California, like the majority of US states, has a minimum requirement for insurance coverage to protect the millions of drivers on the road there. But, before you buy any type of auto insurance, there are some things that you should keep in mind. Speaking to an insurance agent as well as doing some independent research may help you to get all the answers that you need.
What Kind of Coverage Do You Need?
To be legal on the roads of California, there are a number of requirements that must be satisfied. To be sure you have the right coverage, you should consider these needs:
- California requires minimum insurance coverage on all vehicles that covers property damage as well as personal injuries that may occur.
- In lieu of the minimal, liability insurance coverage, you have the option to deposit $35,000 with the Department of Motor Vehicles.
- A security bond, also in the amount of $35,000, may also be purchased.
- You can add additional coverage beyond minimal coverage to protect against a wider range of losses and damages.
- You may be required to carry higher insurance coverage if you have a loan on the vehicle.
In the case of the security bond or cash deposit, if an accident exceeds that amount, the deposit will have to be made once again.
A Lower Cost Option for Auto Insurance in California
There is a program that was recently started in California that provides drivers with a lower cost policy. That program has several restrictions for who can participate and the amount that is charged is determined by a number of factors including:
- Your household income
- Your driving record
- The value of your vehicle at the time of application
Protection from Having Your California Auto Insurance Policy Revoked or Cancelled
To protect consumers from being dropped from their insurance carriers without any reasons, the state of California passed laws that determine when a policy can be revoked or cancelled. These include:
- Fraud or misrepresentation. In addition, if you lie on your insurance application, you can face criminal charges, depending on the extent of the fraud.
- Nonpayment of your premium. The insurance provider must give you ten days before your insurance coverage is cancelled so that you can try to make arrangements or a payment. In the case of a cancellation, the insurance company may or may not rewrite coverage based on their policy.
- Substantial increase in hazard. For instance, if you change driving status, the policy might need to be changed.
Do You Need Specialized Auto Insurance Coverage in California?
In addition to needing minimal insurance coverage, there are some things that might prompt you to pursue additional or extra insurance in the state of California. These include:
- The sheer number of drivers on the California roads. The more drivers there are, the higher the chances of an accident become.
Earthquakes, a fairly common occurrence in California, are not always covered by lower cost insurance policies. (If you have any question at all, always ask specifically about this or other incidents.)
- Wildfires also occur frequently in the state and can cause devastating losses.
- California is the number one state in terms of auto theft. Eight of the ten cities listed on the top ten for auto theft are in California.