California Auto Insurance Requirements
California Auto Insurance Guide Get affordable California auto insurance quote rates for free California auto insurance requirements and guidelines
California Minimum Insurance Requirements
California boasts thousands of miles of roads, stretching from Crescent City to Chula Vista, San Francisco to Lake Tahoe, and San Diego to El Centro. US 101 is the longest state route, measuring 801 miles. The one-mile ramp that connects I-215 and I-210 in San Bernardino is Route 259.
Over 24 million drivers with valid licenses operate an average of 11,500 to 52,000 vehicles on any given day. Every day, thousands of traffic accidents occur in California, many of which cause significant injuries or fatalities.
Wherever you live and drive in the Golden State, having enough auto insurance is a necessity as well as good sense. This is your guide to the fundamental regulations and requirements for auto insurance in California.
You are required by California state law to maintain a certain level of automobile insurance. If you don’t, you risk receiving harsh punishments, such as cash fines and jail time.
In accordance with California’s tort law, you can also be responsible for actual damages (such as medical bills and property damage costs), economic damages (such as lost wages and earning ability), and pain and suffering on a mental and physical level.
The bare minimum car insurance requirement for California drivers is:
- $15,000 bodily injury per person per accident
- $30,000 bodily injury for all persons per accident
- $5,000 property damage liability
Penalties For Failure To Carry State Auto Insurance
California does not require you to carry additional coverage such as Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist, personal liability, or Collision and Comprehensive. However, if you own property or other valuable assets, supplementing the minimum requirements can help you protect yourself from monetary loss.
You must keep documentation of your California automobile insurance on hand to submit to a law enforcement official if requested to do so under California law.
For the initial offense, the fine ranges from $100 to $200. Fines range from $200 to $500 for repeat offenders who are within 3 years of a prior conviction for the same violation.
Your driver’s license and vehicle registration could be revoked unless you can provide proof of insurance. There may also be reinstatement fees. Towing and storage fees may be assessed if your vehicle is seized.
If you are involved in an accident in California and don’t have auto insurance, the DMV will suspend your license until you provide proof of financial responsibility in the form of an SR-22 form and pay a reissuance fee.
Insurance companies in California are obligated to report private auto insurance data to the state. If you are found to be driving without insurance in the state of California, you will be contacted and given 30 days to obtain coverage. If you do not comply, your registration could be canceled.
If you cancel your insurance and don’t replace it within 45 days, if you acquire a new automobile and don’t insure it within 30 days, or if you offer fraudulent proof of insurance, your registration may be stopped.
Automobile insurance in California is checked on a sampling basis and drivers who do not have it face the same fines as those stated above.
California Car Insurance Premiums
Vehicle insurance premiums are regulated by the California Department of Insurance. Insurance companies are allowed to charge premiums and award discounts based on a number of factors that can include:
- The type of car you are insuring
- Prior auto insurance coverage
- How much you drive
- Your driving record
- Your age
- Your gender
- Your marital status
- Your geographic location
- How long you’ve been driving
- Whether or not you use your car for business
How To Get The Cheapest California Car Insurance Policy
The following are some possible avenues for decreasing your premiums:
Inquire about potential savings by adopting safe driving practices, installing anti-theft devices, insuring several vehicles under the same policy, combining auto and home or renter’s insurance, making payments automatically or online, and so on.
- Use this site to shop and compare prices from different service providers.
- Trim away the fat from your insurance policies.
- Research any low-cost auto insurance programs your state may provide to see if you may save some money.
New California Driving Laws
The rules of the road and the requirements for auto insurance are subject to continuous revision. You must keep yourself abreast of any changes to California law. Please take into consideration the following newly implemented California legislation while making insurance coverage choices.
In order to transfer vehicle ownership to a family member or a trust, you must first pay any outstanding parking or toll violations.
Underage motorists are not allowed to use any wireless electronic gadget, including hands-free ones. Drivers over the age of 18 are allowed to use a hands-free device while texting.
A driver’s mobile device can be used to show proof of insurance during a traffic stop.
Starting in September 2014, motorists traveling in the same direction as a bicyclist are required to provide the bike and its rider at least three feet of space when passing. If this distance cannot be maintained, the motorist must slow to a safe speed. For those who don’t play by the rules, there’s a monetary penalty.
A provisional driver’s license system for illegal aliens in California is expected to become live no later than January 2015.
There will be a notation on the licenses noting that they are not valid forms of federal identification and so cannot be used to get access to government-funded jobs or welfare.