A car crash is a big disruption and probably a big expense as well. The cost to repair your vehicle or replace it if it is a total loss could be thousands of dollars, and your expenses might be even higher if you suffer a significant injury.
A collision often means the debilitating financial combination of lost wages and incoming bills. Car insurance should help protect you from a worst-case scenario, like being totally unable to work after a wreck.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of people on the Californian roads who don’t carry very much insurance. The state’s mandatory minimum coverage might not be enough to fully reimburse you for the losses that you suffer.
What is the required amount of insurance coverage?
Drivers in California must have liability coverage. If someone causes a collision, their policy will cover the damages that result. The other people affected by the wreck can make a claim against the policy of the at-fault driver for both property damages and any bodily injuries they suffer.
Drivers can opt to carry a significant amount of insurance to protect their assets and income from personal injury claims. Many drivers will try to keep their coverage as cheap as possible, which may mean only carrying the minimum amount of required coverage.
California currently only mandates $5,000 worth of property damage coverage. Drivers only need to have $15,000 worth of bodily injury liability protection, which increases to $30,000 if two or more people get hurt in the same wreck. Given how low those amounts are, a crash with only moderate injuries and vehicle damage could still leave thousands of dollars and uncovered costs.
What happens when a driver doesn’t have enough insurance?
Inadequate insurance is a common issue, and there are numerous possible ways to address this scenario if you get hurt by an underinsured driver.
Your own car insurance policy may protect you if you have collision coverage or uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Collision coverage will usually cover the expenses to repair your vehicle after a crash, and underinsured driver coverage can protect you from losses that the other driver’s policy should have paid if they had enough insurance.
A driver with inadequate insurance also opens themselves up to a civil lawsuit from anyone who gets hurt in the wreck. Learning more about insurance will help you make better choices after a car crash.