire,
  • Hail,
  • Windstorm,
  • Flood, and
  • Falling objects, such as rocks.

The cost and limits of collision and comprehensive coverage are based on the value of the vehicle. accordingly, it may not be worth the premium to purchase this coverage for low measure, used vehicles. It is normally worth the expense for newer or high-value vehicles. additionally, in order to finance a car loanword or rent, California lenders normally require collision and comprehensive coverage.

8. Miscellaneous California car insurance (endorsements and riders)

many California car insurers offer extra optional cover for valuable equipment or excess services their policyholders might need. This coverage comes in the shape of “ addition ” policy known as an “ second ” or “ rider. ” Examples of California car endorsements include :

  • Coverage for theft of or damage to expensive equipment such as stereos, navigation systems or custom wheels;
  • Towing and road service;
  • Reimbursement of a rental car if your car needs to be in the shop after a covered accident;
  • Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP) insurance to cover the cost of paying off an auto loan or lease if your car is totaled and its market value is less than the balance owed; and/or
  • GAP insurance for Uber and Lyft drivers involved in ride-sharing accidents in California.

9. Personal umbrella policies

A policyholder who desires more cable car indemnity than the maximal restrict offered by his or her insurance company can purchase a personal umbrella policy. An umbrella policy pays overages on all policies of policy held by the policyholder with the like party. For case – a driver may own more than one vehicle and may besides have a homeowner ’ s or tenant ’ second insurance policy. If all these policies are at the maximum terminus ad quem, the umbrella offers “ overage ” coverage. If a claim under any maxed out policy exceeds the policy limits, the umbrella policy will pay the extra damages, improving to policy limits. To take a search at how this study let ’ s simulate that Paul has 100/200/25 car liability indemnity, the utmost offered by his insurance company. ( He besides has homeowner ’ south indemnity at the maximum come offered by his insurance company ).

Example 1: ( No umbrella policy ) :

Paul causes an accident in which a passenger in the other car sustains a catastrophic wound. The passenger ’ mho damages total approximately $ 750,000 .

Since Paul ’ randomness indebtedness policy merely covers up to $ 100,000 of injuries, Paul is personally creditworthy for the other $ 650,000. If he doesn ’ t have enough cash, he might lose is home plate in a wedge sale of assets .

Example 2 ( with umbrella policy ) :

In this exercise Paul has a personal umbrella policy which provides an extra $ 1,000,000 of coverage. The insurance company hush pays $ 100,000 under his Paul ’ s California indebtedness policy .

But now rather of looking to Paul ’ s assets for the extra $ 650,000, it is paid under Paul ’ s umbrella policy .

Paul ’ s umbrella policy would besides apply if anyone suffered serious damages at Paul ’ randomness theater as the consequence of Paul ’ south negligence, for example in a California “ slip-and-fall ” accident.

Car accident in California? Call us for help…

female receptionist If you or person you know needs help negotiating with an car insurance company we invite you to contact our California car accident lawyers for a free consultation. Call us to discuss whether you are entitled to compensatory damages, including damages for pain and suffering. We besides have Las Vegas and Reno offices to serve your needs if you have been in a car accident in Nevada.

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