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California Car Insurance Laws

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When shopping for California car insurance it is important to be up to date on all of the various California car insurance laws. Drivers in California are required to carry proof of their financial ability to be responsible for any accidents that they are involved in. While you do not have to have auto insurance (you can pay $35,000 in a surety bond or some other self-insurance options), it is the simplest route for most of us. Take a few minutes to understand the laws that dictate California auto insurance. This will position you to find an affordable policy that does exactly what you need it to do.

The Purpose of California Car Insurance Laws

Insurance Commissioner Steve Poisner is tasked with overseeing any insurance related laws in California. These laws are designed to protect consumers, and have seen several changes over the years in that regard. The minimums laid out by the state are based on the amounts that seem to cover the most basic financial needs in an accident.

To meet the minimums you have got to have 15/30/5 in liability coverage. These numbers represent the thousands of dollars for which you will be covered for injury to a single person, for an entire accident and damage to property, respectively. Obviously, $5,000 may not come close to covering the property damage that can be racked up in a single accident. You could end up paying much more out of your pocket if this is the case. Higher amounts are recommended for most people who can afford them.

There is a lower minimum option called the California Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program (CLCA) that only requires coverage in 10/20/3. This is truly meant for those people who cannot afford to purchase the recommended minimums. Either one, however, will fulfill your legal obligations.
By requiring drivers to carry insurance, the state laws try to make sure that each person who drives is financially able to carry the risks that come with driving a car. That doesn’t mean that everyone the road is insured or properly insured. You can also consider Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Personal Injury Protection as well.

California Car Insurance Laws and Fraud

If you are trying to minimize your California auto insurance costs to counter-act this poor economy then you are not alone. In September of 2009, Commissioner Poisner reported that the number of arson and theft related incidents of insurance related vehicle fraud increased dramatically over 2008 numbers. He says this is in response to the depressed economic conditions. California state law has the Insurance Fraud Prevention Act that is meant to deter this type of crime. Insurance fraud may include anything from faked damages to premeditated acts of theft. Luckily, you can manage your insurance costs legally.

California Car Insurance Laws and Legal Money Saving Options

Hopefully, saving money via insurance fraud is just not an option you are willing to consider. Here are some legal options that will help California drivers save money on insurance premiums. First of all, look at the minimum requirements listed above. If you have to go for the low cost coverage, consider it a starting point until you can buy more comprehensive coverage. Whether you decide to purchase minimum coverage or a bit more, that should not be the end of your process.

Take advantage of every single money saving option available. And they are available in every price category. Here are just a few possibilities.

Install anti-theft devices on your car. The cheapest is probably a wheel lock. This simple device is an excellent deterrent for theft. If you feel you can’t even afford that, then make certain you never leave valuables like your cell phone or iPod in plain site. This alone will inspire a would-be thief to target your vehicle. If you can afford a bit more of an investment look into VIN etchings, car alarms or Low Jack tracking devices. Aside from deterring criminals, your insurer will likely discount your rates.

Work on creating an excellent driving record. If you do get a speeding ticket, immediately take a safe driving course to get those points taken off your record. (If you can avoid high risk drive times and locations, this will help your rates too.) Great drivers get great rates. Plus, many of these courses can even be taken online.

Make insurers work for your business. Car insurance is a competitive business. Use an online rate quote tool like the one above that will give you California car insurance quotes from several companies. Then call your top choices and ask what additional discounts they will give you. These are only a few of the legal options drivers can look at to get good insurance that meets the California laws. Enter your zip code above to start comparing California car insurance quotes today!

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