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California laws on uninsured motorist coverage

On Behalf of | Aug 21, 2020 | Car Accidents |

Car accidents are among the worst experiences a person can suffer. The situation becomes even worse when the at-fault driver has no insurance. If the driver flees the scene, he or she might face charges should law enforcement ever discover who the person is. In the interim, the other driver might struggle to cover the cost of damages and injuries. 

This scenario is why so many drivers purchase uninsured motorist coverage. Forbes reports that while California does not make this coverage mandatory, insurance companies must offer it at a 15/30 rate. In California, 15.2% of drivers have chosen this insurance coverage. 

What about hit and runs?

Unfortunately, California is one of several states that may not allow drivers to use uninsured coverage to pay for costs after a hit-and-run. Other states embracing this policy include Georgia, Colorado, Louisiana, Illinois and Ohio. In these states, collision coverage may help to cover the cost of repairs to the vehicle. 

What does it cover?

The California Department of Insurance differentiates between three main types of underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage. These include the following: 

  • Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury: Covers the cost of injuries for drivers and their passengers in the event of a collision caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver. 
  • Underinsured Motorist: Limited coverage for some bodily injuries when someone has an accident with a driver who does not have any or enough insurance coverage. 
  • Uninsured Motorist Property Damage: Covers repairs to the damaged property after collision with uninsured or underinsured drivers up to a limit of $3,500. 

California law requires auto insurance as proof of financial responsibility for each vehicle a person owns. Failure to show proof of responsibility may lead to license suspensions, fines and vehicle impounding.