Minimum Coverage Requirements For California Auto Insurance

January 21, 2017

California auto insurance is regulated by the State of California, and while it may similar insurance coverage in other states, there are likely to be some very noticeable differences, especially considering that California is a generally more expensive state to live in.

Like most states, there are three distinct areas of damage coverage that must be purchased for the California auto insurance coverage to be considered even minimal. Those 3 categories are Bodily Injury Liability per Person, Bodily Injury per Accident, and Property Damage Liability. The maximum amount of coverage that may be obtained is left up to the owner and insurance company to decide, but the laws fo California has set minimum liability coverage at the following amounts:

$15,000 – Bodily Injury Liability (each person)
$30,000 – Bodily Injury Liability (per accident)
$5,000 – Property Damage Liability (per accident)

What is Bodily Injury Coverage?

Bodily injury liability coverage is designed to pay the costs involved with injuries to other people in an accident, when you or your vehicle have been designated as the at-fault vehicle. The per person amount is the maximum that the insurance company will pay for each person injured, and the per accident limit is the most that the insurance company will pay, regardless of how many people are injured or the seriousness of those injuries. Any costs above these limits will be the responsibility of the insured party to pay.

What is Property Damage Liability Coverage?

Property Damage Liability covers the cost of damages caused by your vehicle if you are deemed to be at-fault. The damages can include anyone’s property, including mailboxes, trash cans, light poles, buildings, cars, and more. The per accident limit is the maximum the insurance company will cover, and can be applied to legal fees if there is any coverage available to do so.

How Much Coverage Is Enough?

The minimum coverages imposed by law for California auto insurance is the bare minimum allowed by law. For the best protection against damages, the best thing to do is increase your coverages to a higher limit. Increasing the coverage limits will entail higher insurance premiums, but if the coverage should be needed, the cost of premiums will seem slight when compared to the possible out-of-pocket costs that remain to be paid.

To get the most from your California auto insurance coverage without higher premiums, the best solution may be to adjust the policy deductibles. For California auto insurance, the lower the deductible of a policy, the higher the premiums will be, and vice versa. If you are willing to have a relatively high insurance deductible, the premiums, even with increased Liability coverage, can be kept manageable.

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