Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Legal Requirements of having Auto Insurance in California

If you have recently moved to California or already been living there for some time, you may already know that the California law mandates having auto insurance coverage for car owners.

The question is, how do you know if this law applies to you? 

In this post, we will talk about all the crucial aspects of auto insurance in the state to ensure that your stay in beautiful California is enjoyable! 

Minimum Auto Insurance Coverage in California

The California state law mandates that vehicle owners in the state are required to have minimum liability insurance coverage. It applies to even car owners with other state licenses or no license. 

The purpose of a liability insurance policy is to cover the cost of damage to property or personal injury if a driver is responsible for an auto accident. The minimum amount for the liability coverages in the state for private passenger vehicles are below:
  • Coverage for property damage: $5,000;
  • Coverage for injury or death to a single individual: $15,000;
  • Coverage for injury or death to more than one individual: $30,000.

Vehicle owners can also fulfill their financial liability without having an insurance policy. They can do so in the following ways:
  • Obtain a self-insurance certificate from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
  • Deposit $35,000 with the DMV.
  • Get a surety bond worth $35,000 from a company licensed to carry out business in California.

The law does not mandate the following types of auto insurance, but you may consider: 
  • Comprehensive coverage;
  • Collision coverage;
  • Coverage of uninsured and underinsured motorists;
  • No-fault insurance.

Note: If vehicle owners have a car loan, the lender may ask for comprehensive or collision coverage. 

Besides, auto owners can get collision coverage on their cars; they may be eligible for the California Deductible Waiver. If you get this waiver, your insurance company is likely to pay the collision deductible on your vehicle if a driver without insurance causes an accident.

Auto-Owners Must Always Carry the Proof of Insurance

In California, vehicle owners need to carry proof of insurance all the time when they are driving. Luckily, showing a license proof has become more comfortable these days with digital intervention. According to the California Vehicle Code, drivers can show electronic documents on a mobile device as proof of insurance.

To prove that you have auto insurance, you need to show the following information:
  •  Name of the auto insurance company;
  • Address of the insurance company;
  • Duration of coverage;
  • Insurance policy number.

If you commit a traffic violation or involved in a car accident and you are unable to prove of having auto insurance, the possible fines will be:
  • $100 - $200 for committing the offense in the first instance
  • $200 - $500 for each additional offense within 3 years after committing the first

Those who do not carry a copy of their automobile insurance at the time will have to go through the trouble of submitting documentation to the court to get the fine removed. 

Auto Insurance Laws in California for New Residents

If you have recently moved to California, the California Driver Handbook can be useful for you. The DMV brings out this handbook to guide auto owners about registering their vehicles, getting a state driver's license, and relevant road rules in California.

Good Driver Discount in California

The State of California provides discounts for good drivers. 

The Good Driver Discount policy provides law-abiding drivers 20% discount in their auto insurance policy. To be eligible for the discount vehicle owners must meet the following conditions:
  • Possessing a valid license for a minimum of 3 years.
  • Not exceeding one point on the driving record within the last 3 years.
  • Not involved or responsible for an accident that may have caused injury or death in the last 3 years.
  • Not have taken traffic school for traffic violations more than one instance in the last 3 years.

Low-Cost Auto Insurance Program in California

The California Low-Cost Automobile Insurance Program (CLCA) provides financial support to vehicle owners who meet the eligibility criteria. To qualify for CLCA benefits, auto owners need to meet the following requirements:
  • Drivers must be minimum 19 years old.
  • Possess a valid state driver’s license.
  • Own a vehicle with a valuation of less than $25,000.
  • Fulfill financial requirements.

Download Form: Auto Insurance Questionnaire

How to Get Affordable Auto Insurance in California

It is not easy for car owners to find auto insurance that is both affordable and comprehensive. Auto insurance rates may vary based on various factors, including the area you live, the vehicle you own, and your driving record. Even a driver's age can be significant, which determines the amount you pay for auto insurance coverage.

It requires both experience and judgment to find an ideal auto insurance policy that provides the coverage you need. At Insuranceby Allied Brokers, we can do all the hard work to get the right insurance for you. Call us today at (650)328-1000, and one of our agents will help you out.

7 Things You Should Know About Before Buying a Home Insurance

The decision to buy a home can be a daunting task, especially for first-time buyers. Amid all the planning and research while choosing a home, potential home buyers tend to overlook another important aspect, which is getting comprehensive home insurance.

Home Insurance

Home insurance will protect you from potential financial losses due to an untoward event. There are various factors to consider before buying home insurance, and we have listed those factors in this write-up so that you can make an informed decision. Here we go.

1.     Look for a suitable home insurance

When buying insurance, look at four major areas: the construction of your home, your assets, liabilities to others, and your cost of living. In the case of an accident, having the right insurance will help you rebuild your house and replace the assets. For this, you need adequate liability coverage to protect yourself. Living expenses are going to cover the cost of rebuilding and making the house livable or allow you to live somewhere else during the process of rebuilding.

Read Also: How muchHomeowner’s Insurance do you need?

2.     Ensure to have adequate coverage

The most important aspect of homeowners’ insurance is its various forms of coverage. Know about the coverage to avoid paying anything extra.

The most commons forms of coverage are below:

HO-3: This is a broader policy or the ‘special form’ that protects homeowners against all perils except the ones that are expressly excluded by the policy.

HO-4: This is a tenant's policy, and it insures the owner's household assets and personal possessions. This policy also covers homeowners' additional living expenses, if required, medical expenses, and provides liability protection.

HO-6: This insurance policy is for condominiums/co-ops, which includes liability coverage, personal property coverage, and coverage of improving the owner’s unit.

HO-8: This is a specific policy for older homes, and has similar coverage in the HO-2 policy. However, this policy only covers the actual cash value.

3.     Get insurance with replacement value

When buying home insurance, look for the one that will provide extended or guaranteed coverage with replacement value. Guaranteed replacement covers the rebuilding cost of a home that not many companies offer these days. Still, it is possible to get extended-replacement-value insurance that will cover up to 100 percent of the value of a property, along with a certain percentage to cover rebuilding costs of the home in the current market.

4.     Get insight into the claims process

Even when two policies offer the same amount of coverage, they can still be quite different from each other in terms of protecting from overall losses. Some plans may provide you with the cash value of your assets soon after a loss, but delays to cover the replacement value until you replace your assets, and provide receipts to prove it. This may pose a problem if a homeowner faces severe financial losses and has no cash reserves. This is why knowing the claims process in detail is essential so that you will have an idea of how things will turn out in case of an accident.

5.     Buy a floater policy

Often insurance policies for homeowners and renters limit the amount you can collect on the expensive items, such as jewelry, computer equipment, collectibles, and furs. In this scenario, you need to have a particular policy called a ‘floater’ or ‘endorsement’ for such items. A floater policy will also reimburse homeowners if they lose a thing. If the item is new, attach the bill of sale to your inventory and handover a copy to your insurance agent. If the item is old, get an evaluation done, and again send a copy to your agent. This way, you do not have to worry about proving your ownership of an item and its worth.

6.     Pick an earthquake and flood insurance

This is a crucial aspect if you live in a flood and earthquake-prone region like California. Generally, most homeowners' insurance policies do not provide coverage against these natural disasters. A few independent carriers offer both. Again, in California, homeowners can get earthquake insurance through the California Earthquake Authority.

7.     Consider taking an umbrella policy

As a homeowner, carrying an umbrella policy will provide you additional liability coverage to your home. The liability coverage in an umbrella policy can also protect you from potential legal proceedings in case someone is hurt on your property or caused by your family members. Umbrella policies are economical, which starts at around $200 to $350 annually.  

Get An Free Home Quote 

Before We Go

A comprehensive home insurance policy that provides coverage to your property, or protects your valuable assets and personal belongings is essential for securing the future of your family.
Before buying home insurance, consult a reputable insurance broker about various types of insurance such as condominium, renter, townhouse, specialty home, and mobile home. This will help you pick the best protection with the required coverage. For more details, call us at (650) 328-1000 or fill out the online contact form, and we will get back to you shortly.