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California Car Insurance & Minimum Coverage Amounts

California is the Golden State and the place where dreams come true. Movie stars, wine country and, Silicon Valley are just a drive away when you move to beautiful California.

But if you’re planning to make this state your new home, you’ll need to know how to register and insure your vehicle. Here’s everything you need to know about California car insurance and how to become a legal driver in the state.

California Car Insurance Minimum Coverage

California car insurance minimums are a little lower than the average for other states in the US. In order to register and drive a vehicle in California, you’ll need a minimum of:

  • Bodily injury liability: you’ll need coverage of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident.
  • Property damage coverage: $5,000 at a minimum.
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage: you’ll need $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident.
  • Uninsured motorist property damage: California requires $3,500 minimum.

Remember, these are just the minimums. You can further protect yourself with comprehensive, collision, or other coverage.

What is the Average Cost of Car Insurance in California?

If you’re insuring your car in California, you can expect to pay about 20% more than the national average. The average cost to insure a vehicle in the Golden State is $1,713 per year for full coverage.

Certain factors will influence the price you pay each month, quarter, or year for your vehicle’s insurance. Age, sex, driving history, where you park your car, and even your marital status will all have an impact.

Be sure to get quotes from multiple agencies to determine the coverage that works best for you. You can get discounts on car insurance through your employer, organizations you belong to, and even just by having a safe driving record.

Why is Car Insurance So Expensive in California?

You could argue that everything is more expensive in California. But there is, in fact, a reason why California car insurance is not cheap compared to the national average.

The state of California has many crime-prone and densely populated areas. That’s not to say that the entire state is unsafe. However, because the possibility of theft and vandalism is higher in California, drivers in the state experience higher premiums than in other states.

Lapses in California Car Insurance

If you’re driving in California and get pulled over by law enforcement, you must provide proof of current insurance. Failure to do so can result in some tough legal repercussions.

If you can’t provide proof that your vehicle is insured at the time of your citation, you will have 45 days to do so. Once that 45 days has passed, you’ll automatically receive a suspension of your registration for a full year. You may face revocation or suspension of your license, as well.

California requires that you carry insurance on a vehicle even if it’s just to be parked on the street. An uninsured vehicle parked on any public street can be grounds for citation.

Best Auto Insurance in California

California drivers were polled to determine their favorite car insurance companies in terms of affordability, coverage, and service. The five best auto insurers in California are as follows:

  • GEICO
  • AAA NorCal
  • Progressive
  • Mercury
  • AAA SoCal

Just because these insurers were ranked best by other drivers doesn’t mean they’re necessarily the best or the cheapest option for you. Shop around for insurance that meets your driving needs and falls into a budget that’s right for your wallet.

Driving in California

Looking for more information about driving in California? Here are some interesting facts you may like to know about cars, driving, and street laws in the Golden State.

  • In Eureka, California, it’s illegal to use the road as your mattress. If you want a nap, you’ll have to find a different surface.
  • It’s illegal to wash your neighbor’s car without their permission in Los Angeles.
  • It’s against the law for a woman to drive a car while wearing a housecoat.
  • It’s illegal in California for a driverless car to go faster than 60 miles per hour.
  • In California, you can get in big trouble for hunting any wild game from a moving vehicle… except for whales. However, whaling is illegal in California.

Conclusion: California Car Insurance

Almost 6,000 miles of highway span beautiful the state of California, but if you want to explore the state you’ll need the proper insurance. Be sure your vehicle is covered by the minimum coverage to avoid legal ramifications and hefty fines.