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What does auto insurance cover?
Liability coverage is mandatory if you own a car in California. It provides coverage if you're at fault after an accident. The state minimum limits are:
- $15,000 bodily injury coverage per person
- $30,000 bodily injury coverage per incident
- $5,000 of property damage coverage per incident
This is typically seen as 15/30/5. We always suggest going higher than the minimum to avoid dipping into your own bank account to pay out after an accident.
If you're found at fault after an accident, bodily injury liability will cover the injuries to the other party and their passengers. Property damage liability will cover the cost to fix the other party's car.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist liability are designed to protect you, financially, from drivers with minimal or no coverage. It provides coverage if you're not at fault, but the other party doesn't have enough insurance to pay for the damages and injuries. According to the Insurance Research Council, about 15% of drivers are uninsured in California.
There are 2 types of physical damage coverages–comprehensive and collision. These are optional coverages (unless you are leasing the vehicle or have a loan).
- Comprehensive–covers 'everything but collision,' such as falling objects, vandalism, glass damage, theft (if the car is stolen), or hitting a deer. You choose a deductible and pay this amount, then the auto insurance company will pay the rest.
- Collision–if you get hit by, or hit another car or object, this coverage will pay for the car repairs. You choose a deductible and pay this amount, then the auto insurance company will pay the rest.
Medical payments can help cover the medical care you and your passengers receive after an accident. It is an optional addition to your car insurance policy.