California Car Insurance

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Golden gate bridge, california’s guide to auto insurance in California. Image: Flickr

California, also known as the “Golden State”, is one of those states where it is nearly impossible to get around without a vehicle.  Unless you live in San Francisco or Los Angeles and are able to take advantage of the subway and other public transportation methods there, chances are you will need to be driving.

Like every other state in the United States, if you drive, you need at least some form of insurance. Continue reading below to learn more about the driving situation in California, what type of auto insurance you need in the state, and what the laws and requirements are.

Average Auto Insurance Prices In California

As the most populated state in the United States, California’s traffic situation can be described as being “a nightmare.”  These traffic conditions coupled with relatively high theft and a high percentage of uninsured drivers should equal high auto insurance rates, right? Wrong! Because of low insurance requirements and favorable legislation, California residents enjoy insurance rates that are lower than the average premiums in the United States.

Current average annual auto insurance premiums in the United States – $1,596.08
Current average annual auto insurance premiums in California – $1,414.94

Average Insurance Rates For The Five Most Populated Cities In California:

  1. Los Angeles – $1,678
  2. San Diego – $1,318
  3. San Jose – $1,494
  4. San Francisco – $1,493
  5. Fresno – $1,461

California Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements

The state of California has the following requirements for automobile insurance coverage:

  • $15,000 in bodily insurance liability (BIL) for one person
  • $30,000 in bodily insurance liability (BIL) per accident (more than one person)
  • $5,000 for property damage liability (PDL)
  • uninsured motorist bodily injury not required
  • medical payments coverage not required
  • collision coverage not required
  • comprehensive coverage not required

Just because certain auto insurance coverage types are not required or are very low does not mean that you should neglect them. The following coverage amounts are recommended in the state of California:

  • $100,000 in BIL for one person
  • $300,000 in BIL per accident
  • $100,000/$300,000 in uninsured motorist bodily injury
  • $5,000 in medical payments coverage
  • $500 deductible for collision coverage
  • $250 deductible for comprehensive coverage

Penalties For Driving Without Insurance In California

In the state of California, the fine for driving without insurance is between $100 and $200 for the first offense.  The second offense carries a fine between $200 and $500.  The judge may impose greater fines, license suspension, or even jail time for continuous failure to show proof of insurance.  In California, if your insurance policy is canceled for any reason, you have 45 days to replace it.  Failure to do so can result in fines or suspensions.

How To Get Auto Insurance In California

The best way to find affordable auto insurance rates in the United States is to compare quotes from multiple providers.  If you are living in California, get a custom quote for your vehicle by using our auto insurance quote comparison tool.  Scroll back up to the top of this page and enter your zip code, or click the banner below to begin. After filling out our brief form, you will be given custom insurance rates from the most reputable insurance providers in the state of California.

Alternatively, if you prefer to deal with an agent or brokerage firm directly, a quick Google search could put you in touch with a local auto insurance provider in your neighborhood.

Additional California Auto Insurance Resources

The information above is provided for reference only.  Insurance Panda cannot be held legally responsible for anything written above.  For official information, please visit the following websites from California government agencies:

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