California Auto Insurance: Requirement vs. Recommendation

California Auto Insurance: Requirement vs. Recommendation


Financial Responsibility Laws are legal minimums for liability insurance. There is a minimum for bodily injury liability, which requires $15,000 for the death or injury of any one person in any single accident, and $30,000 for all persons in a single accident, and there’s a $5,000 minimum of property damage liability for any one accident.

In the case of an accident for which you are found legally responsible and are covered minimally, your policy will only cover $15,000 for a single person’s injury or $30,000 for two or more persons’ injuries. The policy will also only cover $5,000 worth of any damage done to the other party’s property.

While many California car insurance policyholders chose to protect themselves with comprehensive coverage, uninsured motorist, medical payment and collision insurance, these items are not required by California law.


Consider for a moment the value of your car. Chances are, your vehicle, and the larger percentage of vehicles driving on the street with you, are worth more than $5,000. If you were to be in an accident for which you are found legally responsible, more likely than not, you would be personally responsible for property damages over $5,000.

Furthermore, these minimal coverages do not consider the damage done to your own property in the case of an accident. With comprehensive auto insurance, damage done to your vehicle in an accident or due to other unforeseeable circumstances such as theft or fire is covered.

Medical services these days can be extremely pricey, as well. With medical payment insurance, the cost of medical care for you and your passengers is covered in the event of an accident. The limit provided generally isn’t set very high because it’s not usually primary coverage, but the immediate pay out can relieve the immediate bills until the liability (who is at fault) is determined.

Even if you are a cautious and experienced driver, an accident can occur because of the negligence of others, and there’s no way of knowing if they are properly covered with their insurance policies. For that reason, an uninsured motorist policy for either bodily injury or property damage can protect you against negligent drivers that are uninsured.

When shopping for a California auto insurance policy, it’s important to consider all these factors and work with your independent insurance agent to determine what kinds of coverages are right for you. For more information, contact us, or check out our Auto Insurance page.