California liability Insurance: All about liability insurance in California

Whether you are getting your own personal liability insurance, trying to get insurance with an SR22, or needing alternative options for insurance in 2022, A Plus Insurance is here to make finding the cheapest California liability insurance easy for you.

Minimum Liability Requirements for California

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By Treasure Coleman | Licensed Agent/CSR at Learnandserve.org | Powered by A Plus Insurance

What is California Liability Insurance?

California liability insurance
2022 California liability insurance in 2022

Liability insurance is a form of financial security in any event when you are involved in an accident and you are responsible for the aftermath whether that be injury, death, or property damage.

The California state minimum liability insurance is as follows:

$15,000 for Bodily Injury Per Person

$30,000 for Bodily Injury Per Accident

$5,000 for property damage

Understanding Bodily Injury and Property Damage in California Liability Car Insurance

Liability insurance is the state minimum coverage needed in your state to drive legally, which includes bodily injury and property damage.

Bodily injury: is needed in any occasion you are at fault in an accident and are needing to cover medical expenses, loss of income from said injuries, and the expense that comes with pain and suffering.

Property damage: covers the bills to pay for vehicle repairs or any valuables that were destroyed in the incident. Property damage will also help cover any damage done to surrounding vehicles or objects such as fences, homes, or storefronts.

When The California Liability Insurance Minimum Is NOT Enough

Now, there are a few instances where liability insurance won’t cover you.

Remember, liability insurance is also called third party insurance. That means it’s the amount that pays out to the OTHER party if you are at fault.

If you are found to be at fault, liability insurance will NOT cover:

  • damages to your own vehicle after the incident
  • injury sustained by you or any passengers in your vehicle
  • any expenses, medical payments, or property damage that would exceed your original liability policy limit.
  • If you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, and someone hits you and does not have insurance

However there are many different optional coverages that you could obtain that could benefit you such as:

  • uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
  • personal injury protection,
  • collision coverage
  • comprehensive coverage
  • medical payment coverage

Also, it’s important to remember: California’s liability coverage requirement for property damage is ONLY $5000. It is VERY likely that $5000 is not going to be sufficient to cover vehicle damages.

It’s in your best interest to weigh out all your options and decide if you are only wanting the state minimum requirement or if you are wanting to have a higher liability limit.

What are California’s penalties when you drive with no insurance?

California state minimum liability insurance
2022 California liability insurance in 2022

When driving in California it is necessary to either carry liability insurance with the state minimum requirements or a legal alternative. Nonetheless getting pulled over and not having insurance will result in hefty consequences.

Those consequences will vary depending on if you’re a first time offender or a frequent offender.

First time offender: If you are caught driving without insurance you can expect to be fined an amount close to $360 (around 100 for the fine and 260 for the penalty assessment.)

Second offense: When you are caught for a second time, the penalty gets more severe with a total ranging between 1,000 to 2,000 dollars.

Moreover, there are also further consequences when you drive without insurance and you happen to get into a car accident. Some of those punishments are listed below:

First offense after collision: a fine up to 300-700 dollars and a required one year suspension of your license with a SR22 attached to your insurance policy for three years.

Second offense after collision: a fine up to 700-2000 dollars and a required four year suspension of your license with a SR22 attached to your insurance policy and to keep that form on your policy.

It is also important to note that when you go to court for said offenses they can impound your vehicle.

Bottom line: It’s always best to not drive when you don’t have insurance

Most Affordable California Liability Car Insurance by Company

California liability car insurance : Top 5 Best Rates

California liability insurance
2022 California liability insurance in 2022
Car Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Payment
Progressive$81
The General$81
National General$82
Dairyland$86
Acceptance RTR$99
Sample prices only: Rates Will vary depending on multiple factors

SR22 Insurance and California liability car insurance

As said before liability insurance contains bodily injury and property damage.

But what’s the difference between the California liability insurance and SR22 insurance?

SR22 insurance is a filing mandated by the state, typically targeted at high-risk drivers who are caught failing to pay for charges after an incident, driving under the influence, reckless driving, or if you have multiple traffic violations.

Listed below are rates we have with different companies.

California liability car insurance: Top 5 Best Rates for Drivers With an SR-22

sr22 insurance nebraska
2022 California liability insurance in 2022
Car Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Payment
Dairyland$72
The General$95
GEICO$97
Progressive$97
Mendota$99
Sample rates only: Violations on your record will impact your premium

Average SR22 rates by city in California

CityPrice
Daly City$92.00
Garden Grove$91.00
Carlsbad$92.00
Santa Maria$100.00
Clovis$100.00
San Mateo$98.00
El Monte$97.00
Downey$101.00
Temecula$97.00
Richmond$106.00
Santa Rosa$108.00
Arden-Arcade$96.00
Concord$88.00
Oakland$109.00
Modesto$97.00
El Cajon$86.00
Berkeley$97.00
Burbank$99.00
Vallejo$107.00
Bakersfield$105.00
Inglewood$108.00
Sunnyvale$107.00
Vista$87.00
Fontana$94.00
Stockton$102.00
Corona$101.00
Fresno$90.00
Los Angeles$105.00
Jurupa Valley$109.00
Fullerton$103.00
Fremont$91.00
Glendale$91.00
Oxnard$104.00
Simi Valley$90.00
Victorville$94.00
Murrieta$105.00
Escondido$91.00
Antioch$88.00
Riverside$105.00
Santa Clarita$98.00
Long Beach$91.00
San Francisco$92.00
Orange$89.00
West Covina$93.00
San Diego$88.00
Oceanside$108.00
Ontario$108.00
Rancho Cucamonga$97.00
Hayward$103.00
East Los Angeles$90.00
San Jose$102.00
Rialto$105.00
Sacramento$110.00
Roseville$102.00
Moreno Valley$100.00
Huntington Beach$109.00
Salinas$107.00
Anaheim$93.00
Chula Vista$86.00
California liability insurance rates for SR22

Any alternative insurance plans For California Liability Insurance?

image shows an agent explaining an insurance policy document
2022 California liability insurance in 2022

Furthermore, there are specific alternatives where you can get even lower limits for liability insurance and still meet the needs to drive and the many ways you can are listed below:

California low cost auto insurance program: This program is targeted at family households who typically fall within poverty requirements and are looking for a more affordable plan.

The minimum coverage requirements that come with this plan are bodily injury, property damage, uninsured motorist, and medical payments. 

Cash deposit: The way you would be insured using a cash deposit  is by having a deposit of 35,000 dollars into your savings account at your personal bank, then contacting the DMV Financial Responsibility Unit to help you fill out the form and then submitting the application.

Then the way you would be able to use this is to always have a minimum of 35,000 dollars in your savings account in case of an accident. 

A form of self-insurance form the DMV: This alternative is less accessible to use, but the only way you could be eligible to have this certification is to at least have twenty five cars in your name.

With this form it states that you are financially stable enough to pay for medical bills, car repairs and other property damages by any means you are at fault.

Surety bond: Lastly, you can purchase a 35,000 bond that states you can pay for medical payments, car repairs, and property damage which is quite similar to a minimum liability insurance policy. 

Need More than California Liability Insurance: Other California Insurance Guides

Last Updated on by Veronica Moss