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Auto Insurance

Insuring your car or truck is not just about protecting your property and loved ones while driving, It's also a legal requirement!

What happens if you drive without Auto Insurance?

California requires you to have insurance on all vehicles that are driven or parked on roadways. Evidence of insurance must be carried in the¬ vehicle at all times. You will need to show your Evidence of Insurance if it is requested by law enforcement, when you renew your registration, or if you are involved in an accident. If you are caught driving without insurance, you will be ordered to pay a fine and risk having your vehicle impounded. Additionally, if you are involved in an accident without having insurance you will be personally liable for the damages caused and the DMV can suspend your license for up to four years.

The minimum fine for a first offense of driving without insurance is $100, but with the additional fees and penalty assessments the minimum fine will cost closer to $450. The minimum fine for a second offense is $200, which after penalties and assessments will be closer to $900. The maximum fine that can be imposed is $500, which after the penalties and assessments will be closer to $2500!

As you can see from the fines alone it's more expensive to drive without insurance than with it!

car pulled over by the police

What Insurance do you need?

Every state has their own minimum requirements for the level of insurance you need. Here in Huntington Beach we take our requirements from the California Vehicle code 16029, which mandates that drivers must have:

car in a ditch after an accident

What are the different types of Auto Insurance?

There are several types of insurance coverage over and above the state minimum requirements which make up an auto insurance policy. Your agent will help you determine which coverages are right for you and the level of protection you need based on your personal circumstances.

Liability

This coverage protects you from the costs associated with causing injury to others and their property and must meet your state's minimum requirements. Injury costs cover damages like medical bills, lost wages and compensation for the pain and suffering caused. The property element covers the cost of damage to another person's property caused by an accident, such as a wall, a house, or another car. This policy will also pay for legal costs should the accident lead to court proceedings.

The policy only covers you for the amount specified in the coverage levels. Once that amount is used you are liable for any additional monies needed to cover the damage caused. A policy with state minimums can end up costing you a lot more than you save should you ever cause an accident. Umbrella Policies can provide additional liability coverage that cover damages over your auto policy limits.

Collision

Whereas Liability coverage protects other people's property, collison coverage protects you from the costs associated with repairing your vehicle if you cause an accident or drive into something.

Comprehensive

Not all damage to vehicles is caused by accidents. Comprehensive coverage protects you from damage or loss caused by other events, such as vandalism, theft, wildfires, and hail. Vandalism and theft could happen anywhere at any time. High winds could cause a tree to fall on your car or trigger a wildfire. And although hail is uncommon in Southern California it does happen, potentially causing dents and broken windows.

Medical

This coverage covers medical expenses as a result of an auto accident regardless of fault. While personal health insurance policies provide coverage for this, the medical coverage addition can be used to offset the deductibles on your health insurance or cover any shortfalls.

Under Insured / Uninsured Motorist

While everyone who is driving should legally have insurance we all know there are people who will drive without it. This coverage will protect you and your vehicle from the costs incurred when you are hit by someone without insurance or without enough liability to cover your expenses.

Additional Coverages

There are also additional coverages you can add to your policy for extra protection or benefits:

  • Permissive use - This extends the coverage on your policy to other people you give permission to use your vehicle.
  • Additional Equipment - If you have made any permanent modifications to your car this coverage adds protection for their replacement due to damage or theft of your vehicle up to the coverage level chosen.
  • Towing - Covers the expense of towing your vehicle for repairs should an accident make it undrivable.
  • Loss of Use - Covers the expense of renting a replacement vehicle while yours is being repaired after an accident.

What does Auto Insurance cost?

There are various factors which go into how much an auto policy costs. One factor is the level of coverage you have chosen for all the options above. Your personal circumstances, such as your age, years driving, accident history, where the car is usually kept overnight, and how many miles you drive are factored in as well.

There are also many discounts available to reduce the premium you pay, such as your driving history, features of your car, other policies you have with the insurer, as well as discounts based on your education and career. Based on your profile, our agent can help you to set all of the coverage levels to create the right policy for you at the right price.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I have more liability coverage than the minimum required by law?

The minimum liability coverage doesn’t mean it’s actually enough to cover your loss. If you’re in an accident and you’re determined to be at fault, liability insurance pays to repair or replace the other driver’s car, as well as their medical expenses, up to the limit of your coverage. However, if your minimum coverage isn’t enough to pay all of the costs incurred, the remaining cost will come out of your own pocket.

What happens if I have state minimum insurance and drive to a state that has higher minimums?

State minimum auto policies automatically set the cover levels provided to that of the state in which any accidents occur so you will always be in compliance with the law.

What Insurance do I need if I lease my vehicle?

Comprehensive and Collision coverage are both typically required by the finance company on top of the state minimum Liability coverage if you lease your vehicle.

What Insurance do I need if I took out a loan to purchase my vehicle?

If you have an outstanding loan on your vehicle the finance company will usually require you to have both Comprehensive and Collision coverage in addition to the state minimum Liability coverage requirements.

Do red cars cost more to insure?

No, this is a common myth. The physical components of your car are what's important, such as make, body type, engine size, etc. Color does not effect the cost.

Should I increase my deductible?

Raising your deductible will lower your premiums, but you should only do this if you are able to set aside a higher amount of money to cover your deductible in case a claim does arise.

Can I add other people to my policy?

Yes, you can include other members of your household on your policy, but you must all live at the same address.

When do I need to add my teenager to my policy?

As soon as your child gets either a permit or license.

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