Car insurance premiums can be expensive. However, to operate a vehicle in California, you are required to carry minimum car insurance coverage. You may purchase additional coverage if you desire, but you are not required to do so. Uninsured motorist coverage is optional, but that does not mean you should not have it.
What Are the Car Insurance Requirements in California?
Every driver in California must purchase liability insurance. Liability insurance compensates accident victims when a driver causes an accident. The insurance coverage does not pay you anything if you cause a car crash. However, it does protect you.
If you do not have enough liability car insurance to pay an injury claim, the accident victim can sue you and obtain a personal judgment for damages. Damages in a car accident can include, but are not limited to:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Personal care costs
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disabilities and impairments
- Wrongful death benefits
Depending on the severity of the person’s injuries, the value of a car accident claim could total hundreds of thousands of dollars or more.
Minimum liability insurance for California drivers is $15,000 for the death or injury to one person ($30,000 per incident) and $5,000 for damage to property. Those amounts are very low when you consider surgery costs for a broken bone could exceed the minimum coverage without considering other damages.
If you can afford higher limits for liability insurance, you may want to consider increasing your coverage, especially if you have substantial assets or income that a person could pursue to collect a personal judgment.
What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Uninsured motorist coverage protects you. Even though the law requires all drivers to have car insurance, many drivers choose to ignore the law. They may be unable to afford to pay for insurance coverage, or they may be driving without a license.
If you are involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver, you are responsible for your damages. Most people do not have sufficient resources to pay a personal judgment if they are not paying car insurance premiums.
However, if you have uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance company stands in the shoes of the at-fault driver. You can receive compensation for your damages and losses by filing an uninsured motorist insurance claim. You must prove that the other driver caused the accident, but once that is accomplished, you can receive compensation for your claim.
Uninsured motorist coverage is an optional coverage. Your insurance agent is required to offer the coverage, but you can decline it. If you declined uninsured motorist coverage, you have no protection if an uninsured driver causes an accident.
The cost of uninsured motorist coverage is usually much lower than the cost of liability insurance. Therefore, you may want to reconsider the coverage. If you have minimum uninsured motorist coverage, you may want to increase the coverage.
Do You Need Help with an Uninsured Motorist Claim? Contact a Sacramento Accident Lawyer for Help
Do not assume that your insurance company will treat you fairly if you file an uninsured motorist claim. You are dealing with an insurance adjuster instead of your insurance agent.
If you have questions or want to discuss your claim, call (916) 999-9000 now for a free consultation with one of our Sacramento uninsured motorist claims attorneys.