Did you know that you legally don’t have to carry auto insurance in California? It’s true. You just have to prove that you have “financial responsibility” by one of four methods:
- Leaving a huge, interest-free cash deposit of $35,000 with the DMV
- Getting a DMV-issued self-insurance certificate, which you can acquire here by putting down a minimum deposit of $305,000, but can use with multiple vehicles
- A surety bond for $35,000 from a company licensed to do business in California
- Purchase a liability auto insurance policy
All of those non-insurance options seem pretty ridiculous when you can find cheap, legal coverage pretty easily. And considering such costly alternatives, bare-bones auto insurance sounds like a good deal.
Flimsy Auto Insurance Policies
But those flimsy policies also leave you vulnerable to events that may be unpreventable. The minimum liability insurance requirements for private passenger vehicles in California are:
- $15,000 for injury/death to one person
- $30,000 for injury/death to more than one person
- $5,000 for damage to property
This is payable to a person (other than the policyholder) for personal injury or property damage, including the living victim of an accident, or in the event of their death, a relative.
Unfortunately, auto accidents that result in injuries and fatalities are not at all rare. Nor are accidents in which cars are damaged far more than $5000 worth. For example, if you were ever to hit a new Lamborghini, you would deeply, deeply regret your minimum auto insurance policy.
The Solution is Planning Ahead
Insurance may pay to restore your car in an accident, or send a technician to replace a flat tire. By increasing your auto insurance coverage, yes, you spend more per month, but you also save yourself huge financial trauma in the event of an accident. This minimizes the risk to you, while seriously increasing your financial safety net. In the aftermath of an accident, when you probably already feel horrible, knowing you won’t be able to cover important costs can really weigh on you.
Aside from increasing your liability coverage, including comprehensive and/or collision coverage, strengthens your policy. Also, don’t forget roadside assistance. It provides towing to the nearest qualified repair facility. It also offers locksmith services, and battery “jump-starts,” wherever your vehicle breaks down.
Your Auto Insurance Policy
Auto insurance isn’t just about obeying the law. The right coverage will take care of you if you ever need it. Please contact the office of Mike McGann for more info on the best auto insurance options in California. Our phone number is (925) 447-1744.