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What Are Auto Insurance Requirements in California?

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Most people cannot afford to pay out-of-pocket for property damage or medical bills. Even a seemingly minor accident can lead to thousands of dollars in damages that you simply cannot afford. For the most part, those injured in a car accident will rely on insurance to cover damages.


Auto insurance acts as a financial safety net in the event that you sustain injuries or property damage in an accident, or cause these damages to someone else. Here what you need to know about auto insurance in the state of California.

Car Insurance Requirements

Each state has various laws regarding auto insurance coverage requirements. According to California Insurance Code §11580.1b, drivers in the state are required to have liability coverage of:

  • $15,000 in bodily injury coverage for injury/death to one person. If someone is injured in an accident that you cause, this will cover damages (such as medical bills) for one person.

  • $30,000 for injury/death to more than one person. If two or more people are injured in an accident you cause, this coverage pays for damages up to $30,000.

  • $5,000 for property damage. This pays for damage to other people’s property in an accident in which you were at fault.

Additional Coverage Types

You may want to add more than just the minimum requirement for coverage. Here are a few other options available to you:

Liability Coverage

We discussed the liability coverage requirements above, but you may want to consider getting more coverage than just the minimum. If you are responsible for an accident that causes severe damages or a multi-vehicle accident, the $30,000 may not be enough to cover the entirety of every person’s total damages. If this is the case, you leave yourself open to a lawsuit and risk your assets being taken.

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

This coverage protects you in the event that you are injured in a crash caused by an uninsured driver, or if the driver’s coverage is not enough to pay for your entire damages. This can also be utilized in the event that you are involved in a hit-and-run accident.

Medical Payments Coverage

This coverage specifically pays for medical bills if you or your passengers are injured in an accident, regardless of who was at fault.

Physical Damage Coverage

This pays for physical damage to your vehicle that was caused by something other than a car collision, such as a tree, rock, deer, or another person. It can also cover damage caused by natural conditions or disasters, such as floods, wind, falling objects, fires, or vandalism.

Deciding on Your Coverage

The more coverage you add, the higher your premiums will be. However, it’s important to make sure that you have the coverage you need to avoid. Everyone’s situation is different, so bear in mind that you may want to get more coverage than just the minimum required.


Some coverage amounts pay a certain amount based on the market value of your vehicle, so if you have a higher-valued car, you may want to consider adding more coverage.

Injured in a Car Accident? Contact an Attorney Today

When you’re healing from injuries sustained in a car accident, the last thing you want to worry about is filing an injury claim. For the sake of your recovery, however, it’s incredibly important not to push this to the back burner and say, “I’ll deal with it later.” Instead, let our firm handle it now. The insurance company may try to claim that someone is excluded from a policy in order to avoid payouts.


We will handle all the legal processes and negotiations from the insurance company. The insurance company will do anything they can to deny paying out a claim, even if it is covered by your policy or the at-fault driver’s policy. Even simply having an attorney on your side during this process can help ensure that the insurance company pays up when they should. If they don’t, we are ready to fight for you and your rights to maximum compensation.

Contact our firm at (530) 413-0245 to get started with a free consultation. We are offering remote legal services amid the coronavirus outbreak and can provide you with a free phone or video consultation.

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