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California Car Insurance Coverage

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Finding the best California car insurance coverage is easy if you know a few simple tricks of the trade. California is the most diverse state in America. Residents come from all over the United States and other countries to call California home. It is also one of the top five most expensive places to live in the nation. You might think that because of this car insurance coverage in California would be high as well, but this is not the case. California costs and coverage requirements are below the national average.

California Car Insurance Coverage Requirements

Each state has its own set of requirements when it comes to car insurance. When compared with other states, California has one of the lowest minimum requirements in the nation. CA requires Bodily Injury Liability in the amount of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. Property Damage Liability in the amount of $5,000 is the only other requirement. Be aware that, while this low amount can make your monthly premiums attractive, they may not be enough to cover your expenses in an accident.

California follows a tort system. This means that someone must be found at fault in an accident and that person’s insurance covers the cost of the damages. That is why it is wise to carry additional coverage beyond the minimum required by law. California currently has a 26% uninsured drivers rate. This means that if you are in an accident there is a 1 in 4 chance that the other person does not have coverage.

If this happens, and they are at fault, you will find yourself having to pay out of pocket unless you carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This will kick in when the at fault person does not have insurance. If you are the one without insurance, you will have to pay a fine, temporarily lose your license, and face possible jail time. So keeping your California car insurance up to date is crucial.

California Car Insurance Risks

The two biggest risks in California are theft and accidents. Because of the many major cities as well as the major freeways that crisscross the state, accident rates are higher than the national average. California averages 40,000 accidents per year. One quarter of these are fatal. Because of this, your insurance will be slightly higher if you commute a long distance to work or live in a large city.

California also has the highest rate of car theft in the nation. In Los Angeles alone over 25,000 cars per year are stolen. In San Diego over 13,000 cars per year are stolen. The closer you live to the center of a city, the higher your premium will be because this is where the majority of thefts take place. Having a safety device on your vehicle will lower your premium slightly.

In spite of this, car insurance rates in California are about $100 less per year than the national average. This is due to the fact that those car insurance minimums are so low. Rates in California are even lower now than they have been in the past, so it is a good time to review your current policy of shop around for a new policy.
You can do that right now by clicking on the California car insurance comparison tool on this page. Comparison rate tools like this one let you see rates and quotes from several different California car insurance companies. This can help in your decision making process. Comparing and shopping around are great ways to see what kind of savings you can receive, and at what cost.

California Car Insurance Options

If you are an at risk driver and have tried to get insurance and have been denied, the state of CA can help you. Through a program called California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan, high risk individuals can find coverage. Any California car insurance company that chooses to can offer this coverage. It is not state run, just state regulated.

The requirements for those in this program are slightly less than for the average driver, making it more affordable. Bodily Injury Liability changes to $10,000 per person or $20,000 per accident and Property Damage Liability changes to $3,000. This does not mean that your insurance will be cheaper than the average driver. Because you are at risk, your rates will be increased until you have an established clean driving record.

If you are new to the state, you can go to the California Department of Motor Vehicles website and see what requirements are given for new residents. One important requirement to note is that new drivers in CA must change their registration and car insurance within 10 days of establishing residency. Residency is established through a job or school attendance.

California is a great state to live in with lots of opportunities. One benefit to living in CA can be low insurance requirements and lower cost CA car insurance coverage. Look at your coverage options, think about what you can afford and would like to have and your choice will become clear. Enter your CA zip code above to get started finding the best California car insurance today!

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