California has its own distinctive set of requirements for car insurance so it’s important to know the facts.
If you are a newcomer to California or are simply on the hunt for more affordable auto insurance, it is worthwhile to seek multiple policy price quotes. California has its own distinct set of requirements when it comes to car insurance, so it definitely pays to spend some time learning the facts before deciding on the right coverage for your needs.
Auto Insurance Minimums in California
There are minimum threshold requirements for auto insurance policies in California with which every vehicle owner in the state needs to be familiar. California minimum car insurance requirements include $15,000 per person ($30,000 per accident event) coverage for bodily injury liability. Policies must also contain at least $5,000 in property damage liability coverage. Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage in California must be at a level of at least $15,000 per person ($30,000 per accident event), and uninsured motorist coverage for property damage must be at least $3,500.
Bear in mind that the above amounts are simply the minimum required by law in California, and every vehicle owner has their own needs when it comes to coverage. A personalized analysis is necessary to determine just the right amount of coverage to purchase.
New Resident Insurance and Registration Information
Those who plan to relocate to California are well-advised to take a close look at the California Driver Handbook from the Department of Motor Vehicles. It is a great resource for tips on registering a vehicle in the state, securing a California operator’s license, and learning the driving and insurance rules that may be unique to the jurisdiction.
California Deductible Waiver
Anyone who has collision coverage as part of their auto insurance policy may be eligible to participate in the California Deductible Waiver program. This simply means that if you are hit by an uninsured motorist, your insurance carrier will be responsible for waiving your collision deductible.
How to Respond to an Intent to Suspend Registration Notification
Another important aspect of auto insurance that California residents must bear in mind is that if the state is unable to confirm that there is a valid policy of insurance on a vehicle, they may send a letter indicating an intent to cancel that car’s registration. Some of the reasons why such a letter might be issued include an incorrect Vehicle Identification Number on record for the car, a detected lapse in coverage, or identification of an error in the vehicle information on file with the state.
There are instances in which all that is needed to rectify such a situation is to provide the state with current proof of insurance. This is easily obtainable through the carrier itself.
Teenage Drivers in California
The prospect of having a teen driver in the family can sometimes be quite daunting, and there are several things families ought to know in advance. First of all, to eventually obtain a full California driver’s license, new drivers must complete approved driver training instruction and receive a provisional permit. The minimum age for such a permit is 15 1/2 years of age.
Before receiving a full license, applicants need to be at least 16 years old and must have had their provisional license for no less than six months. At this point, applicants will need to pass a driving test administered by the Department of Motor Vehicles before receiving a provisional license.
For the initial 12 months of holding a provisional license, drivers are allowed to operate a vehicle between the hours of 5:01 a.m. and 10:59 p.m., and they may only have passengers who are at least 21 years of age. Once the provisional time frame has elapsed, full driving privileges are conferred.
Potential Auto Insurance Discounts for California Drivers
There are a number of price breaks on auto insurance that are commonly available to California drivers. Those who achieve a good driving record over a period of years by not being involved in an “at-fault” incident or by accumulating Department of Motor Vehicles license points may receive substantial discounts on their policies. An absence of convictions for drunk driving over a lengthy period can also entitle drivers to notable price breaks.
Some carriers also offer “good student” price breaks for drivers who have substantial experience behind the wheel, are enrolled in full-time courses of study, and can provide evidence of high grades.
While California does impose certain minimum auto insurance requirements, it is clear that deciding on a policy is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. As such, it is wise to spend some time comparison shopping to find a solution that meets your distinct set of needs.