Carrying at least a minimum amount of automotive insurance is a requirement to drive in California, as with all other states. While with the help of a traffic ticket attorney Los Angeles residents may be able to take on most traffic laws, not having the right insurance can make a ticket or accident much more complex. Below is a guide to understanding the laws in California governing car insurance.
If you are a California resident and want to drive on public roads, you need to have at least a minimum level of insurance. This law has similar counterparts throughout the country; however, each state is a little different. So, you need to know the specifics for California.
You should have a liability insurance policy that will protect against damage to property and bodily injuries in the event of an accident. Your insurance comes into play if you are found to be at fault. If the other party is at fault, their insurance should cover the cost of the accident. The minimum coverage amounts are as follows:
$5,000 for property damage
$15,000 for bodily injury to a single person
$30,000 for bodily injury to multiple people
Alternatively, you can self-insure by making a $35,000 deposit to the DMV, receiving a self-insured certificate from the DMV or holding a $35,000 surety bond from a licensed company. It is probably no surprise that few people opt for any of these options over traditional insurance.
Keep in mind that minimum insurance does not cover you for collisions, comprehensive coverage, an accident with an uninsured motorist or a no-fault accident. If you can afford it, consider getting coverage above the state minimum to help protect you in these circumstances.
Proof of Insurance
You are required to always have proof of insurance on you when you are driving in California. Fortunately, you can do this with a digital proof of insurance, which makes it significantly easier than in prior decades.
You don’t want to get caught by a police officer without proof of insurance. The fines for driving without proof of insurance start at $100 and go up to $500. You can get out of this fine and other consequences by proving that you had insurance at the time of being pulled over or the accident. If, for example, you got pulled over in the capital without proof of insurance, you’d likely want a Sacramento traffic ticket lawyer to help you sort the situation out. It can be complicated and bureaucratic.
If you didn’t have at least the minimum insurance, your problems may extend beyond the fines. Your vehicle may be impounded. Additionally, your license and/or registration may be suspended. These are circumstances no driver wants to face, especially alone.
Get the Help You Need
Driving without insurance isn’t a smart thing to do. Fortunately, if you make a mistake or receive some other type of traffic citation, you can get help from traffic ticket lawyers. Getting help is almost always worth it because you can avoid some of the more severe costs and penalties of a driving or insurance mistake.