There are several consequences to not having California car insurance. It is important to follow the laws, not only because you could get into legal trouble, but also because of the financial strain not being covered by insurance can cause you and your family.
When you don’t have insurance are in an accident, you could end up having your license suspended. You will also be responsible for any costs, including damages to other people’s property, medical bills for drivers and passengers in the other vehicle and in your own vehicle as well. Many times you will also get a ticket for not having insurance which can cost as much as $500, or the same cost of paying for an entire 6-month auto insurance policy. Rather than paying double, it is important that you pay for and keep your auto insurance policy current.
If you go in to purchase a new car from a car salesman, it is required that you have California insurance prior to driving the car off the lot. If you are pulled over and don’t have your insurance card with you or you are uninsured, you will be given a ticket and you will have to go to court to either prove you had insurance at the time or that you purchase a policy after you were ticketed. It will then be up to the judge whether or not you still have to pay the fine.
You can avoid this all by purchasing a California automobile insurance policy and keeping it current and paid at all times when you are driving a vehicle. It will save you a lot of stress and money in the long run.
Insurance is a means of sharing risk so that insurance companies have enough money to pay claims in the event of a loss to one of their policyholders. Since certain drivers are at a greater risk of getting into an accident than others, California auto insurance policies often cost more for these people than for low-risk drivers. There are ways to overcome high California automobile insurance premiums for high-risk drivers, and the following represents just a few of them.
Ask About Discounts for Good Grades
Young people under the age of 25 represent one group of high-risk drivers. Fortunately, many California car insurance companies will discount their otherwise costly premiums for these drivers if they have good grades. Young people in college or high school should ask their insurance agent about these discounts, as good students often get the cheapest car insurance in California.
Ask About Multiple Policy Discounts
It is also fairly well known that California car insurance can be cheaper for those who insure both their homes and their cars, trucks, or motorcycles with the same company. If the auto insurance company also offers California homeowners insurance, it is wise to get the insurance agent to investigate whether any deals are available to those who buy car and house insurance from the same company.
Consider Insuring More than One Car
Finally, insuring more than one car on a California automobile insurance policy can also lead to greater savings on premiums overall. Students who are still living at home should consider getting on the same insurance plan as their parents, as that can save them money on their California car insurance. Those who are on their own can also save money if they put all the cars in their household on the same policy.
Because California has such a large population, licensed California insurance agents can make a great deal of money selling auto and home insurance to clients across the state. In order to get a license to sell California automobile insurance or California homeowners insurance, potential insurance agents must follow a series of steps. This is a brief rundown of the process.
All licensed California insurance agents must have their fingerprints on file with the state. This is accomplished by visiting one of the state’s approved live scan vendors and paying the appropriate fees.
California homeowners insurance agents and California car insurance agents must complete 20 hours of accident and health pre-licensing study and 12 hours of study of ethics and the insurance code of the state of California.
- Online Application
Only those who make an online application will be licensed to offer policies and charge California insurance rates. Make this application at the California Department of Insurance website. Appropriate licensed fees must be paid when the application is made.
- Pass the Insurance License Exam
The California Insurance License Exam lets the licensing agency know that the applicant has the minimum amount of knowledge necessary to sell California car insurance and California home insurance properly.
These steps apply to anyone who wants to sell San Diego auto insurance, San Francisco homeowners insurance, Sacramento auto insurance, or auto and/or homeowners insurance in any other Californian city. Those who attempt to sell insurance without a license can be arrested and rendered ineligible to earn a license in the state or anywhere else in the country. Thus, the requirements should be followed with the utmost sincerity.
When you are cruising down the Pacific Coast Highway in your fancy new convertible, you better have California car insurance or you may have to face the consequences if you are involved in an accident or get pulled over by a police officer. In California, all drivers and vehicle owners are required to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance.
Liability insurance covers bodily image or damage you may be responsible for in the event that you are involved in a motor vehicle accident. It does not cover you, but rather, the other party or parties involved in an accident that was determined to be your fault. California follows tort law, which assigns blame to one party or another for unintentional damage that they may cause as a result of their careless or negligent actions.
Like many other states, California requires a minimum amount of bodily injury and property damage liability coverage. The minimum is $15,000 for injury to a single party and $30,000 for all parties injured in a single accident. Property damage is set at a minimum of $5,000.
There are several other options for covering the state’s minimum financial requirements. You can place a $35,000 cash deposit with the DMV or obtain a surety bond for $35,000 from a licensed California insurance company. Fleet owners with at least 25 vehicles can choose to self-insure as long as they acquire a certificate of self-insurance from the DMV.
Now just because you can get away with minimum amounts of California auto insurance that does not mean that coverage is adequate. If you are involved in an accident in which you are found to have been at fault, any amount of damage above the minimum covered by insurance becomes your responsibility.
A new car can easily suffer $10,000 or more of damage and a serious physical injury to another person might result in a $100,000 or more of medical bills. To protect your assets, a prudent person would buy enough coverage for the worst possible scenario they can imagine.
Comparing California auto insurance companies to determine which one is best suited to your needs requires a little bit of time and research. Each insurance company has their own methods for determining the premiums they charge. They may assess risk differently based upon a driver’s profile and then charge a premium that reflects that given risk.
When shopping for California car insurance, it is important to get several different quotes in order to get a good idea of the approximate range that insurance companies will charge to insure you and your car. Insurance companies look at many factors, such as the age of the driver, sex of the driver, type of vehicle, number of miles driven each year and the driving record. Some companies might penalize young male drivers under 25 or they might charge extra high premiums for a poor driving record. Other California auto insurance companies may be a little more lenient and forgive a minor traffic infraction or not look harshly on where you may happen to live.
While shopping for California auto insurance, you should also investigate potential insurance companies for how well they handle claims. If you should happen to have an accident or need to file a claim, you will want a company that handles claims quickly and fairly.
If you do not particularly enjoy doing all the necessary legwork of comparing California auto insurance companies, you might do well to visit an Independent Insurance broker that represents a number of different California auto insurance companies. While they do have an interest in each company they represent, most legitimate Independent Insurance agents will get you the best deal possible and not oversell you with a policy you do not need. They are much more interested in keeping you as a loyal customer than gouging you once only to have you go elsewhere next year.
Insurance is a subject that many people do not completely understand. If you own a home in California and drive a car you probably know that you need to carry California homeowner insurance and California auto insurance. But, do you know what kind of insurance to carry and how much you should carry?
The two biggest mistakes a California resident can make when it comes to insurance are not buying enough insurance and buying the wrong type of insurance. If someone tells you that insurance is insurance and all companies are basically the same, you should absolutely not listen to them. When shopping for automobile or homeowners insurance in California try to avoid the following costly mistakes.
Not Enough Insurance
Without doubt, the number one problem California residents face when it comes to any type of insurance is not having an adequate amount of coverage. Insurance is designed to help you get back to the level you were at before a loss occurred. It might be a house that burned to the ground or a car that was totaled in a bad accident. Family members and beneficiaries will be well taken care of if you had the foresight to buy enough life insurance.
Instead of trying to save a few dollars by buying only the minimum amount of California car insurance or California homeowner insurance, you can be much better protected with more coverage for not that much higher a monthly premium.
What Type of Insurance to Buy
When it comes to California auto insurance, you need much more than the state mandated 15/30/5 coverage. In today’s world, an auto accident can easily rack up $100,000 or more of bills. To protect yourself and your assets, a minimum of 100/300/100 coverage should be carried. Many people with more substantial estates should have even higher coverage.
In addition to liability coverage, most vehicles should also have comprehensive and collision, especially if the are worth more than a few thousand dollars.
Homeowners should also buy more than the minimum amounts required by law to protect themselves and their homes from lawsuits filed by anyone that may have been hurt on your property or any type of damage to your house.
People that own and drive a vehicle in California are required by law to carry liability insurance to compensate for injury or damage to another party or another party’s property that was a result of their own negligence. The law does not require you to protect yourself from either personal injury or property damage to your own vehicle.
California auto insurance minimum liability coverage is required whether you own your car outright or you are making payments to a finance company. If you have a high mileage car that is paid off, you do not have to carry comprehensive coverage, but you still are required to carry the state minimum liability coverage of 15/30/5.
A minimum 15/30/5 California car insurance policy will pay up to $15,000 to a single injured party or up to $30,000 for all occupants injured as a result of an accident you were found to have caused. It will also pay up to $5,000 in compensation for any property damage you may have caused as a result of the accident.
Comprehensive insurance coverage pays out if your car is stolen, damaged by vandalism, flying road debris, acts of nature or any other incidents that are not the result of a collision. Whether you should carry this type of coverage depends largely on the book value of your vehicle.
If you have a 20-year-old car worth $1,000 and it gets stolen, the best you could hope for is a check for $1,000 from the insurance company. If it costs you $200 extra to carry this coverage, you may decide it is better to assume the risk than pay the extra premium. Others, who are very risk averse may choose to pay the extra premium and have some more peace of mind.
People who live in the state of California and want to drive are required to carry a certain minimum amount of California auto insurance. Like most of the country, California operates under a tort system, under which drivers are held responsible for bodily injury or property damage that they cause while operating a motor vehicle.
California requires anyone that operates a motor vehicle to be financially responsible for any bodily injury or property damage that may result from an accident that was determined to be their fault. Most people opt to purchase California car insurance, which will protect them in the event of an accident.
Minimum California Auto Insurance Requirements (15/30/5)
With this minimum amount of liability coverage, your insurance company will pay up to $15,000 for injuries sustained by an individual that suffers bodily injury as a result of your actions while driving a vehicle and up to $30,000 for all persons injured in a single accident that you were found to have caused. It will also pay out up to $5,000 for any property damage that was a result of the accident.
Other Ways to Insure
California has several other ways to prove financial responsibility and be allowed to legally drive a car. In lieu of a California car insurance policy, one may make a $35,000 cash deposit with the DMV and self-insure against a possible at-fault accident. Fleet owners of 25 or more vehicles may choose to set up a fund on their own instead of buying traditional California auto insurance. Upon sufficient proof that the fleet owner has set aside sufficient funds, the DMV will issue a certificate of self-insurance. Finally, an individual can obtain a $35,000 surety bond from a licensed California insurance company.