State law requires California motorists to demonstrate financial responsibility for covering damages for accidents they cause. Most drivers achieve this through auto insurance coverage. However, sometimes drivers don’t follow the rules.
Uninsured motorist coverage offers drivers additional protections for a traffic accident involving an uninsured or underinsured at-fault driver. Here’s how the coverage works in California.
California’s minimum liability coverage requirements
This state’s insurance code establishes minimum policy terms for vehicles registered here. In California, liability protection is the only mandatory coverage, and the minimum requirements are as follows:
- $15,000 per accident for bodily injury to a single individual
- $30,000 per accident for bodily injury to more than one individual
- $5,000 per accident for property damage
Liability insurance protects drivers when they are at fault in a traffic accident.
California’s uninsured motorist option
Though uninsured and underinsured motorist protection isn’t mandatory, insurers must offer the coverage to their customers. If drivers choose not to carry this insurance, they must sign a waiver indicating they turned down the offer of coverage. Uninsured motorist protection covers:
- Bodily injuries to you and your passengers when the at-fault driver has no liability insurance
- Limited bodily injury expenses for you and your passengers when the at-fault driver’s insurance does not cover the entire costs
- Up to $3,500 in damages to your car if the at-fault driver does not have sufficient coverage to pay for damages
Uninsured motorist coverage provides potentially valuable protection for California drivers. However, medical payments, collision and comprehensive coverages are other optional options that offer similar benefits. It helps to compare your choices to determine which coverages work best for you.