How Does California Car Insurance Work?

Car Insurance Lawyer In Los Angeles / “How Does California Car Insurance Work?” / Auto Insurance Law Blog

Call a lawyer todayTo legally drive on the road in California, having car insurance is a must, but many often confuse themselves with so many different insurances available that they don’t even know which one to get.

And what are some of the requirements of getting car insurance? If you get into a car crash, whose insurer is responsible to pay compensation?

Quick Attorney Reference:

Here at Ehline Law, the attorneys at our personal injury law firm have put together relevant information regarding car insurance to help you get rid of your confusion. In stark and high contrast to our competitors, we have a do-or-die mentality to help get injured vehicle owners back on their feet even with minimal coverage limits. For further information, car accident victims and their family members can contact us and get in touch with our property damage and bodily injury attorneys.

California Is a Fault State

Unlike many other states, where both party’s auto insurance companies compensate for the loss, California is a different story, as it is a fault state.

A fault state is where the at-fault driver and his or her insurance company are liable for any damages to the other driver.

What If You’re Partially at Fault?

This is where things get a bit interesting. Although California is a fault state, it is also a comparative negligence state, which means that one can partially recover damages even while being at fault partially. The law dictates that the percentage of negligence or fault determines the compensation.

An insurance company will fight for its policyholder and will seek the lowest percentage of fault but still have to pay out according to the percentage of fault up the maximum financial responsibility under their auto insurance coverage.

Minimum Liability Coverage from Auto Insurance Companies in California

You need to carry liability insurance in California to drive a vehicle and that is about it. You also need to meet the minimum policy requirements for different types of accidents under your auto insurance.

According to California law, the minimum California car insurance policy requirements are as follows:

  • Property damage – $5,000
  • Injury or death (1 person) – $15,000
  • Injury or death (more than 1 person) – $30,000

The insurer is responsible for covering the lost wages, medical bills, and costs of repair for vehicles when a car accident occurs. This is the type of liability car insurance coverage you will find with many insurance companies in the state for basic collision coverage on behalf of a car crash victim.

There are auto insurance companies that offer greater auto liability insurance than the $5,000, $15,000, and $30,000, minimum insurance policy requirements. However, liability insurance coverage can push premiums up, the higher the coverage, the more you must pay to the insurance company. So that pretty much sums up California’s car insurance laws.

Other Types of Liability Insurance Coverages

A typical basic liability insurance coverage will cover the other party and their vehicle up to policy limits.

However, there are insurance policies where you can cover the driver, the passenger, and even your own vehicle in the case of an auto accident.

There are other different types of auto insurance coverages including additional property damage liability coverage and even an umbrella policy.

Individuals can opt for comprehensive insurance for property damage or get uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage for any injuries. But as noted, you must carry proof of minimum insurance to drive a motor vehicle in California in case you cause an accident.

My Auto Insurance Company Coverage?

There is general confusion on what auto insurance covers. Since California is a fault state, the responsible party and their insurance coverage must give liability coverage to the innocent party in the form of compensations.

after a car accident, auto insurance will typically cover medical bills, property damage, or any other innocent party losses including car passengers. Responsible parties for the accident don’t receive any auto insurance company compensation.

Consequences of Driving Without Insurance

Since it is illegal to drive motor vehicles in California without insurance, depending on the situation the consequences may be severe.

An individual can not register their vehicle at the California DMV without auto insurance. Without holding the right insurance, the California DMV has the right to cancel your vehicle registration, which in most cases, happens.

If you’re caught driving without insurance in California, then you run the risk of losing your vehicle. Authorities will immediately impound your vehicle and also strip you of your license. Such incidents do affect one’s record and can also push premiums up if you’re not careful.

How Can I Protect Myself from Accidents?

If you don’t have any health insurance, it is best to get either of the two:

  • Med Pay
  • Underinsured motorist coverage

Med Pay Coverage

You can add Med Pay coverage to your auto insurance policy to further protect yourself in the case of car accidents. Med Pay coverage is a great insurance plan that pays drivers and the passenger’s medical bills or funeral costs regardless of who was at fault.

If you have Med Pay coverage, you can claim for damages in the following situations:

  • You are a pedestrian and get hit by a vehicle
  • If you’re a passenger in someone else’s vehicle and get injured
  • If you’re riding public transportation and get injured

You can easily get Med Pay coverages from $1,000 to $25,000 but large insurance companies offer even larger coverages for this type of plan.

The best thing about Med Pay plans is that many treatments that are not available in health insurance are available to the policyholders of Med Pay plans.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

This type of insurance policy covers damages to you and the passenger during a car accident due to another party’s negligence and is the type of insurance you want if you’re ever in an accident with an at-fault party that has a very low policy limit.

Usually, auto insurers incorporate this type of coverage in their insurance plans, however, make sure to ask before getting an insurance plan. If you don’t want this type of coverage, you can easily opt-out of it by signing a waiver which states that you had a choice to get uninsured motorist coverage but you chose not to get it.

Contact a Lawyer If You’ve Had an Accident

There are different laws and rules applicable during a car accident and it can get hectic trying to understand different situations.

For detailed information on car accident rules in California or if you’re looking to get compensation for your loss, contact us at (213) 596-9642.

Our expert attorneys will help you make a claim and protect your rights while getting you the compensation that you truly deserve.

Ehline Law Firm - Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC
Attorney at Law
Michael P. Ehline Esq,
Downtown Los Angeles Corporate Offices

Downtown Los Angeles Office
633 West 5th Street #2890
Los Angeles, CA 90071

Ehline Law Firm - Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC
Attorney at Law

Michael P. Ehline Esq,

Other Los Angeles County Meeting Places
Long Beach Office

5001 Airport Plaza Dr Ste 210
Long Beach, CA 90815
(562) 731-0668

West Hollywood Office

8752 Holloway Drive Ste 304
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(424) 666-3944

Santa Monica Office

201 Wilshire Blvd. Fl 2
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310) 237-6218

Torrance/Hermosa Beach Office

3961 CA-1
Torrance, CA 90505
(424) 999-7246

Marina Del Rey Office

4640 Admiralty Way Ste 500
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
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Beverly Hills Office

509 S Beverly Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
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Glendale Office

655 N Central Avenue
Glendale, CA 91203
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Inland Empire Meeting Places

Rancho Cucamonga Office

8333 Foothill Blvd #200
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
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Riverside Office

11801 Pierce St, Ste 200
Riverside, CA 92505
(951) 777-2877

San Bernardino Office

198 North Arrowhead Ave. #20
San Bernardino, CA 92408
(909) 693-5417

Orange County Meeting Places

Costa Mesa Office

600 Anton Boulevard #11
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(949) 891-0357

Laguna Niguel Office

23046 Avenida de la Carlota, Ste 600
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 371-8350

Irvine Office

9180 Irvine Center Drive
Irvine, CA 92612
(949) 207-7193

Newport Beach Office

5160 Birch St #110
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 891-0127

Orange Office

333 City Blvd. #17
Orange, CA 92868

Other California Meeting Places

Rancho Cucamonga Office

1999 S Bascom Ave, Ste 700
Campbell, CA 95008
(408) 940-3996

San Francisco Office

50 Francisco Street #460
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 684-7688

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1902 Wright Pl, Ste 200
Carlsbad, CA 95008
(760) 517-9022

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