Common types of car insurance in California
When buying a new car, some of the first questions that come to mind even after leaving the shop are about insurance and what type of insurance we should get. Do not get fooled by salesmen that would likely offer the most expensive coverage and will probably try to fool you with buzzwords, so you fall into their trap.
Knowing about the common types of car insurance will save you the hassle of going through tons of paperwork without really knowing what to look for. As your prime personal injury attorneys in California, we feel that it is our duty to show you the most common types of insurance coverage. This is so you can make an informed decision when shopping both for a car and your insurance coverage.
The most common types of insurance are:
- Auto liability coverage
- Comprehensive coverage
- Collision coverage
- Underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage
Depending on your local jurisdiction, some of these coverages might be mandatory, while some might be optional. We explain each type of coverage in detail below
California Auto Liability Coverage
This is the most basic coverage package and is mandatory in most states. As its name implies, auto liability insurance covers the damages you might cause if you are at fault in a car accident. Drivers are required by law to get at least the minimum liability coverage set by their state laws. In California, the minimum rate is about $200, and the average is $606. It is divided to cover:
- Bodily Injury Liability: to pay for the costs of another person’s injuries if you cause an accident, or medical payments coverage.
- Property Damage Liability: to pay for the material damages you cause in case you provoke an accident.
Because of the limits of the auto liability coverage, it is advisable to increase the coverage above the state’s minimum requirements, since any cost that exceeds its policy limits and minimum coverages would have to come out of your own pocket.
Comprehensive coverage is an insurance type that helps pay to repair or replace your vehicle in case it is damaged or stolen in an incident that did not involve a vehicular collision. Commonly referred to as “something other than collision” coverage, it helps you against damages from fire, vandalism, fallen objects, and theft, among others.
If you are looking to finance or lease your car, the lender most likely requires comprehensive coverage. If the car is fully owned by you, then this is optional coverage.
Collision coverage is one of the most known types of insurance. It protects you if you are involved in a collision against a vehicle or an object, such as a fence, lamp post, or tree. As with comprehensive, if you are still paying or leasing your car, collision coverage might be required by the lender. If the car is yours, it is an optional (albeit extremely recommended) coverage package.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
When you are involved in an accident that is not your fault, this is where this type of liability coverage comes in. If the negligent party that caused the incident is not insured or his policy limits cannot cover the expenses of the accident, you need a lawyer to help you. While in some states these coverages are bundled together in a single package, each one defines it differently but mostly it means that either:
- The party that caused the accident does not have liability coverage and cannot pay for damage
- Liability limits are insufficient to cover your repair and medical bills after an accident
- Liability limits are less than or equal to your underinsured motorist coverage limit
Are there more types of insurance?
While the previously mentioned insurance types are the most common, there is a myriad of optional packages to add to your policy that will adjust to your needs. While it would be easy to just consult with an insurance agent about what optional coverage is best for your vehicle, you must remember that they are there to get clients and revenue for the insurance company.
Before deciding what insurance coverage suits your needs, the best course of action is to consult with your attorney. An accident attorney will be able to analyze the ins and outs of an insurance policy and will not let the insurance carrier take advantage of you for their profit.
If you need help, contact an accident attorney in California
Even though we need to be insured in case anything ever happens to ourselves or our vehicles, just settling for what insurance companies over or cover is not enough to truly compensate us for the damages a car accident might cause us.
That is why you should always call a personal injury attorney in case of an accident. It is proven that involving an attorney in your accident claim will get you better settlement amounts, better handling of property damage claims, and access to doctors and treatment.
Our expert California personal injury attorneys are here to help you with any type of legal claim against a negligent individual or party that caused you harm. We are available 24/7 at (844) 824-2955. The best part is that you do not have to pay us a cent! No Fees Unless We Win!