california car insurance
Did you know that car insurance companies can't use your credit score to determine your premium in California? Keep reading for more on California car insurance rules and regulations.
California car insurance
California car insurance requirements
California drivers are legally required to carry liability insurance with at least the following limits:
- $15,000 bodily injury coverage per person
- $30,000 bodily injury coverage per incident
- $5,000 of property damage coverage per incident
You'll typically see these minimums expressed as 15/30/5. Other coverages, like comprehensive and collision, are legally optional but may be required by a leasing or financing company.
California regulations on car insurance companies
California car insurance companies can't use your credit score to determine your premium, and your ZIP Code can only be used as a secondary rating factor.
The "good driver" law
California has regulations in place that ensure good drivers are rewarded with lower car insurance rates. Proposition 103 requires car insurance companies (Esurance included) to make your driving history a primary factor when determining your premium.
The state-mandated good driver discount
Proposition 103 also guarantees a discount to drivers who:
- Have been licensed for at least 3 years
- Have no more than one point on their driving records in the past 3 years
- Haven't been found at fault in a fatal car accident or a car accident that caused at least $1,000 of property damage in the last 3 years
The discount is 20 percent off what the insurer would regularly charge for the same policy.
No proof of insurance law
Carrying your proof of insurance at all times is legally required. If you're caught driving without proof of car insurance in California, you may be fined $100 to $200 for a first offense. Fines of $200 to $500 may be applied for a second offense occurring within 3 years of the first violation.
Documents verifying proof of insurance
You can use your insurance ID card or your electronic insurance ID card to prove that you carry the mandatory minimums.
Uninsured drivers in California
According to the Insurance Research Council (IRC), 15 percent of California drivers were uninsured in 2009. Though it's not required coverage, uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage can come in handy after an accident with an uninsured driver.
Alternative car insurance options
Drivers who can't afford a typical car insurance policy can apply for a state-sponsored policy.
- The California Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program for low-income drivers: This program is restricted to California residents with good driving records who meet the program's income restrictions.
- The California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan (CAARP) for high-risk drivers: If you're having difficulty getting insurance from non-standard insurance companies, this program may be an option. CAARP is specifically designed for high-risk drivers who have been convicted of DUIs or multiple traffic violations.
You can find more info on either type of policy on the California Department of Insurance's site.
The state offers a mediation service to help drivers resolve accident claims with their insurers. A qualified mediator can help you and your insurer resolve any disputes over the specifics of a claim. If you're interested in state-sponsored mediation,
visit the California Insurance Claims Mediation Program online.
Esurance in California
We first offered car insurance to California drivers in 2002. Esurance offers the following coverages and perks to Esurance customers in California.
Optional car insurance coverages in California
- Comprehensive coverage
- Collision coverage
- Medical and funeral services coverage
- Uninsured motorist property damage coverage
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage
- Rental car coverage
- Customized parts and equipment coverage
- Loan/lease (gap) coverage
- Towing and labor coverage
Esurance discounts offered in California
When you buy a policy in California, you may qualify for these discounts:
- Multi-Car discount
- Anti-Theft discount
- Mature Driver discount
Discounts may vary. If you're a current California policyholder and have questions about your Esurance discounts, call us at 1-800-ESURANCE (1-800-378-7262).
The Drive Less, Save More™ program
If you drive less, there's a lower risk of getting into a car accident. So it makes sense that we reward drivers who keep their mileage down. Ask about this money-saving program when you get your quote.
Car repair shops in California
Esurance customers (or drivers involved in a claim with Esurance) who take their cars to an Esurance-approved body shop can take advantage of RepairView®, which allows them to monitor repairs online, and enjoy guaranteed repairs for as long as they own their cars.
Find a repair shop near you.
Department of Insurance
The California Department of Insurance has more info on CA car insurance.
Spend a few minutes with our online counselor for a personalized California policy recommendation.
California driving stats and regulations
Head here for info that affects CA drivers.