The details of insurance for motor vehicles vary in a host of complicated ways. Drivers need the right insurance policy to protect themselves if they cause an accident that results in property damage or personal injury or death.
The level of insurance carried by another driver can also impact a person in an accident. State laws mandate the minimum level of coverage drivers must carry and the responsibilities of insurance companies.
California laws for uninsured drivers
Forbes reports that California laws require insurance companies offer uninsured coverage to drivers, though an individual can reject the coverage in writing. Coverage limits for this type of insurance start at $15,000 for bodily injury coverage per person and $30,000 for bodily injury per accident.
California drivers can also reject uninsured motorist property damage; this coverage provides a payout for property damage if a person without insurance hits another vehicle. If a person has collision coverage, the UMPD only pays the deductible not covered by collision insurance up to a defined maximum dollar amount. California law does not allow UMPD coverage to pay for hit-and-run accidents. Just over 15 percent of California drivers fall into the category of uninsured.
Legal responsibilities of insurance carriers
The California Department of Insurance states that under the Fair Claims Settlement Practices Regulations insurance companies hold certain obligations to their clients. This includes the offer of a fair settlement in the case of vehicle damage from a crash. In general, the company must advise its clients of all benefits, coverage, time limits and other provisions of a policy. The insurance company must pay an accepted claim immediately or no later than 30 days.