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How Much Liability Car Insurance Do I Need

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The Cheapest Car Insurance In California For 2022

How much car insurance do I actually need?

MoneyGeek gathered average premiums from car insurance providers in California to determine the cheapest company. Progressive is the most affordable option in the state based on average rates. Drivers can save as much as $707 by shopping around.

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  • The Cheapest Car Insurance In California For 2022
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    Progressive has the cheapest average rate for MoneyGeeks sample driver. For actual premium prices, insurers consider different factors such as coverage amounts, driving history and age.

    For instance, Esurance is the cheapest company for a full coverage policy, senior drivers and those with at-fault accidents. On the other hand, the most affordable for young drivers is Allstate. If you are an active-duty military, veteran or from a military family, USAA is among your cheapest options.

    For those looking for an even more local solution, we also broke down the cheapest companies by city, as well as the best car insurance companies in California for those looking to balance quality service and cost.

    To find out how MoneyGeek calculated the cheapest car insurance in California, read our methodology.

    Look For Ways To Maximize Liability Insurance While Saving In Other Areas

    Liability insurance is a vital part of your auto insurance coverage. Its not a good place to skimp.

    A better strategy for saving money to look elsewhere for ways to save on your policy. For instance, ask the insurance company how much you would save by increasing your deductible on collision and comprehensive insurance.

    The insurance deductible is the amount that is deducted from your insurance claims check if you make a collision or comprehensive claim. The higher your deductible, the less youll pay in premiums. But make sure you can cover a higher deductible amount if you need to make a claim.

    You could also ask your insurance agent about car insurance discounts. You may qualify for discounts that youre currently not getting.

    Another good discount is a multi-policy discount. Thats when you bundle your auto and home insurance policies. Its typically one of the best discounts you can get.

    If your car isnt worth much, you might want to skip buying collision and comprehensive car insurance. These are two separate coverage types that are often sold together. Collision covers your vehicle damage if its damaged in a crash with another car or object . Comprehensive covers your vehicle for problems like fire, flood, hail, vandalism, falling objects, collisions with animals and car theft.

    Youll most likely be required to have both collision and comprehensive insurance if you have a car loan or lease.

    Related:When to drop collision and comprehensive insurance

    Why You Need Car Insurance

    Driving around without car insurance is not only dumb with a capital D, its also illegal. Yet 1 in 8 Americans drives without some kind of auto insurance in place.1 Dont do this. Youll face serious consequences if youre caught on the road without car insurance. If youre one of those rule-breaking types, this isnt a rule you want to mess with.

    Another reason to get car insurance is because it protects your finances and assets. How else are you going to cover the costs after your teenager accidentally drives your SUV through the garage door? Or when your uncle forgets to put your car in park and it rolls into your neighbors brand-new convertible?

    The right amount of car insurance can really save your financial skin. And in the grand scheme of things, its not that expensive.

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    What Other Coverages Are Offered

    There are many types of car insurance coverage available, including:

    • Umbrella Policy: If you dont think that the highest levels of bodily injury and property damage liability would be enough to protect your assets in a severe accident, you might want to purchase an umbrella policy. Umbrella policies provide a minimum of $1,000,000 in liability coverage above and beyond your standard auto insurance liability limits.
    • Rental Reimbursement: Rental reimbursement pays for your rental car while your car is in the repair shop because of an insured loss.
    • Roadside Assistance: Roadside assistance covers the cost of tow trucks, locksmith services or basic repairs on the side of the road.
    • Non-Owner Insurance: If you dont own a car, but you still drive occasionally, you might need a non-owner insurance plan to provide liability coverage in case of an accident.
    • Usage-Based/Pay-As-You-Drive Insurance: Your car insurance company can record your driving information, such as speed and mileage, and offer you discounts on your coverage for being a better driver. This may have unintended consequences, however, so its good to do your research before buying.
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    A good minimum liability coverage level is 100/300/100. Keep in mind, many insurance companies offer much higher levels of coverage, with 250/500/250 as policy options by several insurance companies across the country.

    Liability Insurance Coverage Limits

    How Much Auto Insurance Should you need to Buy? (With images)

    The amount your insurer will pay for a covered liability insurance claim depends on the coverage limits you choose. Each state sets minimum coverage limits for bodily injury liability and property damage liability that drivers must purchase, but you may decide to buy additional coverage. You may see three liability coverage limits on your car insurance policy:

    Property damage liability limit.

    • This is the maximum amount your insurer would pay to repair damage you cause to another party’s property. The maximum payout would not exceed the limit you’ve set.

    Bodily injury liability limit per person.

    • This is the maximum payout for each person who’s injured in an accident that you cause.

    Bodily injury liability limit per accident.

    • This is the total amount your insurer will pay out for all medical expenses for a single accident you’re at fault for. It’s important to set this limit at an amount that makes you comfortableit may be needed to help pay for the medical expenses of multiple people.

    Most insurers package bodily injury and property damage limits together. For example, your policy may look something like this:

    Your coverage limits depend on the packages your insurer offers. In other words, you may not be able to choose individual limits for bodily injury or property damage coverage.

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    Liability Limits On Auto Insurance

    Liability limits on auto insurance are the maximum amount that your insurance company will pay for injuries and property damage in accidents that you cause. Liability limits are typically written as three numbers divided by slashes.

    For example, Arizonas liability coverage requirements are 50/30/10. That means drivers need to carry $50,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person, $30,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per accident, and $10,000 in property damage liability coverage overall.

    Examples Of The Auto Insurance Coverage Under An Umbrella Policy:


    The primary auto insurance policy can only do so much in a multiple vehicle collision. “Most people do not realize that if they get into an accident and hit multiple cars or injure multiple people, there is a cap on the primary auto policy. That is why it is recommended to have an umbrella policy that sits over and above these limits,” said Clement.

    Loss of income

    If an accident takes a neurosurgeon out of commission for six months, you may be at risk for their loss of income. According to the 2012 MGMA Physician Compensation Report, a surgeon makes on average $775,968 a year. For those six months they spent recuperating, their foregone salary totaled $387,984. The foregone salary alone would have cleared out your maximum policy with approximately $88,000 out of pocket, assuming you had the highest level of protection from Geico and without factoring in the cost of medical care. In this case, an umbrella policy could protect you from paying the additional damages, particularly if you are a high net worth individual.

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    What Else Should I Know About Bodily Injury Liability Coverage

    • Most states require a minimum amount for this coverage
    • Bodily injury liability policies have limits that are the maximum amounts your insurance company will pay in the event of an accident
    • You can choose higher limits for more protection
    • Youll be covered for 2 different amounts: one if only one person is injured and another if multiple people are injured
    • You can purchase umbrella insurance for an additional cost if you want even more coverage

    What Is Liability Insurance And Why Does It Matter

    How Much Car Insurance Do I Actually Need?

    Even well-intentioned people have accidents. If you cause an accident that damages another vehicle or injures someone, your liability coverage kicks in to repair the other vehicle and cover medical bills for those who were injured. Nearly every state requires drivers to carry liability insurance.

    If you dont have liability coverage, the person you hit may come after your pocketbook to cover their expenses, which could total tens of thousands of dollarsif not more. If you cant pony up, your wages might be garnished or your home equity could even be taken. As a general rule, the more property and assets you own, the more coverage you need.

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    How To Compare Cheap California Car Insurance Quotes Online

    You can easily get a car insurance quote online from most companies, making the process of shopping for auto coverage far more convenient than it used to be.

    • Start by determining how much coverage you need so you can compare insurers with consistent limits. For instance, if you get a quote with one provider for $100,000 in bodily injury liability insurance per accident, you should make sure to use the same number when comparing prices with another insurer.
    • If you want to get a quote estimate for the average driver, use MoneyGeeks car insurance calculator. For personalized quotes, youll have to provide more details.
    • For the states minimum liability-only car insurance package, Progressive, USAA and CSAA offer the most reasonably priced plans, on average.

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    Having a DUI on your record can increase your insurance rates because driving under the influence of alcohol can endanger yourself and others on the road. Drivers in California with a DUI might need to file an SR-22. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , there were 9,288 car crash deaths involving a drunk driver in California from 20092018. In the same study, 1.5% of respondents in California reported driving after drinking too much within the previous 30 days.

    What Is Bodily Injury Liability

    If someone else is injured in an accident that was your fault, your bodily injury liability coverage pays their medical expenses. Most states require drivers to carry between $15,000 and $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person, $30,000 to $100,000 in bodily liability per accident, and $5,000 to $25,000 in property damage liability.

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    What Qualifies As A Full Coverage Policy

    Not every insurer will define full coverage the same way. But it usually refers to policies that add comprehensive and collision insurance to the minimum liability insurance requirements mandated by your state. Comprehensive and collision insurance protects you against the cost of damages to your vehicle, on and off the road. Liability insurance protects you against the cost of damages to others when youâre at fault.

    What Does Liability Insurance Cover

    How Much Is The General Car Insurance A Month

    A typical liability auto insurance policy is described with three numbers that represent the maximum amount your insurer will pay out after an accident. These three numbers represent, in order:

    • Bodily injury liability per person:Bodily injury liability covers medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering expenses.
    • Bodily injury liability per accident:This is the maximum amount of bodily injury coverage paid out per accident.
    • Property damage liability per accident: Property damage liability covers vehicle and property damage, cleanup costs and court costs if youre sued.

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    Other Types Of Car Insurance

    If youre in a car accident, youll want to make sure your own needs are covered. Sometimes, vehicle incidents dont even involve another driver, like if you accidentally roll into your garage door or a sudden hailstorm dents your vehicles body. This is why its helpful to have additional insurance like medical coverage, compensated loss of work, or coverage to fix damages to your own car or property.

    In addition to liability insurance, consider the following auto insurance coverages to protect your assets and yourself:

    How To Shop For The Cheapest Full Coverage Policy

    One of the best ways to get cheap full coverage auto insurance is by shopping with several car insurance companies. Getting multiple personalized quotes to compare coverages doesnât have to be difficult. You can get quotes almost instantly, and MoneyGeek can help. By comparing auto insurance rates and coverages, consumers can save up to 47%, even high-risk drivers.

    To make the process easier, have the right information available when getting full coverage car insurance quotes. Here are some steps to take to get accurate auto quotes while shopping for car insurance:

    Gather your information

    To get an accurate quote, you’ll typically need to enter your name, date of birth, address and driverâs license information for all household drivers, including yourself. You’ll also need to know the year, make, model and VIN for each vehicle to be insured. Knowing your current coverages can help you find the best deal for full coverage.

    Quote the same coverages

    Whether you’re comparing two or five different auto insurance companies, be consistent with the coverages you’re using to compare. Use the same liability limits and comprehensive and collision deductibles to make an accurate comparison to find the best cheap full coverage car insurance.

    Consider optional coverages

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    How Much Auto Coverage Do I Need

    Almost every state requires you to buy a minimum amount of liability coverage. Chances are that you will need more liability insurance than the state requires because accidents cost more than the minimum limits. If youre found legally responsible for bills that are more than your insurance covers, you will have to pay the difference out of your own pocket. These costs could wipe you out!

    You may want to talk to your agent or company representative about purchasing higher liability limits to reflect your personal needs. You may also consider purchasing an umbrella or excess liability policy. These policies pay when your underlying coverages are exhausted. Typically, these policies cost between $200 and $300 per year for a million dollars in coverage. If you have your homeowners and auto insurance with the same company, check out the cost of coverage with this company first. If you have coverage with different companies, it may be easier to buy it from your auto insurance company.

    In addition to liability coverage, consider buying collision and comprehensive coverage. You don’t decide how much to buy. Your coverage reflects the market value of your car and the cost of repairing it.

    Getting A Coverage As A Result Of An Insurance Provider In The Location

    How Much Car Insurance Do You Need | 4 EASY STEPS

    For those with undesirable credit histories, it can be beneficial to take out a coverage with regional insurance coverage firms. It is going to help you save you each and every month funds on the regular insurance plan in addition to present great client help and Unique bargains. The coverage can be attained in all fifty states. You can even Evaluate costs throughout states to determine one of the most affordable amount. It is actually worth noting that your credit rating rating may be a little bit slow and those with poor credit history may be paying out over $400 annually.

    Erie Insurance, A further regional insurance provider, supplies reduced-Expense automobile insurance plan. This corporation is situated in Pennsylvania, and has actually been in organization considering the fact that 1925. Erie offers vehicle, life and property coverage. Although Erie only gives coverage in certain states, its a lot more than 13,000 impartial insurance policy brokers throughout the United States. You can decide on an agent or regional insurer determined by your needs. It is actually advised to overview all facts before making a preference.

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    Look At Automobile Coverage Charges

    The best method to cut down on the insurance policies on cars for motorists whore young is to reduce the protection. Insurance coverage providers often give savings to learners and motorists in training. You could potentially finish up shelling out a lot more In case your insurance policy coverage is Slash. Be sure to look at all possible penalties and hunt for superior price.

    Young adults confront a problem acquiring low cost automobile insurance plan. Even though the cost of coverage for a 16-yearold driver is considerably dearer than for an adult, it is possible to decreased rates by introducing a teen driver to an existing prepare. The expense of this feature is increased by an average of $1,461 a calendar year, but is usually less costly than obtaining a different policy. For anyone who is an aspiring driver, you may qualify for discounts or other cost savings.

    Do I Need Uninsured Motorist Car Insurance

    If you have your own health insurance and you have purchased collision coverage, you may be able to skip uninsured motorist coverage if your state allows it. It is a good idea to keep uninsured motorist coverages if you can afford to as it minimizes financial losses from deductibles and coverage caps.

    Furthermore, getting into a crash with an uninsured motorist could spell disaster in 2019, 12.6 percent of motorists, or about one in eight drivers, were uninsured, according to a 2021 study by the Insurance Research Council.

    Your state may require that you buy uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage, which pays your hospital bills if you are hit by an uninsured driver. Your state may require only that you be offered this coverage but allow you to turn it down.

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