Like 48 of the other states, California has its own mandatory car insurance law. It requires drivers to have a minimum of $15,000 per person in liability coverage with a maximum of $30,000 per occurrence along with $5,000 in property damage coverage.
Compared to the other states, California’s mandatory coverage limits are abysmally low. What makes matters even worse is the fact that California doesn’t require drivers to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance. UM/UI insurance is triggered if you’re injured in an accident that was caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver. It even covers you in the event of a hit-and-run, or if you’re a bicyclist or pedestrian.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance Offerings in California
Like some other states, insurers doing business in California offer the coverage to a person applying for car insurance. If the applicant wants the coverage, it can be purchased and paid for. If the applicant doesn’t want it, the coverage can be declined. The applicant need only sign off on a written waiver and acknowledgment that it was indeed offered.
Why Having the Coverage is Strongly Recommended
According to the Insurance Research Council, about one of every eight drivers around you on the road don’t have any insurance at all. If you suffer a serious leg fracture in an accident that was caused by an uninsured driver, you’re going to be overwhelmed with medical, surgical and physical therapy bills. Even if you have health insurance, be prepared to take a pounding from deductibles. Then, there’s the lost time and earnings from your job.
Most people just can’t sustain such losses, but if you’re covered by uninsured motorist insurance, you’re eligible for compensation for damages like the following:
- Medical bills up to the limit of your coverage.
- Lost earnings while you were recovering from your injuries.
- Compensation for your pain and suffering as a result of your injuries.
- Any resulting disfigurement or disability.
- Funeral and burial expenses in the event that you lose your life in the accident.
How Underinsured Motorist Coverage Works
Underinsured motorist insurance is automatically applied when you purchase uninsured motorist insurance. If you’re injured at the fault of a driver who had only $15,000 of coverage and you suffered $50,000 of damages, you can make a claim with your own insurance company for the $35,000 balance (after you’ve exhausted the other driver’s liability insurance limit).
We’re not insurance agents trying to sell you additional coverage. We’re car accident lawyers who want you and your family to be properly covered in the event that you’re injured as a result of the negligence of an uninsured or underinsured driver.
More and more uninsured motorists are on Glendale roads every day, so if you don’t have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, you should talk to your insurance agent about getting it. Contact us right away if you or a family member who is a resident of your household is injured by an uninsured or hit-and-run driver.