How to deal with uninsured motorists through car insurance in California

Unfortunately, uninsured motorists represent a serious nation-wide peril that doesn't make California an exclusion. The Golden State was formerly among the top three states with the highest percentage of uninsured motorists estimated, with about 25% of all the cars not having proper insurance coverage to comply with local requirements. However, these times have passed and people realized that it's costlier to drive without insurance, which reflects in a substantial drop in uninsured motorist rates, with about 14% of all drivers during the last year. However, because the number of cars registered in California is always on the rise, even with a lower relative share of uninsured motorists we get a very high absolute number of such drivers: more than 4 million with over 30 million of cars in the state. Add up the disturbingly high rate of hit-and-run accidents, and you will realize why uninsured motorist coverage has become an integral part of car insurance in California.

The problem is so pronounced that the local legislation obliges insurance providers to include uninsured motorist coverage in every policy they sell, that's why there are usually the U and UV designations on almost every face side of the policy sold in California. The law however does not make the coverage options obligatory for the consumer, and you are always free to exclude it from your policy by refusing from it in written form. But is there any sense in doing so? In the short run it may feel like a good decision because it will cut your insurance costs. However, in the long run your history with car insurance in California will sooner or later have a claim associated with an uninsured or underinsured motorist due to the high number of such drivers in this state. And that's exactly when having relative coverage with your policy would pay off.

Surprisingly many people tend to misinterpret the whole concept of uninsured motorist coverage. They believe that it will provide coverage to the uninsured party if they sustain any injury or damage due to your fault. However, that's why third party liability is for, while uninsured coverage serves an opposite purpose. It covers your physical and non-physical losses arising from an accident cause by an uninsured, hit-and-run or insufficiently covered motorist. It simply acts as if it was the uninsured party's third party liability coverage and is very convenient if you don't have collision or personal injury protection included into your policy. And as all other types of coverage offered with car insurance in California, uninsured motorist coverage can have different amounts included.

The standard amount of uninsured motorist coverage included with standard car insurance policies in California is $30,000 per person/$60,000 per accident. However, if your liability coverage is lower than these amounts it will be made even with your current liability limits, while having higher third party liability amounts doesn't imply that the uninsured motorist will be adjusted accordingly. So it's strongly recommended that you review this portion of your policy and adjust it if necessary, because the automatic procedures involved aren't the best at keeping your interests covered. Now, for the recommended amount of uninsured motorist coverage, it strongly depends on personal income and other factors. If you have a high yearly income and want to make sure that the policy will replace it in case you will be rendered unable to work for a period of time after the accident, you may want to choose higher limits starting with $100,000/$300,000. Still, it's always a matter of premiums you can afford, so it's also recommended to shop around between companies to see which car insurance in California has the best offer for high limits of uninsured motorist coverage. Either way, you will never regret having this type of coverage with your policy while driving the roads of the Golden State.

How to Buy Car Insurance in California Online »

If you live in the state of California and plan on operating a vehicle, it is required that you carry automobile insurance. There are a lot of car insurance companies around, both online and local. This may make it seem overwhelming to shop around. However, this is the best way to save money and is worth the effort. There are many car insurance companies online, and there are many websites that will find you multiple quotes with a single click of a button!

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