Auto Insurance Buyer’s Guide for California

June 14, 2010 · 0 comments

in Auto

Understand California’s Insurance Requirements

Know what’s mandatory. Before you compare rates, review this quick summary of your coverage choices in California. The only mandatory coverage is Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability coverage (BI/PD) if you own a car. It pays for injuries or other damage you cause in an accident, up to the limit on your policy.

Optional coverages offer important protection. Uninsured + Undersinsured Motorist Bodily Injury coverage (UM/UIM) pays for injuries caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver. Uninsured Property Damage coverage (UMPD) pays for damage to your car, caused by an uninsured driver. Medical Payments coverage pays for medical and other expenses from an accident regardless of fault. Comprehensive and Collision coverages protect your car from damage, theft or other loss that’s not caused by another driver.

Keep Your Insurance Current

It’s the law. The minimum requirement for California drivers is 15/30/5 which is $15,000 bodily injury coverage per person, up to a total of $30,000 for everyone injured in an accident, and $5,000 for property damage. If you fail to insure your car, you face suspension of your registration, fines that could reach $1,000. The California DMV requires insurance companies to report policy cancellations, and you must show proof of a new policy if yours is cancelled.

The Minimum Is Not Enough

Understand when to buy more. While minimum limits of liability coverage will keep you legal, the amount of coverage you buy should match the financial risk you face if you’re responsible for an accident. If you’re a homeowner, consider buying more than the California state minimum limits. Why? If you injure several people and the medical expenses exceed your policy limits, you can be held personally liable for the balance.

Always buy UM/UIM. We recommend you buy Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage, to protect yourself and your passengers from the 18% of drivers who are uninsured. If you don’t buy Collision coverage, buy UMPD coverage, in case your car is hit by an insured motorist.

Compare Rates Annually

When your life changes, your insurance should, too. Just married, new homeowner, or empty nester? Every life change brings new financial realities and may offer a chance to save on your car insurance. From multi-car discounts to student discounts, you can save if you take the time to review your auto insurance policy. An online application for comparison quotes at Insurance.com takes about 10 minutes to complete. We do the work for you, so you save time and money

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