What Should You Know About California Auto Insurance?

California is one of the biggest states in the country with a very dense population. Every day thousands of vehicles travel through highways, freeways, streets, avenues, and all types of thoroughfares. Simply put, the chances of meeting an accident or causing an injury to someone are very high. There’s no guarantee you’ll be safe, no matter how “secure” your vehicle is, but you can minimize the vehicle-related costs such as repair, hospitalization, burial, and medical assistance if you have an auto insurance policy.

To acquaint yourself on California auto insurance, read the following facts:

It’s a tort state.

In general, a state that requires auto insurance may follow a no-fault or tort law. The difference between the two is significant. If it’s a no-fault state such as Utah, the insurance company pays regardless of who’s at fault. During a collision, for example, both parties may be required to pay for the damage and injuries, if there are any.

On the other hand, if it’s a tort state like California, the person responsible should be identified. He is then obliged to coordinate with his insurance firm for the claim.

There are minimum liability requirements.

One of the common misconceptions with regards to selecting an auto insurance policy is they can pick any kind of coverage. Some of them are over the top, with features you don’t really need. However, it’s mandatory they meet the minimum liability requirements. These are amounts that, based on calculations, will somehow cover the bulk of the expenses during a collision or an accident. The requirements can change over time. Right now, the damage to property is $5,000. For injury or death to more than one individual, it’s $30,000. If it’s to one person, the minimum liability is $15,000.

You need to have auto insurance before you can apply in the DMV.

The DMV will be the one that will register your vehicle, so you won’t get arrested once you hit the road. But before you can officially apply, you need to have your auto insurance proof. Besides that, you may have to pay $a 35,000 cash deposit and a self-insurance certificate issued by the agency. If you’re using the vehicle for your business, there’s another $35,000 for a surety bond.

Your auto insurance company is required to report a lapsed policy.

An insurance coverage is said to have lapsed if you have not paid your premium for a certain period of time. Many of these companies are forgiving, providing you with a grace period to settle it. But if nothing comes out of it, your insurance coverage will be reported to the DMV, and your registration is suspended until you can properly settle the issue.

Can a suspension stop you from driving? No, it doesn’t. However, if a peace officer finds out, you’ll be asked to pay a very hefty fine, and your vehicle may be impounded. Of course, you have to pay from your own pocket all collision-related expenses.

California has a low-cost insurance program.

Some people don’t have any auto insurance even if it’s a requirement because they can’t afford it. To address this, the state created the California Low-cost Automobile Insurance Program. To qualify, you have to be a resident of the state, owner of a car worth no more than $20,000, and with earnings that meet the Applicant Eligibility Income Chart. If you qualify, you pay only $400 a year.

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