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What are the Vehicle Insurance Requirements in California?

February 28, 2021

It is illegal to drive without motor vehicle insurance in all fifty states — including California.

Companies that provide insurance coverage to our residents allow drivers to choose their policy details, including the amount of coverage and the deductible at different price points for different types of vehicles.

However, there is a minimum amount of insurance coverage all California drivers must carry. Anything above and beyond is by choice, but the minimum is required.

Here, our personal injury attorney in Fresno County, Kings County, Kern County, Madera County, Merced County, and Tulare County at Nunes Law explains the insurance coverage requirements, the consequences for driving without insurance, and what you can do if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver.

Let’s get started.

What Are the Minimum California Car Insurance Coverage Requirements?

At Law Offices Of Frank M. Nunes, our Fresno personal injury attorneys know all California drivers must carry the minimum car insurance coverage, or obtain proof of financial responsibility from a licensed business in the state for a surety bond of $35,000.

The minimum insurance requirements in California are:

  • $15,000 per person for bodily injury liability coverage
  • $30,000 per accident for bodily injury liability coverage
  • $5,000 property damage liability coverage

When drivers are caught operating their vehicles without insurance, they can face serious consequences.

What Are the Legal Consequences of Driving Without Car Insurance in California?

As an at-fault accident state, California requires the person who is found liable for the accident to cover the damages suffered by those who were hurt in the crash.

When drivers have insurance, the liability for the damages that occurred during the crash is covered by their provider. When they do not have insurance, they may become personally liable for the crash and its complete costs.

When drivers are not involved in a crash but have been stopped for another reason, like a traffic violation, they can face fines and other penalties for driving without insurance.

Those penalties may include:

  • First offense: $100 fine plus administrative fees
  • Second offense: Fines up to $500 for second offenses and additional fees if the offense occurs within three years of the initial penalty
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Vehicle impoundment

The cost of potentially paying for an accident out of pocket is too big of a risk to take, which is why vehicle insurance is mandatory throughout California. Yet, some still drive without it. If you have been hurt in an accident with an uninsured motorist, contact our experienced car accident attorneys in Fresno today to learn about your legal options in holding them accountable for your damages.

What Can I Do If an Uninsured Driver Caused My California Car Accident Injuries?

If you are injured in an accident with an uninsured driver, he or she may potentially be liable for the damages that result, including medical costs, property damage, and other expenses out of pocket.

The problem is, what if they do not have the money?

Our car accident lawyers in Fresno will pursue the uninsured driver for your complete financial compensation or explore your insurance policy for its uninsured motorist coverage, so you are not the one who is left paying for your expenses out of pocket.

The same is true if the negligent driver is an underinsured motorist, meaning he or she had the minimum amount of coverage at the time of your collision, but the total costs of your injuries outweigh their policy limits.

If you have been injured in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, contact our experienced personal injury attorney in Fresno at Nunes Law today by calling 559.436.0850 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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