The minimum car insurance coverage varies from state to state. In several states, California included, it is illegal to drive without the minimum insurance coverage. The basic or minimum insurance coverage in such states protects the driver when they are liable for an accident. Drivers can purchase more insurance coverage to cover the cost of the damages to their vehicles and medical expenses when they have been in a car accident but before you buy any insurance check car insurance quotes online for the best rates.
If you are driving in California, it is essential to know the legal minimum coverage, the consequences of not having it, and what you should do if you are driving without the legal minimums. Talk to a reliable car accident law firm near you to know more about California insurance minimums and what to do in case of an accident.
California Minimum Liability Insurance
Whether they are from the state or not, every driver in California should have a liability insurance policy. This policy covers the cost of injuries and damage to property if the driver is at fault. The minimum liability coverage for a private vehicle is $5,000 for property damage, $30,000 for injury or death to more than one person, and $15,000 for injury or death to a single person.
If you do not have the required policy, you will still have to compensate the victims, which will cost you more, and it involves the DMV. You can also consider other policies such as uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, medical payment coverage, and collision coverage, among others. Because California is a tort state, a driver has to be found at-fault for them to compensate the victim. This might include an investigation to determine fault or negligence.
Penalties for Driving Without Car Insurance
Drivers in California should ensure that they are insured with companies that report electronically to the DMV. This means that every vehicle should have insurance when it is registered. Drivers who are not registered are assumed to have stopped paying their premiums and canceled the policy, or have never purchased the policy.
If you are involved in a car accident and are not covered with registered insurance, your driver’s license can be suspended. You can also face penalties or fines, including having your license suspended if the police find you driving without valid insurance coverage. You may need the help of a car accident lawyer to fight the charges or help you meet all legal requirements. All drivers in California are required to have proof of insurance with them at all times.
To prove you have a valid insurance cover you will need to show the police the following:
- Auto insurance policy number
- Car insurance company name
- Period of coverage
- Insurance company address
If you are involved in an accident or found driving without proof of insurance, the police will write you a ticket, and you will pay between $100 – $200 for the first offense, and $200 – $500 for each subsequent offense within three years of the first. Until you can show proof of having the minimum required liability policy, your vehicle can be impounded, and your driver’s license and vehicle registration suspended. Once you have the proof of insurance, your lawyer can help you submit the evidence to the court and get the fine removed.
Talk to an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer
If you are not sure if the law applies to you and you want to know more about California’s auto insurance requirements, or how to fight a penalty or fine, consult a reliable car accident law firm in your area. A car accident lawyer in California will help you understand the legal requirements, the options you have, and inform you of the good driver discount policy, among others.
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