California Auto Insurance policy is a contract between you and an insurance company. You pay a premium, and in exchange, the insurance company promises to pay for specific car-related financial losses during the term of the policy. Finding the right auto insurance policy can help get your car back on the road quickly when your car is damaged or destroyed by accident, fire, theft, or other covered events. Your policy may also provide protection against medical and legal expenses resulting from injury, loss of life, or property damage caused by an accident involving your vehicle.
Also need to understand the pupose of a deductible. A Deductible – When you get insurance, you agree to pay up to a certain amount out-of-pocket in case of a loss. This amount is called your “deductible.” The deductible you choose often affects how much you pay for your premium. For example, a higher deductible usually means a lower premium. In the case of a covered loss, you’ll only be required to pay your deductible, and the insurance company usually covers the excess, up to the applicable limit for that loss under your policy.
California Auto Insurance- Required Coverage
- Bodily Injury Liability — This covers costs associated with injuries and death that you or another driver causes while driving your car.
- Property Damage Liability — This coverage will reimburse others for damage that you or another driver operating your car causes to another vehicle or other property, such as a fence, building or utility pole.
California Auto Insurance – Preferred Coverages
- Collision Insurance – Collision insurance coverage pays for damage caused to your vehicle in an automobile accident. Standard collision coverage will pay for any repairs up to the fair market value of your car. Collision coverage usually also comes with an insurance deductible. It’s the amount of money you pay toward repairs before your collision insurance kicks in. The higher the deductible you’re willing to pay, the less the collision coverage will cost.
- Comprehensive Insurance (Other than Collision) – Comprehensive insurance covers damage done to your car in some way other than a collision, such as if it were stolen or vandalized. Flood, hurricane, theft, windshield damage and fire are also events usually covered by comprehensive car insurance. Like collision, comprehensive will pay up to the fair market value of your car (less your insurance deductible.) And although it’s not legally required by any state, you will probably need it if your car is financed.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage– Pays for damages associated with bodily injury or death from an accident caused by an uninsured, underinsured or hit-and-run driver, as defined by the law in the jurisdiction where the accident occurred, who is at fault. It also covers you if you are hit as a pedestrian.
- Medical Payments — Provides reimbursement for medical expenses for injuries to you or your passengers. It will also cover lost wages and other related expenses.
- Glass Coverage — Windshield damage is common, and some auto policies include no-deductible glass coverage, which also includes side windows, rear windows and glass sunroofs. Or you can buy supplemental glass coverage.
California Auto Insurance – Gap Insurance
Something to note when buying a new vehicle collision and comprehensive only cover the market value of your vehicle. What you paid for it is a factor in repairing your car. New cars do reduce in value once they drive off the lot. If your car is totaled or stolen, there may be a “gap” between what you owe on the vehicle and your insurance coverage. To cover this, you may want to look into purchasing gap insurance to pay the difference. (Note: For leased vehicles, gap coverage is usually rolled into your lease payments.)
California Auto Insurance- What should I Do?
- Full Coverage – there is no such thing as “FULL COVERAGE” your California Auto Insurance Policy will pay the limits of the policy. Thus, you need to understand what you need to protect. If your policy limits are sued up you are now liable to make up the difference of the claim.
- Liability– You need to understand what you need to insulate from risk. For Example if you own a home you have more assets to protect and your liabilit limit should be in the $500 K range and you should explore an umbrella policy.
- Deductible– Understand your saving by changing your deductible. IF you move your deductible from $500 to $1000 how much will you save? If you have a good driving record may be a direction you want to head.
- Bundle Insurance– Bunding your home and auto can save you money. Bundling is having the same carrier for your home insurance and your auto insurance.