How Much Auto Coverage Do You Need?

In Newsletter Content by Brandon St. Clair

Car insurance is required in the state of CA. The auto liability coverage required on your car insurance policy helps pay for covered losses, such as the other party’s medical bills and damage to their vehicle or other property that results from the accident. It also helps pay your legal fees if you are taken to court over the accident.

CA requires drivers to carry at least the following auto insurance coverages: Bodily injury liability coverage: $15,000 per person / $30,000 per accident minimum. Property damage liability coverage: $5,000 minimum. Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage: $15,000 per person / $30,000 per accident minimum. These are just the minimum coverages California requires you to have, but everyone’s needs are unique. There are different limits you can choose for the above coverages.

If you cause a car accident (or in other words, if you are liable for the accident), the above liability coverage helps pay for the other person’s expenses. Liability coverage is for the other party.
Liability insurance does not cover damage to your own vehicle after an accident. It also does not pay to repair damage caused by other things, such as theft and damage from vandalism and natural disasters, falling objects, fire, hail, flood, or animals. Liability coverage also does not extend to costs associated with your own injuries after an accident you cause.

Many people talk about “full coverage” car insurance – but there is no such thing. They are often referring to a combination of coverages that help protect a vehicle. There are many optional coverages, depending on the insurer and your situation.

  • Comprehensive coverage is optional (unless you lease or finance your vehicle). This coverage helps pay to repair or replace your vehicle if it is stolen or damaged by things like hail, animal damage, or vandalism.
  • Collision coverage is optional (unless you lease or finance your vehicle). This coverage helps repair or replace your vehicle if it is damaged in a collision with another vehicle or object.
  • Medical payments coverage is optional. This helps pay medical costs resulting from an auto accident for you, your family, and everyone in the car at the time of the collision. (Bodily injury liability insurance helps pay for treatment after an accident, but only for people other than you or your passengers).
  • Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist coverage is not mandatory and may be declined. Purchasing this coverage is a good idea. Uninsured motorist coverage helps pay for your medical bills or car repairs if you are hit by a driver who does not have car insurance. Underinsured motorist coverage helps pay for your expenses if you are hit by an underinsured driver.
  • Rental Reimbursement is optional and helps pay your rental car costs while your vehicle is being repaired as a result of a covered claim.
  • Roadside Assistance is optional and will cover your towing, a locksmith, battery jump start, flat tire change, emergency fuel, and fluid delivery.

As you see with so many optional coverages the term “full coverage” can be very unclear.

Please call our team at 800-748-5899, so we can discuss all your personal auto insurance needs.