If you are a resident of California, it is a good idea to make sure that you have an exceptional car insurance policy. California is a busy state with an estimated 450,000+ car accidents per year. Since you need to be prepared in case you ever get into an accident, you should look to buy a quality insurance policy. Whether you are a new driver or experienced driver, it is important to know how much insurance is required to legally operate a motor vehicle in the state of California.
Minimum California Car Insurance Requirements (15/30/5)
1. $15000 bodily injury (per person)
2. $30000 bodily injury total (per accident)
3. $5000 property damage (per accident)
If you know anything about the CA car insurance requirements, you will understand that they are lower coverage amounts than most other states. Why are their requirements lower? The reason that they don’t require as much insurance is because the state has implemented a plan called the “California Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program” which basically reduces insurance limits for drivers in the Golden State.
About the California Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program (CLCA)
The main goal of the CLCA is to offer auto insurance at a reasonable rate for low-income drivers that have a clean record. Even though the legal requirements in California require that all drivers purchase insurance, it is easy to save money in this state if you avoid traffic violations, accidents, and claims. The reason that California implemented this particular plan is because they were noticing that there were a significant number of low income individuals that were not purchasing insurance and driving uninsured.
In order to make insurance more affordable, they introduced the CLCA option. So under this particular policy, the requirements are altered and changed to:
1. $10000 bodily injury (per person)
2. $20000 bodily injury (per accident)
3. $3000 property damage (per accident)
Note: Compared to the original requirements without the CLCA, you are required to have $5000 more in bodily injury per person, $10000 more bodily injury coverage per accident, and $2000 more in property damage insurance. Obviously getting less coverage helps people that would normally not be able to afford insurance get covered. It also encourages people that were remaining uninsured to go out and buy a low rate policy.
Additional California Vehicle Insurance Options
If you are not comfortable with the minimum coverage provided, you can obviously buy more coverage. Despite the fact that you can sneak by with relatively little coverage in Cali, it is recommended to buy a significant amount of additional coverage. Compared to most other states, the amount of bodily injury protection and property damage insurance that you get in California is minimal. For a small monthly payment ranging $20 to $55 extra will help you get additional optional insurance coverage including:
- Additional medical coverage
- Additional collision damage protection
- Underinsured/uninsured motorist insurance
- Comprehensive insurance
If you’re like most people, you are probably wondering why the heck you should pay more per month for all of that extra coverage. If you consider yourself smart and can do a little math, you will understand that paying $30 extra per month is well worth it if you don’t have to pay an additional $50000 in bodily injury damage in the case of a severe accident.
After a serious accident happens, you are stuck with the insurance that you agreed upon; you cannot instantly upgrade your coverage. So if you are comfortable with the minimum amount of protection, think long and hard about what would happen if you got into an accident and didn’t have the extra coverage – you’d be paying out of your own savings – which could be a huge financial setback!
California Drivers: Finding the Top Insurance Companies
If you want to find the best California auto insurance companies, there are a few aspects of each company that you will want to take note of including:
- Company reputation
- Friendliness of agents
- Dedication to customer service
- Speed of claim processing
- Discounts offered
Whenever shopping for CA auto insurance, you will want to make sure that the company you decide to buy a policy through is top-notch. Switching insurers can take a lot of time, work, and is a pain in the behind! Make sure that you do research in advance so that you end up with a company that you can count on for years in the future; not a company that’s going to die out or not have your back when you get into an accident.
Save money with additional discounts
As in every state with every insurance company, there are going to be additional ways in which you can save money on your automobile insurance policy. A few of the most common ways to save include:
- Safe driving practices
- Staying out of legal trouble
- Keeping your credit score high
- Taking additional driving classes
In addition to the ways mentioned above to save, you can get good grades (if you’re in school), avoid claims (to get a no claims discount), and bundle all of your insurances under a single provider (in most cases this will allow you to save up to 25%). The average monthly car insurance cost for drivers in California based on research is around $74 per vehicle. Although it’s not the most expensive state to buy insurance in, it definitely isn’t the least expensive. You’ll definitely want to do all that you can in order to save yourself money.
Free California Car Insurance Quotes Comparison Online
If you want to get free auto insurance quotes online, you don’t even need to leave this website. All that you need to do is scroll to the top of the page and enter your zip code in the form where it indicates and click START. After you enter your zip, our system will show you the top deals from only the most reliable insurers for free. You can then see which companies offer the greatest savings by investigating each one and comparing their deals. Hopefully you are successful with getting a great CA car insurance policy!