two people discussing insurance paperwork

California Auto Insurance Requirements You Should Know

What Coverage Do I Need?

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) requires that all motorists obtain auto insurance up to a certain amount and be able to show documentation that they have it if stopped by law enforcement or looking to renew their registration. Read on to learn more about what needs to be included in your policy.

What Type of Insurance is Required in California?

The minimum insurance required under California Insurance Code §11580.1b includes bodily injury and property damage liability coverage of:

  • $15,000 - injury or death to one person
  • $30,000 - injury or death to more than one person
  • $5,000 - property damages

These minimum requirements are designed to compensate the person injured or whose property is damaged, not the policyholder themselves. It's also important to note that the DMV does not accept comprehensive/collision insurance as an acceptable form of coverage on its own. This is because it does not meet the vehicle financial responsibility requirements.

What Happens if I Do Not Have Proof of Insurance?

Providing proof of insurance is a legal requirement, and non-compliance may result in your vehicle's registration being suspended. Vehicles without active registration or insurance are also prohibited from being parked or operated on public roadways.

Additional Policies to Consider

In addition to the minimum required coverage, California motorists may also want to consider add-ons to their policy. While these do come with additional costs, they provide extra protection for the policyholder, passengers, and anyone they may be involved in a collision with.

These other policies may include:

  • Medical Payments Insurance (MedPay) - covers medical costs resulting from an accident with a minimum of $1,000.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM) - covers medical expenses and property damage after a collision with an uninsured motorist. Insurance providers are required to offer this coverage in California.
  • Collision Coverage - covers property damages done to your car after a collision with another vehicle or object.
  • Comprehensive Coverage - covers the damages to your vehicle from something other than a collision, like fire, vandalism, theft, etc.

Knowing your insurance options and policy limits is one of the easiest ways to ensure you obtain the appropriate coverage for your driving habits and family size.

Contact Los Angeles Auto Accident Attorneys at LLA Lawyers

With over 16% of the California population not having insurance, knowing your minimum coverage requirements is crucial for being a safer driver overall. Don't wait until after a collision to decide how you will pay for damages.

If you've sustained an injury in a car accident and are looking for legal representation, call (323) 524-2400 to get in touch with a member of the Levitt, Leichenger & Aberle LLP team today.