11.2.2021

California State Minimums for Motorist Coverage. Understand Your Rights

Written by: Ercolani Law Group

How Full Coverage Insurance Can Protect You and Others in an Auto Accident

Every few minutes, a car accident happens in California. Even in minor crashes, the aftermath can be financially devastating. Figuring out who was at fault and how to repair your vehicle or get compensation for your injuries can be overwhelming. Having the right insurance coverage can protect you and other drivers in the event of an accident.

At Ercolani Law Group, we represent individuals who have been injured in car accidents in the Thousand Oaks area and throughout Ventura County. We can help you determine whether you should pursue a claim for damages and how to get the largest recovery. Contact our office at (805) 338-6880 for a free, no-obligation consultation. 

How Much Car Insurance Coverage Do I Need to Carry in California?

In California, all drivers are required to carry proof of financial responsibility (insurance) in their vehicle. Failure to provide valid insurance can result in criminal penalties and may affect your driving privileges. All drivers must carry minimum liability coverage, which compensates another person who is injured or has property damage as a result of the accident. 

California’s minimum car insurance coverage:

  • $15,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person 
  • $30,000 bodily injury liability coverage per accident
  • $5,000 minimum property damage liability coverage

Comprehensive and collision insurance does not meet California insurance requirements since it does not provide compensation for another party in the event of a car accident. Many drivers opt to carry additional coverage beyond the minimum liability amount.

What Are Full Coverage Limits in California?

Full coverage is a broad term that can mean several different things. In general, it refers to any insurance coverage that exceeds the mandatory minimums required by state law. 

In California, full coverage insurance can include comprehensive insurance, which covers your vehicle in the event that it is damaged in something other than an accident. Comprehensive insurance is helpful in the event that a natural disaster, wildfire, or flood damages your vehicle.

Drivers may also opt to get collision insurance which covers your vehicle if you are in an accident, such as a single-car accident or collision with an object. While comprehensive and collision coverage is not mandated by state law, many lenders will require you to purchase it if you finance your vehicle.

What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage, and Do I Have to Carry It?

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage protects you in the event that you get into an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. Under California law, uninsured motorist coverage can be waived; however, it is a good idea to have this coverage.

Uninsured motorist coverage in California:

  • $15,000 bodily injury per person
  • $30,000 bodily injury per accident 
  • $3,500 property damage minimum

In short, all California drivers are required to have mandatory minimum liability coverage to protect others in the event they cause an accident that results in property damage or injury to another person. 

Drivers may purchase additional coverage such as comprehensive, collision, and uninsured motorist insurance to protect themselves. Under certain circumstances, a lender may also require that you have these coverages.

Book Your Free Consultation Today

If you were injured in an auto accident, contact our office for a free consultation. Our legal team can help fight to get you the recovery you deserve. Call (805) 338-6880 to discuss your case with an experienced attorney. 


At the Ercolani Law Group, we have recovered millions on behalf of our clients. For over a decade, we have helped injured parties throughout Ventura County get the maximum compensation available in their case. Get the help you need today.

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