California Car Insurance
There are many fantastic reasons to live in California, it is a state that is filled with natural beauty from legendary parks like the Sequoia National Park, Yosemite National Park, and there are plenty of other fun places and attractions here as well. Whether you are traveling from California to a nearby state, are taking in the beach, or simply need to travel to work, you will need a car insurance policy to drive legally. There are huge benefits to knowing about car insurance in California, and getting the right policy for you is essential to protecting your family and your finances.
Auto Insurance Requirements In California
Each state in the country can have slightly different requirements, and sometimes the differences between the requirements in one state and another can vary quite a bit. The minimum legal requirements for auto insurance coverage in the state of California include both bodily injury coverage and property damage liability coverage.
With a bodily injury liability coverage plan, you are covered for any injuries that you caused to another person, that relate to an automobile accident. If multiple people are injured, this coverage will be split between the people hurt. Bodily injury liability coverage will only pay out if you are at fault in the accident, and it only pays out for other people’s injuries, and not your own.
Property Damage liability insurance pays for any damage caused to someone else’s property, but not your own. Again, this policy will only pay out if you are responsible and found at fault for the damage. This coverage includes structures/buildings, vehicles, and other objects.
Many people choose to get more than the minimum amount of each of these coverages, and other insurance types can help pay for your own expenses. Many people choose to get insurance like uninsured motorist coverage, which will cover your expenses if someone else causes an accident and does not have insurance to cover your medical expenses. There are also comprehensive insurance coverage plans, collision insurance coverage plans, and others as well.
The minimum limits for car insurance in California include body damage liability coverage in the amounts $15,000 for death or injury of one person in any one accident, $30,000 for death or injury of two or more people in any one accident, and property damage liability coverage with a minimum of $5,000. This is the minimum amount you are required to hold, though many people do purchase additional car insurance coverage to protect themselves better.
It is also possible for drivers to self-insure in California, but this can be quite expensive. You would need to provide proof of financial responsibility to the state. When this happens, you will be issued a self-insurance certificate by the local DMV. This requires a $35,000 cash deposit. Another option is to get a surety bond for the same amount, from a company that is licensed to do business in California.
Average Cost Of Coverage In California
It is a fantastic plan to be aware of what you are paying for automobile insurance in comparison to others in your state. For people living in California, knowing the average rates that people pay for each type of car insurance coverage can have a significant impact on your ability to save money on policies in the state. For example, the average rates for liability insurance coverage in California are around $480 annually. If you are only getting liability coverage and your rate is much higher than that, it will likely be worthwhile to look into why your car insurance premium costs so much.
Other insurance types that you might decide to purchase include collision insurance coverage, which has an average of about $375 for people living in California. Comprehensive insurance coverage averages about $100 in the state. This makes the average cost per year for car insurance in California at around $950.
Keep in mind that what you pay for car insurance is impacted by a large number of variables including your driving record, age, where you live in the state, and the year, make, and model of the vehicle you are driving. Also, be aware that people who are more active in pursuing and finding car insurance discounts are more likely to pay lower rates due to the savings involved.
Cheapest Car Insurance Companies In California
Insurance varies quite a bit from one person to another, meaning that it is imperative for you to shop around to find the best rates. Each car insurance company looks at each variable and factor that is used to determine car insurance differently, meaning that there can be quite a bit of variance from one company to another. Also, car insurance companies offer different perks, benefits, and discounts, meaning you will want to do your research on each company you are considering before purchasing a policy.
In terms of most popular companies in California, and how they measure up in terms of annual premiums, Mercury was found to be the least expensive overall car insurance company in the state. California Capital, Unitrin, Allstate, Nationwide, Allied Insurance, and State Farm were all on the list as well. Again, where you live in the state has an impact on your rates, and there are other variables like customer satisfaction, claims response, and company financial security that you should look at.
Unique Car Insurance Rules And Penalties In California
In the state of California, some laws are state specific and will affect your auto insurance premiums. Since these will impact your car insurance costs in California, it is important to talk about them.
First, there is a law that was passed called Proposition 103. This is a California law which requires insurance companies to give good drivers a discount upon meeting three criteria that are used to determine if they are a good driver. If all three are met, a discount is guaranteed. The requirements put forth by the state of California and Proposition 103 are that the driver needs to have been licensed for at least three years, they need to have no more than one point on their record in the last three years, and they need to have not been found at fault for an accident in the past three years. This provides motivation for people to be good drivers, as a discount of at least 20% can save people a lot of money.
Another unique car insurance rule for the state of California is that car insurance providers are not allowed to take your credit history into account when determining whether you are insurable or what your rates are. Your approval, nor your premium costs, are not dependent on your credit history.
How To Get The Cheapest Car Insurance In California
When it is time to compare car insurance rates in order to find cheap car insurance plans in California that suit your needs, there is more to it than initially meets the eye. Rather than just looking at the cost of an insurance policy, you will want to look at satisfaction ratings for car insurance companies. In addition, keep in mind that coverage limits and deductibles are an important part of your decision. When comparing policies, you will want to make sure you are comparing policies that are very close to each other in what they offer.
You will also want to take a look at the discounts that are offered for car insurance coverage in California, as well as looking for California – Sponsored programs if you are having difficulty finding a car insurance policy.