What are the California state minimum limits for auto insurance?
The state of California has mandated minimum financial responsibility coverage for automobile insurance sold within the state. The minimums are often shown as 15/30/5. The first number (15) means that in the event of a third party liability claim the maximum amount that an insurer will pay to one individual is $15,000. The second number (30) is the maximum amount that an insurer will pay to all individuals involved in the claim. If there are 3 claimants each could potentially receive a maximum of one third of the $30,000 total or $10,000. The final number (5) is for third party property damage. This means that the maximum amount that will be paid out for all property damage involved in a covered accident will be $5,000.
It is important to remember that the insurance buyer is responsible for all liability and damages over and above the 15/30/5 limits. In simple terms; if a driver is involved in an at-fault accident and causes severe injury or death to the other party, that driver may be personally responsible for all losses over the policy limit of 15/30. If instead, that same driver totals a late model vehicle with a blue book value of $40,000 they may be responsible for all losses over the $5,000 policy limit.Back to TopWhat is the difference between collision and comprehensive coverage?
Collision and comprehensive coverage are like two sides of the same coin. Both are there to provide protection for losses to the policy holders vehicle or property in the event of an at-fault accident. Collision coverage is for those situations in which a covered vehicle collides with another object. That other object might be another vehicle or it could be the side of a building or an electrical pole. Comprehensive protects from losses caused by other than collision. The number one cause of comprehensive losses are broken windshields caused by rocks or other flying debris. Other common types of comprehensive losses would be theft of property from the vehicle, vandalism, fire or damage caused by animals.Back to TopHow does my 15 1/2 year old apply for a drivers permit? :
When an individual is between the ages of 15 1/2 and 18 years of age they will apply for a provisional permit. In order to get the permit the following is needed:
- Complete an application form DL 44 at a DMV office (make an appointment to save time).
- Parents or guardians must sign the DL 44 form.
- Provide a thumb print and have your picture your taken.
- Provide the DMV with a social security number which they will verify while you are there.
- Verify birth date, legal residence and provide your complete true name.
- Provide proof of driver education or driver training classes.
- Pay the $25 application fee.
- Pass a vision exam.
- Pass a 46 question traffic laws and sign test with at least 39 correct answers.
If you are between 17 1/2 and 18 years of age, you may get your provisional permit without drivers education or driver training but you will not be allowed to take the driving test until after your 18th birthday.Back to TopAre there any restrictions on teen aged drivers?
When a minor is issued a provisional drivers license the following restrictions apply during the first year. The driver must be accompanied and supervised by a licensed parent, guardian or other licensed driver 25 years of age or older or by a licensed certified driving instructor when:
- Transporting passengers under the age of 20 years of age at any time during the first six months.
- Driving between the hours of Midnight and 5 AM for the first year.
Drivers under the age of 18 may not be employed to drive a motor vehicle. After the age of 18 the provisional license ends and the driver is treated as an adult.Back to TopHow can I find out if my broker/agent carries the proper licenses?
The state of California has made it very easy for the consumer to check the licensing and qualifications of any broker/agent. You can also determine if that individual or company has had any enforcement actions or complaints on their record. You will need either the individual or corporate name or the license number. Then simply follow this link and click on Consumer.
www.insurance.ca.govBack to TopWhat is Uninsured Motorist coverage and why do I need it?
When you purchase auto insurance in California you are required by law to carry bodily injury liability and property damage coverage. These are third party coverage's. This means that they are there to protect the other person; not you or your property. That's where Uninsured Motorist (UMBI) coverage steps in. If you are injured or your property is damaged in an accident with someone who is un-insured, UMBI will step in to pay for your loss. Uninsured usually means uninsured
. If the individual who causes the loss is insured but is not carrying adequate coverage, for example 15/30/5, UMBI will pay for your additional losses. It's easy to see the importance of Uninsured Motorist coverage- it is first party protection.Back to TopDo I need GAP Insurance?
Whether you lease your car or have an outstanding auto loan, GAP insurance can provide valuable protection during the early years of your car's life. As we all know, a new car's value drops the minute you drive it off the lot. And unfortunately, if a bus plows into the side of your new car five minutes after you drive it off the lot; your insurance only covers the actual cash value of the car. At this point, there's a good chance the insurance payoff isn't enough to pay off your outstanding lease (or loan) balance.
GAP insurance was created for just such a situation. If a loss occurs (theft, total loss in a collision, etc.), GAP insurance will pay the difference between the actual cash value of the vehicle and the current outstanding balance on your loan or lease. Some lenders and lessors actually require you to carry GAP coverage until the outstanding loan/lease amount drops below the value of the vehicle.
GAP insurance is typically not very expensive, since the coverage amount is relatively small. However, the cost will vary depending on the type and value of the vehicle you purchase.Back to Top