The Basics of California Automobile Insurance Requirements

The Basics of California Automobile Insurance Requirements

Carrying automobile insurance gives California drivers the necessary proof of financial responsibility required by California law. This requirement applies to all vehicles operated or parked on a California roadway. The failure to carry car insurance may result in a fine, license suspension, or vehicle impoundment. Comprehensive or collision insurance does not meet vehicle financial responsibility requirements in California.

*California Law Requires Proof of Financial Responsibility

Under § 16020 of the California Vehicle Code, "All drivers and all owners of a motor vehicle shall at all times be able to establish financial responsibility and shall at all times carry in the vehicle evidence of the form of financial responsibility in effect for the vehicle." In addition to showing financial responsibility when a law enforcement officer requests it, drivers must show proof of insurance when they are in an accident, or they are renewing a vehicle’s registration.

*There are Other Ways to Meet the Requirement

Most Californians purchase an automobile liability insurance policy from a private carrier. Although rarely used by individuals, there are other ways that motorists in California may demonstrate financial responsibility. A cash deposit of $35,000 with the DMV, a surety bond for $35,000, or a DMV-issued self-insurance certificate all meet California’s financial responsibility requirement.

*An Auto Insurance Policy is a Contract between Motorist and Insurer

An auto insurance policy delineates the costs, coverages (the different events covered by the policy), and the exclusions (the different events to which policy provisions are inapplicable. Liability insurance compensates a party other than the policyholder for damages caused by an auto accident.

*California Law Requires Specific Minimum Coverages

Here are the minimum liability insurance requirements according to California law. California Vehicle Code §16056:

· $15,000 for injury/death to one person.

· $30,000 for injury/death to more than one person.

· $5,000 for property damage.

*No Proof means Suspension of the Vehicle’s Registration

If the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) does not receive proof of insurance for a vehicle, it will suspend the vehicle’s registration. Once this happens a motorist may not operate or park the vehicle on a public roadway until submitting proof of insurance. Vehicle owners must notify the DMV before canceling (not changing) auto insurance. If a vehicle owner is not operating a currently registered vehicle that is not parked on a California roadway, an Affidavit of Non-Use may be submitted to the DMV.

If you have suffered an injury in any type of accident, and another party is responsible for this harm, you have a right to compensatory damages for your losses. The personal injury attorneys at Moss Bollinger can help you assert your valuable right to compensation. Moss Bollinger is dedicated to protecting and asserting the rights of our clients. Call 866-942-7974 today for a free consultation or contact us online.

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